Belfast Telegraph

Top acts at Belly Laughs comedy festival share their best lines

Just when you thought Belfast couldn’t get any more entertaining, there is another festival of hilarity on the cards. Belfast’s annual comedy festival, Belly Laughs, now in its third year, is back.

From tomorrow (September 25) to October 5 comedians from all over the world - including Ruby Wax, Adam Hills and Stewart Lee - will be making us laugh until our sides hurt.

Ten of the best acts, shared one of their jokes with Amanda Ferguson, exclusively for Belfast Telegraph readers.

Bec Hill

BEC BY POPULAR DEMAND: The Sunflower, September 28,  3pm, £8.

Fresh from her European tour, the Australian comic presents the stand-up that has made her a cult festival favourite and the ‘paper-puppetry’ that made her a worldwide YouTube sensation.

“My grandad is quite the character, he’s a lot like coffee: drunk in the morning.”

George Firehorse

GEORGE FIREHORSE - 37 YEARS OF CHILDHOOD: Whites Tavern, October 3, 8pm, £5.

George Firehorse is a child of the 70s. Also the 80s, the 90s, the 00s and the 10s. A unique blend, of nonsense, magic, mayhem, physical comedy and wit, from one of Northern Ireland’s favourite comedians.

“I’m writing a book called ‘Poirot goes to Middle Earth’. It’s a Mordor mystery.”

Lorcan McGrane

LORCAN MCGRANE - BLANK INSIDE: Green Room at the Black Box, October 6, 6:00pm, £5.

Rural Monaghan’s premier lonely geek comedian and She-Hulk aficionado talks about his inability to fill the gaping maw of his inner being with anything meaningful.

“I’m a lonely geek so I have to buy my own greeting cards. I found a lovely one the other day, it had Spider-man on the front and a label on the back that read 'blank inside'.

“It’s very rare to find a card that really expresses your metaphysical angst like that.”

Aaron Marshall

FRAM!: Comedy Improv, South Bank Playhouse, September 27, 8pm, Donation at door.


Frazer Robb and Aaron Marshall are FRAM! Northern Ireland's first Chicago style long form improv group. No script, nothing prepared, no safety net, just lots of laughs! With support from Roll the Dice. NB. BYOB.


“I once had a job as a butcher, but I got fired when I forgot to bring all the meat out from the van. I just didn’t have the chops.”

Paul Currie

PAUL CURRIE - THE STICKY BIVOUAC II: The Black Box, October 6, 8.30pm, £7.

Newtownabbey born Paul Currie masterfully mixes his skills in puppetry, street performance and clowning to concoct a mature form of physical comedy with visual and musical gags aplenty.

“What’s the difference between a Catholic and Protestant? Nothing.”

Sean Hegarty

NEIL DOUGAN - ROUGH RARED With support from SEAN HEGARTY: The Ulster Maple Leaf Sports & Social Club, September 27, 8pm, £6.

Sean, Lurgan’s king of the one-liners, will be supporting Neil Dougan who has gained plenty of notoriety as warm-up man on The Stephen Nolan TV Show.

“Where’s the worst place to hide in a hospital? I.C.U.”

Marcus Keeley

QUICKFIRE COMEDY: Upstairs at Whites Tavern, October 1, 8pm, £3 at door.

Marcus, from Belfast, will be among the comics trying to win the audience over with their wit. Acts are drawn at random, none of them know who's up next, and only you can decide who will be crowned King or Queen of Quickfire Comedy.

“I live at home at the moment...which is handy because it’s where I keep all my things.”

Paddy McDonnell

ON THE BUSES - BELFAST COMEDY TOURS: Departing Castle Place, September 28, 7pm, £10/£8seniors/£7students.

All aboard as Belly Laughs’ popular alternative comedy bus tour. Paddy McDonnell will show you the funnier side of Belfast's sights with a few surprises on the way.

“My son said to me the other day ‘daddy do you know why I love you?’. I had a wee tear in my eye and said ‘ach son that’s lovely, why do you love me?’ and he said ‘because you have a big belly like Santa Claus’.”

Gemma Hutton

GEMMA HUTTON’S A KINKY KIKI TYPE OF THING: Belfast Barge, October 3, 8pm, £8.

Her one woman show, Lesbyterian Missconceptions, went down a storm and completely sold out its run. This is Gemma's return to doing what she loves best…pure adulterated stand up comedy.

Presented by Laughter Shed in association with Belly Laughs. NB. BYOB

“Why did the cross eye teacher get sacked? She couldn’t control her pupils.”

Laurence Clarke

LAURENCE CLARKE: Green Room at the Black Box, September 28, 2.30pm, £5.

The Liverpool comic’s material is mostly based on his experiences of living with cerebral palsy.

“I prefer to think of health as a relative concept. For example, put me (a wheelchair user) next to David Beckham and it’s pretty obvious who looks healthier! However by contrast put me next to Shane MacGowan from The Pogues and suddenly I look a good deal better. So maybe the secret to a healthy life isn’t lots of exercise or a good diet? Maybe it’s just surrounding yourself with people in a worse state than you?”

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