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The Cambrian News has teamed up with the organisers of the upcoming Aberystwyth Comedy Festival to give 10 lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to Friday’s Comedy Showcase at the Commodore Cinema.
The two-hour set will feature the best acts from the festival, which takes place in venues throughout Aberystwyth from Friday to Sunday, 5 to 7 October.
The inaugural festival is being organised by the team behind the successful Machynlleth Comedy Festival, which started in 2010.
Festival director Henry Widdicombe, who is looking forward to celebrating a decade of Mach Comedy Festival in 2019, explained why he wanted to set up another in nearby Aberystwyth.
“We wanted to create a new comedy festival that complemented Machynlleth Comedy Festival but was also very distinct from it,” he said.
“Whereas Machynlleth in the spring celebrates work in development, Aberystwyth Comedy Festival will almost entirely showcase finished work from our favourite comedians.
“Whilst the two events are only 20 miles from each other geographically, they will have very different personalities.
“We’re so excited to bring people to the iconic Aberystwyth seafront in the autumn, and fill the town’s beautiful buildings with laughter.”
Festival sites include Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Arad Goch, the Castle Theatre, Commodore Cinema, the bandstand, the Coliseum Museum, the Old College and the Pier.
The new festival has been funded by the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation Fund and fits in with Visit Wales’ Year of the Sea theme.
“We’re hugely grateful for the support and belief that the Welsh Government has shown us, which has allowed us to launch a new event for Wales which we believe has incredible potential going forward,” continued Mr Widdicombe.
“The aim is for us to run two annual landmark UK comedy events in this part of the world that bookend the traditional summer tourism season,” he said.
“The number of hotels, restaurants, cafés and pubs in Aberystwyth that visitors can make use of means that the growth of the event can be fully supported by the location for many years to come.”
Mr Widdicombe is equally passionate about the venues they will be using.
“We get to use these incredible spaces strung along the seafront from the spectacular Old College and Royal Pier, to wonderful existing theatre spaces in Arad Goch, the Coliseum, Castle Theatre and Commodore Cinema. We’ve been working in close partnership with Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Aberystwyth University too, and have had nothing but support from all the venues who share our vision for the festival.”
Aberystwyth Comedy Festival will include shows from television regulars such as Gary Delaney, Suzi Ruffell, Ed Gamble and Josh Widdicombe alongside comedy legends like Mark Thomas and Rob Newman and the best shows direct from the Edinburgh Fringe including Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, Lou Sanders, Sara Barron, Larry Dean and Sam Campbell amongst many others including Welsh language showcases hosted by Tudur Owen and Sarah Breese.
The Comedy Showcase at the Commodore Cinema on Friday, 5 October, which starts from 10.30pm, hosted by Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, is a two-hour show with a fantastic line-up over over 10 festival acts performing short sets in quick succession. A great way to whet your appetite and help decide on other shows to see during the weekend.