About The Festival

Banana Cabaret’s 2019  Balham Comedy Festival

PICTURED: Our c0-founders and producers John Moloney (standing) and Dave Vickers

5th – 13th July at The Bedford in Balham

All enquiries toinfo@bananacabaret.co.uk

Now in its eighth year, Banana Cabaret’s annual Balham Comedy Festival returns to full glory in 2019 with nine nights of top standup from 5th to 13th July.

This year’s line-up includes solo sets from stellar names, Angela Barnes, Marcus Brigstocke, Ed Byrne, Omid Djalili, Mark Steel, Rhys James, Milton Jones, Reginald D.Hunter and Al Murray. If this is not enough to whet the appetite, there will be twenty minute sets from comics appearing on the Best of Banana Cabaret bill with Stephen K Amos, Shappi Khorsandi, Paul Sinha, Heidi Regan, Simon Brodkin, Eleanor Tiernan, Kae Kurd, Maxine Vuvuzela, Carl Donnelly, Jarred Christmas, Dave Longley, Carey Marx, Steve Williams and Markus Birdman.

Festival audiences are in for a treat this year following the multimillion-pound refurbishment of The Bedford. Shows will take place in the beautiful and iconic round Club Room on the ground floor and audiences will be able to enjoy the full force of great comedy in stunning new surroundings. Just in time for the festival, The Bedford will launch a brand-new menu brimming with the best British produce: it’s now the perfect spot for a pre-show meal.


@bananacabaret | 07467 027592




CARL DONNELLY: One of the UK’s most popular comedians, and most definitely one of Banana Cabaret’s all time favourites, Carl Donnelly is a regular on the international comedy circuit and appears on shows like Mock The Week and Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central.

Observational genius”  THE GUARDIAN

MAXINE VUVUZELA: Maxine Vuvuzela’s standup is charming, unexpected and utterly compelling. Philosopher. Healer. Sage. On a mission to heal the world, one basic b!tch at a time.

“Definitely one to watch” BANANA CABARET

JARRED CHRISTMAS: New Zealand sensation Jarred Christmas is one of the most innovative and exciting stand-ups on the UK circuit. A sought-after headliner,  famed for his quick-witted spontaneity, masterful skills of improvisation and energetic storytelling.

“Spreads joy in microseconds”  CHORTLE

DAVE LONGLEY:  A stand-up comic for 15 years, Dave Longley headlines across the UK and is probably the best comedian you have never heard of.

“Intelligent, silly, thought provoking, filthy and funny” METRO

£16.00 plus booking fee



SHAPPI KHORSANDI: Shappi Khorsandi established herself as one of the country’s finest comedians in 2006 with her sell out Edinburgh show Asylum Seeker and hasn’t looked back since. She’s a regular on TV and radio including shows such as Mock The Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Have I Got News For You.

“Has the crowd in the palm of her hand” THE LIST

STEVE WILLIAMS: Steve Williams is one of the most exciting and electrifying live performers on the comedy circuit. He never fails to surprise and engage audiences with his off-the-wall take on everyday life. His TV credits include appearances on Russell Howard’s Good News, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Edinburgh and Beyond and The Comedy Store for Paramount. There are too many radio appearances to mention.

“One of Wales’ finest comic exports” METRO

MARKUS BIRDMAN: One of British comedy’s most experienced and well-travelled performers; a stage is in safe hands when Marcus Birdman is upon it. A veteran of the Edinburgh Fringe with many solo shows to his credit.

“Delightfully comic. Controversial, personal and wickedly punchy” THE LIST

£16.00 plus booking fee


AL MURRAY – Landlord Of Hope And Glory Tour 2019 – 7.30 pm: 

“Citizens of Hope and Glory! Our new tomorrow beckons. A new tomorrow that smells reassuringly of yesterday, but with Wi-Fi.One last heave and we will be there. And when the going gets tough the tough get going. Although the going won’t get tough and anyone who tells you it is going to be tough is lying.  Come join me to marvel at the majesty of our green and pleasant land. A land just off the coast of France, except now it feels a little bit further away.  Join me to step backwards into the future.”  AL MURRAY

“Stand up Gold”  THE GUARDIAN

£16.00 plus booking fee


OMID DJALILI – Work in Progress – 7.30 pm: 

Legendary stand-up comedian, film and television star Omid Djalili makes his Balham Comedy Festival debut in 2019. And we are unabashedly over the moon about it! Intelligent, sometimes provocative and always entertaining, his standup is a hugely energetic and captivating comedy masterclass.

Belly laughs with a subtle blend of mainstream gags and subversive twinkle” SUNDAY TIMES

£16.00 plus booking fee

MARK STEEL – Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright – 9.15 pm: 

A few years ago, it seemed unlikely that the UK would vote to leave the EU; we had a reasonable opposition to the Tory Government; Donald Trump was a buffoon who surely wasn’t going to beat Hillary Clinton and Mark was living the married suburban ideal, since then it’s all gone to absolute shit! But don’t worry as Mark thinks Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright.

Essential viewing” THE INDEPENDENT 

“Interesting, engaging, funny” THE MIRROR

£16.00 plus booking fee                                                

COMBO TICKET – OMID DJALILI plus MARK STEEL – £26.00 plus booking fee (limited availability)


ANGELA BARNES – Bits And Bobs (Work in Progress) – 7.30 pm: 

In this show Angela Barnes (as seen and heard on Mock The Week, Live At the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Radio 4’s News Quiz) will be trying out some new bits and bobs. There will be something old, something new, definitely nothing borrowed but probably the odd bit a little bit blue, as she starts working up her new solo standup show. Hear funny jokes and stories and some that may never be uttered again.

“She’s just a gloriously down to earth, straight talking and extremely funny comic”  THE GUARDIAN 

£12.00 plus booking fee

MILTON JONES – In Bits And Pieces (Work in Progress) – 9.15 pm:

A Balham Comedy Festival veteran, Milton Jones is halfway between an old and new show, so will be trying out some new material from his forthcoming tour Milton Impossible, so there will be lots of spy stuff (One man. One Mission. Is it Possible? No, not really…)!

“A battery of zingers… No-0ne can touch Jones” THE GUARDIAN

“The wildhaired Jones has raised wordplay to the level of fine art” RADIO TIMES 

£16.00 plus booking fee

COMBO TICKET – ANGELA BARNES plus MILTON JONES – £23.00 plus booking fee (limited availability)


RHYS JAMES – Snitch (Work in Progress) – 7.30 pm:   

Always a hit on the Banana Cabaret stage and circuit-wide, clever, fast-paced and confident, Rhys James, from Mock The Week (BBC2), Roast Battle (Comedy Central), his own Radio 4 series (Radio 4) and Harpenden (Hertfordshire), brings you a work-in-progress version of his latest show Snitch.

“Charming and verbally virtuosic” – THE GUARDIAN

£12.00 plus booking fee

REGINALD D. HUNTER – A Full-Throated Preview  – 9.15 pm:  

Reginald D. Hunter takes a break from his UK tour to bring us what he’s calling a Full-Throated Preview. His career in comedy comes of age this year as Reg enters his twenty-first year of performing in the UK. His searingly honest observations both onstage and on TV have garnered him a cross-generational fan base. TV appearances have included Have I Got News For You?, and two series of the BBC2’s hugely popular Reginald D. Hunter’s Songs Of The South and Songs of The Border, documenting Reg’s epic road trip through 150 years of American popular song.

“A comedian going for broke, flying in the face of received opinion in a way that is simply exhilarating….this is comedy of a rare scope!” THE TIMES

£16.00 plus booking fee

COMBO TICKET – RHYS JAMES plus REGINALD D. HUNTER – £23.00 plus booking fee (limited availability)


MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE – Devil May Care – 7.30 pm:

Multi award-winning comedian Marcus Brigstocke returns to Balham Comedy Festival!  An hour of blistering stand-up in the company of Lucifer himself. With 8000 years’ experience in human affairs the Devil is ready to demonsplain what we mortals are doing wrong. As seen on Live At The Apollo, Have I Got News for You and Mock the Week and heard all over Radio 4.

“Sharp and loose, acid-tongued satirical comedy” THE TIMES

“If you haven’t seen him live, then you haven’t seen him at his very best” ***** MIRROR

“Sharpest one-liner merchant” SUNDAY TIMES

£16.00 plus booking fee

ED BYRNE: If I’m Honest (Work in Progress for Edinburgh 2019) – 9.15 pm: 

Join Ed Byrne as he takes a long hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has ANY traits that are worth passing on to his children. Lauded as one of the finest observational comics in the industry it is no surprise that he is now a household name. Recent TV appearances include: Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo (Host), Top Gear, QI and The Pilgrimage.

He is a total pro and terrific company” ****THE TIMES

“A beautifully-engineered machine… a powerful engine beneath a slick exterior” CHORTLE

£16.00 plus booking fee

COMBO TICKET – MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE plus ED BYRNE – £26.00 plus booking fee (limited availability)



HEIDI REGAN: Heidi is a British-based Australian winner of So You Think You’re Funny? Comedy Award in 2017. She boasts a proliferation of recent and current writing credits for Channel 4 and BBC TV and radio, as well as Honourable Mention in the Sky Funny Women Comedy Writing Awards. She has gigged around the world, including performances at the prestigious Just For Laughs in Montreal and Heidi recently supported Joe Lycett on tour.  

Dry, off-kilter humour… charming quirks and underplayed delivery CHORTLE.

CAREY MARX: An eminently skilful comedian, Carey Marx has been a circuit favourite at home and abroad for years, mixing his own blend of dark humour with his mischievous and gleeful delivery. Irresistible!

“An excellent joke-writer, mixing silly puns with more transgressive ideas and evoking a ‘dirty cherub’ look when he knows he’s being naughty” CHORTLE

PAUL SINHA: A familiar voice on radio with appearances on Just A Minute, The News Quiz and Fighting Talk Paul Sinha is perhaps best known for his role on ITV’s award-winning quiz show The Chase.  He took his first comedy steps whilst studying medicine and in 2006 was nominated for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe and not long after that hung up his stethoscope to become a full time comic.

“In the running jokes and knowing nerdiness he threads through his stories, Sinha keeps the mood buoyant and humane” THE TIMES

SIMON BRODKIN: You may know him as “comedy legend Lee Nelson” (The Sun) or “some unfunny pillock” (The Deputy Prime Minister) who gave Theresa May a P45, but you definitely won’t know him as “hilarious little Jew Simon Brodkin” (someone on Twitter). After three hugely successful BBC series as Lee Nelson, multiple sell-out tours and world-famous stunts pulled on Sepp Blatter, Donald Trump, Kanye West and Britain’s Got Talent, the award-winning, critically acclaimed comedian unveils his funniest character yet… himself!

“Never less than ingenious” THE TIMES

£16.00 plus booking fee



STEPHEN K AMOS: Stephen K. Amos has charmed and entertained audiences all over the world with his natural, assured delivery and his honest, original material. He recently finished his UK tour and returned from Australia with his latest show Bouquets and Brickbats.  Stephen was also invited back for the most recent series of QI and took part in the BBC Two series Pilgrimage to Rome.

“Amos has so much ebullient effervescent good cheer… there is no such thing as a bad hour in his company” **** CHORTLE

“Rare charisma” INDEPENDENT

ELEANOR TIERNAN: We are committed fans of Eleanor Tiernan, an Irish comedian based in the UK who a rising star on the UK comedy circuit is.  She was featured in the Alternative Comedy Experience on Comedy Central, BBC Radio 4’s News Quiz, Where’s the F In News? She has played comedy festivals all over the world including Melbourne, Montreal Just ForLaughs and all of the top Irish comedy festivals.

“A distinctive, inspired comic mind” SCOTSMAN

“A uniquely oblique angle on the world” CHORTLE

KAE KURD: A multi award-nominated rising star, smart, sharp and brilliantly astute, Kae Kurd is a young British-Kurdish standup making a serious name for himself. Passionate about making politics accessible to his peers, Kae is also a fast-rising online star, creating and curating short form content which goes viral across a range of platforms, particularly notable for this hit podcast Quota’s Full. He’s most definitely one to watch.  

“Beautifully-crafted slick routines with confident cutting-edge flair.” CHORTLE

£16.00 plus booking fee