Carling WEEKEND: Comedy and Cabaret Stage!

THE CARLING WEEKEND - READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS. The full line up for the Comedy & Cabaret Stage has been revealed.

Chay Woodman

Date published: 28th Jun 2006

The Comedy and Cabaret Stage returns to the festivals for more late night entertainment at both sites and a host of unique performances that range from full blown burlesque shows to the infamous punk rock karaoke and beyond. During the day, a host of top comedians will keep the laughter flowing and the stage should, as ever, be your first and last port of call at both sites.

The Highlights....

The Comedy and Cabaret Stage has always been a home for the top comedians; from Eddie Izzard to Mark Steel, if you’ve seen them on TV they’ve undoubtedly been on this stage first. This year is no exception with RUSSELL BRAND stepping out of the tabloid coverage to take to the Reading stage for a set that is sure to contain the kind of barbed humour that is rapidly making him a household name. STEWART LEE takes to the stage having scripted and directed "Jerry Springer, The Opera" in between his hugely successful stand up tours; if you haven’t seen his stand up then this is a must see for this year. ALAN CARR has found fame through his appearances on "The Friday Night Project" and will no doubt be a big draw for this year’s crowds whilst ADAM HILLS, an Australian stand up of massive repute is so funny that The Scotsman said "If you cannot enjoy Adam Hills you cannot have a pulse". These four lead the charge across the two sites with a full line-up of great comedy talent to accompany them meaning that, this year, The Comedy and Cabaret Stage is a sure fire for the best comedy.

Late night at both sites sees the stage take a turn to the bizarre and unusual with a collection of acts that will thrill when the bands have ended. The BURLY Q CABARET will be at both sites bringing their burlesque to the early hours whilst CIRCUS OF HORRORS and LUCIFIRE will be getting pulses racing in a different way with their demonstrations of contortionism, knife throwing and fire dancing. DIRTY SANCHEZ have been a hit at both sites over the last two years and this year sees them return to Leeds to premiere their brand new show to the world. As those who saw them will know, this is not for the faint hearted as the boys will no doubt have worked out yet more ways to hurt themselves and each other for the public’s enjoyment.

And still there is more to get excited about. In Reading, festivities kick off with the Vox N Roll Music Quiz, described by NME as "the hardest quiz in London" whilst Leeds is already rocking on Thursday night with live music from SIKTH and the now infamous Punk Rock Karaoke to start proceedings. Reading has Stars Up Their Arse Karaoke this year so don’t fear, you can be the star of your dreams for a few minutes at either site. With Leeds also hosting the fabled ROCKUMENTARY BRITANNIA short films, featuring rare footage of The Libertines and Bloc Party amongst others, and both sites featuring unique musical performances from Youth Movie Soundtrack Strategies and the hotly tipped Tilly and The Wall, this year’s Comedy and Cabaret Stage is our best yet, from start to (late finish) a collection of entertainment for anyone and everyone, whatever your taste.


Carling Weekend: Reading Festival on Friday 25th August

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Saturday 26th August

ALAN CARR is part owner of the prestigious Rose D’Or, won by the fantastically successful ‘Friday Night Project’ (Channel 4) that has catapulted him into the mainstream. Alan is no stranger to awards, having won the BBC’s New Comedian Of The Year in 2001 and his headline performance at this year’s festival is certain to justify the high praise being heaped on one of Britain’s most successful comedians.

COLE PARKER is no stranger to the stage, having been an actor and comedian since the age of 12. One of the brightest stand- ups in the UK, Cole is no stranger to rock n roll having hosted the Jersy LIVE! event since 2003. (NB, Cole will be the COMPERE for the stage at the Leeds site)

Regarded by many as Britain’s answer to the late, great Bill Hicks, MATT BLAIZE is an Eastender who takes his subjects head on but always brings his audience with him.

A natural in front of an audience after over ten years on the circuit, BEN NORRIS will bring his experience to the stage with a dose of cracking gags and wry observations.

With performances on the ‘Ralph Little Show’ and guest appearances on ‘Dead Ringers’ in addition to his stand up shows, STEPHANO PAULINO is rapidly becoming a name to note on the circuit.

Formerly one half of Skint Video, STEVE GRIBBIN’s musical comedy avoids the trap of so many other performers with sharp two line musical put downs and well thought out full comedy songs that demonstrate both an eye for a decent lyric and an ear for a well thought out musical pastiche.

Carling Weekend: Reading Festival on Friday 25th August

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Sunday 27th August

The superb former host of Channel 4’s Popworld, SIMON AMSTELL, is likely to have a stream of festival goers checking his set. His acerbic interviews with guests on the show were one of the highlights of Sunday mornings for many and his stand-up continues that provocative but highly funny approach.

Carling Weekend: Reading Festival on Friday 25th August

SIMON EVANS is guaranteed to offend someone during his set with his sarcastic attacks on everyone and anyone who he deems unworthy of his respect. He’ll also make you laugh and that’s why he is one of the most successful stand ups in the UK.

With a highly physical comedic presence that borders on the neurotic, ADAM BLOOM’s grasp of the absurd and breathless delivery is always worth your time.

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Saturday 26th August

Relax and let the conversational style of ANDREW BIRD entertain you on the Leeds stage. A great anecdotal comedian, Andrew is a master of the well told tale.

JON RICHARDSON made his name with success in the BBC New Talent Comedy Search and the J20 Last Laugh Comedy Search and takes to the stage with his name very much in the ascendant.

Styled by Paramount Comedy as "The new Prince Charming of comedy", LLOYD LANGFORD is part of a new generation of comedians that are radpily becoming household names.

A previous winner of the North West Comedian Of The Year alongside Caroline Aherne, Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay, JASON MANFORD is a big name in his native North West and it can’t be long before the rest of the UK propel him to similar levels of fame as those whose footsteps he is following.

Carling Weekend: Reading Festival on Saturday 26th August

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Sunday 27th August

STEWART LEE has a comedy CV that is second to none. One half of the massively successful Lee and Herring, Stewart recently wrote the lyrics for, and directed ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’ alongside continuing his own successful stand up tours across the globe. No stranger to the music world as a former music critic for The Times, it is a great honour to have one of the finest comedians in the UK step on to the stage for what is undoubtedly a highlight of the weekend’s entertainment.

BARRY CASTAGNOLA is regarded as one of the most urbane storytellers on the UK comedy circuit and is guaranteed to entertain with his own brand of comic observation.

(Barry will the compere for the stage at the READING site)

Currently gracing BBC 2’s new comedy ‘Grown-Ups’, ROB ROUSE delivers an energetic set which works so well because he is unafraid to make a fool of himself. A million words a minute delivery makes Rob a huge live favourite on the circuit.

Carling Weekend: Reading Festival on Saturday 26th August

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Friday 25th August

HUGH LENNON AND HYPNODOG are firm favourites at the festival and across the UK, If you haven’t experienced being hypnotised by Hypnodog, then put your reservations aside and give the canine a try. Or just watch others do it. Either way, it’s a great show.

With a contemplative delivery and a tendency to eschew the obvious gag for a less immediate (but ultimately better) pay off line, JASON JOHN WHITEHEAD is increasingly being seen as one of the best comedians on the circuit.

With a well tuned taste for the surreal, MARKUS BIRDMAN can take an obsession with the first album he bought (‘One Step Beyond’) and turn it into an hour long Edinburgh show which also includes the Bishop Of Rochester being beheaded with a stale baguette.

If you are easily offended then perhaps it’s best to either miss JASON ROUSE’s set or have another look at your standpoint. He may be vulgar and he is certainly shocking but Rouse is also one of the funniest men you are likely to see this year.

Armed with a guitar, ROB DEERING is one of the best loved comedians on the UK circuit. With a desire to entertain, Rob blends musical comedy with superb audience involvement in what is always an entertaining show.

Carling Weekend: Reading Festival on Saturday 26th August

A winner of both of his native New Zealand’s top comedy awards, BEN HURLEY comes to the festival as a definite one to watch.

With an ability to mimic established singers and a nose for a funny rhyme, RICK RIGHT’s musical comedy is by turns both topical and surreal.

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Sunday 27th August

The long haired, guitar toting rocker that is MITCH BENN descends on the stage with guitar in hand and a host of parody songs that are interspersed with sharp one liners and wry comments.

If you are sick of celebrity culture and long for someone to take a kick at minor ‘celebrities’ then MICK FERRY could well be your man. Aiming well placed barbs at celebrity culture, with a good sense of his own limitations, Mick is a great stand-up and well worth seeing.

With a name like YIANNI AGISILAOU it will come as no great surprise to know that much of this stand-up’s humour revolves around living with the name Yianni and the culture clashes between him and older generations of his Greek family. A great observational and cultural comedian, Yianni is a regular on the worldwide comedy circuit.

Styled the "comedy equivalent of a defibrillator machine" by, TOBY FOSTER is a comedian with a big personality whose sheer exuberance makes his stand up shows a stream of amusing gags and anecdotes.

YOUR MC – PAUL B EDWARDS is one of the most popular and successful comedians on the UK circuit. A great one for audience participation, many of Paul’s songs have become cul hits and expect to hear the tent sing along to these throughout the day.

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Friday 25th August

ADAM HILLS comedy cd, "Go, You Big Red Fire Engine" was a huge seller in his native Australia and Adam is well known throughout the globe as a stand up of massive repute. With two Perrier nominations to his name and a Chortle Award for best Compere in 2004, the headline slot is in safe hands.

A vibrant personality which defines his humour, PATRICK MONAHAN is, in contrast to many comedians on the circuit, a celebratory gag man, with a generous good humour that rarely relies on put downs to elicit the laughs.

One of the highlights of Edinburgh for the last three years, AL PITCHER, is rapidly becoming one of the hottest names on the comedy circuit.

A head on comedian, JIM JEFFRIES frequently challenges his audience’s with very personal (and dark) humour that almost begs those watching not to like him. It is a tribute to his skill and ability that this never happens, making Jim one of the most sought after comedians on the circuit.

City Life’s Comedian of the Year in 2001, JOHN BISHOP has gone from strength to strength with well received Edinburgh shows and a stand up routine that gets stronger and more popular with each appearance.


Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Thursday 24th August

Leeds starts early for those who are pitched and ready to enjoy themselves with an evening of entertainment to get everyone in the mood for the weekend.

Live music comes from THE QUIET KILL, containing members of the much missed Million Dead, alongside MySpace phenomenon ENTER SHIKARI and cult heroes SIKTH.

In addition, there is the first outing of PUNK ROCK KARAOKE, a firm favourite every year with DJ’s and a showing of "METAL: A HEADBANGERS JOURNEY" alongside DJ’s and more films to be confirmed.

Carling Weekend: Reading Festival on Friday 25th August

STARS UP THEIR ARSE KARAOKE begins the late night festivities allowing you to say "tonight Matthew, I am going to be.." with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek.

THE LUCI AND DAVE PAIN CIRCUS will bring in the darkness with a cast of performers demonstrating the amazing, the fantastic and the bizarre. ESM̀E is one of the most versatile and multi talented artists around, starring in a wide range of roles, on stage, screen and recordings. Although she is an integral part of the booming Burlesque scene, she stands apart from it as a unique performance artist in her own right and brings an eccentric quintessentially British twist to the art of tease with a cheeky wink to modern times.EMPRESS STAH’s speciality aerial performance blends burlesque and circus to create a truly breath taking show. MR METHANE glories in the title of the world’s only performing flatulist and it is truly remarkable what one man can do from such a basic premise.

ALSO – THE VOX N ROLL MUSIC QUIZ which has been running at The Boogaloo in Highgate for the past three and a half years will open the stage on every day. It has been described by the NME as "the hardest quiz in London" and by Time Out as one of "the best evenings out in London".

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Friday 25th August

It’s a night of special late live music as the stage hosts a clutch of bands to keep the music flowing into the early hours.

ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT take the grit of blues and the intensity of classic soul music to create a music that is arresting and strident. Their late night set is a special treat and a great compliment to the night time vibe of the late entertainment for this year.

YOUTH MOVIE SOUNDTRACK STRATEGIES are rightly noted for being one of the most ambitious bands in the UK and this year they will bring to the stage a unique multi media piece designed especially for the festivals whilst newcomers RATT ATT AGG follow dates with Semifinallists with a live set.

In addition, some of the best known and loved bands in the UK are likely to appear as DOMINO RECORDS, home of Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys and the great, lamented Pavement amongst others, bring their short films to the tent for your enjoyment.

Carling Weekend: Reading Festival on Saturday 26th August

The stage kicks off the evening’s entertainment with live music from the following

TILLY AND THE WALL’s second album, "Bottom Of Barrels" has seen the Omaha five piece name checked as ones to watch. With Bright Eye’s Conor Oberst a fan, the band share some of his romanticism and willingness to experiment within their pop sound and released debut album, "Wild Like Children" on his label in the US.

ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT – see Leeds Friday for details

YOUTH MOVIE SOUNDTRACK STRATEGIES – see Leeds Friday for details


Things then develop as night draws in with our second cabaret of the weekend featuring the following amazing performers.

Mixing comedy, theatre and kink beyond compare, BURLY Q CABARET aims to perform the unexpected, sing songs of love and hate, display acrobatic feats of daring delight, strip down to flaming tassels, and tend to leave people crying out for more in laughter and/or ecstatic defeat. Be sure to be there to hear their club classic, "Everybody’s fucking but me". LUCIFIRE is one of the world’s most recognised cabaret performers. A mistress of many arts of the burlesque, LUCIFIRE will tonight be thrilling all with her suspension act where she uses hooks through her skin to hang herself to the tent whilst displaying a grace and elegance that seems almost super human. A marvel to behold, do not miss this unique show.

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Saturday 26th August

It’s an evening of music to begin proceedings with a very special film for all to see included.

ROCKUMENTARY BRITANNIA is a collection of three short films that follow some of the most talked about names in current British music just as they were exploding. The footage of one of THE LIBERTINES infamous house party shows is a reminder of the huge impact that the band made in their short life and captures the excitement of Pete and Carl’s band before it all went wrong. New Cross was a hive of activity around the same time and a second short captures BLOC PARTY at the head of the scene shortly before they exploded into public consciousness. Meanwhile, the younger scene centred around Eel Pie Island that has thrown up Jamie T and Jeremy Warmsley amongst others focuses on residents and leaders of the scene, MYSTERY JETS.

Recently signed to the Big Cheese magazine’s attendant label, FAILSAFE are picking up early praise and look set for next big thing status in 2007.

And there’s PUNK ROCK KARAOKE as well before the darkness draws in and the CABARET comes to the stage with the weird, the wonderful and the bizarre.

DIRTY SANCHEZ were one of the biggest hits at Leeds when they took their first live show to this stage in 2004. Now, the boys are back with a BRAND NEW show that will be getting it’s WORLD PREMIERE right here in Leeds. Expect the dangerous, the daring and the downright stupid as the lads try their level best to hurt each other and themselves for your entertainment. It’s a brave person who will sit at the front, you have been warned!

RENEGADE BURLESQUE bring a twisted take on burlesque to the stage for the witching hours with beguiling routines and seriously dark imagery.

CIRCUS OF HORRORS bring you an amazing amalgamation of Witchdoctors , Voodoo acrobats, a pickled person, bendy bodies, demon dwarfs, blood curdling stunts and flying Vampires. Presided over by The Undead Ringmaster Doktor Haze who takes you through this hellish tale with the help of the live devil driven rock n' roll of the The Interceptors From Hell and a huge uncontrollable cast of burlesque beauties, chaosmongers and some of the worlds greatest, grotesque, most daring & bizarre Circus acts all Re-Born, Re-vamped & Rockin.

PLUS – DJ’s and Short films.

Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival on Sunday 27th August

We start the evening’s entertainment with a very special set from TILLY AND THE WALL (see Reading Saturday for full details) and then it’s straight into the cabaret for a special last, late night at the Leeds site with performances from BURLY Q CABARET (See Reading Saturday for full details) and a return to the stage for CIRCUS OF HORRORS with more of the weird, wonderful and bizarre (see Leeds Saturday for full details). 

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