Laughs in the park as Comedy Garden brings five nights of stand-up stars to St Albans' Verulamium Park
- Credit: Supplied by 57 Festivals
After months of lockdown we all need a good laugh and a new event promises just that this summer.
St Albans Comedy Garden is planned for Verulamium Park from Wednesday, July 28 to Sunday, August 1, with a line-up including TV comedy stars Rob Beckett, Dara Ó Briain, Josh Widdicombe and Alan Davies.
The five-day feast of open-air stand-up comedy in St Albans is sure to raise a chuckle or two.
Tickets for the new al fresco comedy extravaganza are on sale now.
Comedy-lovers from St Albans and beyond will be treated to a dazzling array of stand-up superstars.
Each show will be bursting with incredible acts featuring the very best names in stand-up such as Netflix star Phil Wang, British Comedy Award winner Aisling Bea, one-liner king Milton Jones, Taskmaster champ Lou Sanders, the undisputed queen of ventriloquism Nina Conti, podcast heroes Ed Gamble and John Robbins, and stand-up champion Reginald D Hunter.
The comedy bill over the five nights also includes the award-winning Sindhu Vee alongside fast-rising breakthrough talent such as Maisie Adam, Sarah Keyworth and Darren Harriott plus many more – all guaranteeing some much-needed uplifting hilarity for 2021.
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The series of mixed bill shows will be presented in an open-air theatre set in St Albans’ beautiful Verulamium Park – the scene a number of years ago of Eddie Izzard's comedy festival Laughs in the Park.
The new comedy extravaganza will be overflowing with pop-up bars serving craft beers, summer-styled cocktails and more to wash down tasty morsels from the leading lights of the local street-food scene.
The organisers behind the Comedy Garden, 57 Festivals, have already successfully delivered a COVID-secure event with their Greenwich Comedy Festival in September 2020.
This new St Albans spectacular is the latest venture from the London-based comedy event company run by the sibling team of Will Briggs and Cass Randolph.
They have spent the last decade building a reputation for delivering meticulous comedy programming in boutique-festival settings.
Starting back in 2009 with the capital’s critically acclaimed Greenwich Comedy Festival, held annually at the National Maritime Museum, the pair went on to introduce their Comedy Garden event to Bristol in 2011, followed by Brighton in 2019, and they are now incredibly excited to be bringing their winning formula to the cultural heart of Hertfordshire.
Cass said: “The live industry has had a tough time of late and so we feel very lucky to have been able to reimagine our events to suit these challenging times, and we’re especially proud to be introducing this brand new event.”
Will added: “There’s no doubt that everyone deserves some excellent live entertainment and we can’t wait to bring exactly that to our new St Albans audience.
"We’re working closely with the local council and our suppliers to make sure we deliver an event that is safe and enjoyable for everyone – and above all very funny!”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Comedy Garden has been specially designed to reflect the government’s roadmap, with added flexibility should the event need to be adapted to suit latest guidelines.
All shows will take place in a fully-seated, open-air theatre with tickets sold in multiples of two.
These key features are designed to ensure a smooth transition should social distancing need to be introduced across the event.
If necessary, the theatre-style seating will be transformed into socially-distanced seating plots and walk-up bars and street-food stalls will be replaced with a deliver-to-seat drink and snack service.
The opening night on Wednesday, July 28 is set to feature observational wizard Josh Widdicombe, Ivo Graham, Sarah Keyworth and Ed Gamble.
Thursday, July 29 will see Phil Wang, Lou Sanders and John Robins supporting Milton Jones.
The line-up on Friday, July 30 features QI panellist and Jonathan Creek actor Alan Davies alongside Reginald D Hunter, Shappi Khorsandi and Jarred Christmas.
Subject to licence, there are two shows planned for Saturday, July 31 with the afternoon session featuring the multi-award winning Sara Pascoe, Aisling Bea, Darren Harriott and Kiri Pritchard-McLean.
Tom Allen, Nina Conti, Suzi Ruffell and Angela Barnes are due to perform on the Saturday night.
There are also two shows on Sunday, August 1 with the first featuring Mock The Week's Dara Ó Briain, Maisie Adam, Rhys James and Andrew Maxwell.
St Albans Comedy Garden 2021 will finish with a Sunday evening show headlined by Rob Beckett. Sindhu Vee, Rosie Jones and Carl Donnelly are also on the bill.
This summer’s event is all set to be a rib-tickling remedy to the past year. Tickets cost £25.
Visit www.stalbanscomedygarden.co.uk to find out more.