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The Glasgow Comedy Festival: best laughs in town

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Comedy in Glasgow

From 14-31 March, Glasgow welcomes some of the country’s most chuckle-worthy comedians for the hotly anticipated Glasgow Comedy Festival.

There will be over 350 shows across 40 venues spaced around the city featuring massive names like Al Murray, Lucy Porter and Jimmy Carr, who will be joining local comedians like Jerry Sadowitz, Craig Hill and Daniel Sloss. If you’re a fan of live comedy, you’ll want to read on and have these shows on your radar…

Getting to know Glasgow

Comedian Lee Camp says that comedy is meant for the ‘gritty, rainy, real places in this world. And that’s exactly what Glasgow is’.

Whatever the reason, comedians have a real soft spot for the city which brings them back every year, and it’s easy to see why.

Glasgow is an energetic city with one of the country’s liveliest art and music scenes, not to mention some fantastic architecture thanks to famous ‘weegie’ art figure Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Here are some of the places to catch while you’re in town:

• The Kelvingrove Art Gallery is Scotland’s most visited free attraction. If it’s a nice day, stroll down to Kelvingrove Park which can take you right to the city centre.

• Ashton Lane in the trendy west end is the place to go for cool bars and restaurants and a local cinema, while Byres Road next door has a charming small town village feel which is perfect for a daytime wander.

• Sauchiehall Street and Buchannan Street in the city centre are entirely pedestrianised and together make a shopper’s dream packed with independent treasure troves, designer boutiques and high street chains alike.

• Football fans should try to squeeze in a footie game at Ibrox, Parkhead or Hampden.

• Aishling from the Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association fuels herself for the day at the popular TriBeCa in the west end (just look out for the New York yellow cab which permanently sits outside) with American-style all-day breakfasts or hearty burgers.

• The West Brewery in the east end is the UK’s only brewery to produce all their beers according to the German Reinheitsgebot (the German Purity Law) and is well worth a trip for the beers and nosh.

Glasgow’s train network, along with its underground route, make it a breeze to get around.

The subway is actually a tourist attraction in itself: the ‘subcrawl’ is a popular pastime, where revellers stop at each stop (there are 15) for a drink.

Shows to catch

• Wayne Mazadza

What: Wayne, who got the final round of the Scottish Comedian Of The Year and the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year awards, hails from Zimbabwe and draws on his experience as a foreigner in Edinburgh for his act to hilarious effect.

Where: The Glasgow School of Art (nearest rail station is Charing Cross)

When: 7pm, Thursday 28 March

• The Bunker Sessions

What: If you’re bored od seeing the same old comedians peddling the same old jokes, why not sniff out some of tomorrow’s comedy talent?

The bunker sessions sees three up and coming comedians take to the stage, plus some ‘live surprises’, all of which will be filmed here at one of Glasgow’s most iconic Mackintosh buildings.

Where: The Glasgow School of Art (nearest rail station is Charing Cross)

When: 7.30pm, 14, 15 and 21 March

• The Five Quid Funnies

What: Who says you need to pay an arm and a leg to get a decent laugh? These budget-friendly shows will cost you just a fiver, and you’ll see a strong line-up of some of the city’s funniest live acts.

It’s hosted at top local venue Maggie Mays, which is known for having a great drinks list and even better tunes (it’s one of Glasgow’s most raucous live music venues).

Where: Maggie Mays (nearest train station is Glasgow Central Station)

When: Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the festival at 8pm.

• David O’Doherty

What: You’ll be charmed by his Irish jokes and won over by his impressive keyboard skills. His new material draws heavily from a book of sex tips he found in a dentist’s waiting room, so don’t go if you blush easily!

Where: The Garage

When: 8pm, 15 and 16 March

• Jerry Sadowitz

What: This American-born Scottish comic is known for his astounding magic tricks with a side of outrageous jokes (his routines are so proactive that he’s been knocked out by an irate audience member at one show).

Described as ‘more angry than Bill Hicks, politically dodgier than Andrew Dice Clay and with better magic tricks than David Copperfield’, a Jerry Sadowitz show guarantees mischief, mayhem, a few raised eyebrows and plenty of laughs.

Where: The Kings Theatre (just a short walk from Charing Cross train station)

When: 10pm, Saturday 23 March

We couldn’t possibly cover all the brilliant shows to see, so head on over to the Glasgow Comedy Festival’s official website for a peek at the full listings.

What are you planning to see at this year’s Glasgow Comedy Festival?

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