Stockholm plays host to international laughter fest

Peter Vinthagen Simpson
Peter Vinthagen Simpson - [email protected]
Stockholm plays host to international laughter fest

Sweden's capital will this weekend welcome a host of international comedy stars when the very first Stockholm Comedy Festival opens on Friday.


The festival will feature a range of acts within stand up, performance and vaudeville performed by the best of Sweden's comedians with a generous sprinkling of international talent.

Bill Burr (US) headlines a cast of foreign stars coming to Stockholm, a city which in recent years has become a thriving hub of humour with new comedy clubs opening across the city.

Burr is a regular performer on The Late Show with David Letterman and has his own HBO Half Hour Special despite having the undisputed knack of lulling you into believing he's an illiterate moron.

In fact Burr offers up an informed and eloquent perspective on race, politics, organized religion and pretty much anything on his mind at the moment. For Stockholm residents that moment is Friday, 8pm at Rival on Mariatorget.

ABBA legend Benny Andersson's Rival hotel is one of the main festival venues as well as Södra Teatern on Mosebacketorg, Boulevardteatern on Götgatan, and Norra Brunn - Stockholm's perhaps most established comedy venue near Odenplan.

Jessica Kirson (US) will warm the stage at Södra Teatern on Friday evening and again on Saturday with her wide variety of characters and voices that have shot her to fame and the award of "Best Female Comic" by the MAC association in New York in 2006.

Jason Andors (US) turned to comedy after a freak break-dancing accident ended his hopes of becoming a dancer. He is physical and with his tough New York City background he is unlikely to find Norra Brunn's sophisticated Vasastan audience too daunting a task.

Al Pitcher (NZ) represents the smaller of the lands 'down under' and is reminiscent of a very energetic Eddie Izzard, if that is at all possible to imagine. The Edinburgh Fringe in 1999 gave him the platform to launch a worldwide career, the same year that Al 'The Pub Landlord' Murray belched his way into British hearts.

Commedia Dell'Arte is a form of improvisational theatre that began in Italy in the 15th century. The theatre form largely faded out until it was rediscovered in the 19th century and Ennio Marchetto (IT) - the Living Cartoon, the Swami of Origami - is in town to ensure that the renaissance reaches these northern climes.

The festival line-up is completed by the pick of Sweden's funny men and women. Cutting edge exciting acts such as Yvonne Skattberg, Nour El-Rafai, Klungen and Henrik Dorsin are fused seamlessly with the established old guard represented by David Batra, Peter Wahlbäck, Henrik Schyffert and many more.

The virgin Stockholm Comedy Festival has the stated goal of establishing itself as "one of the largest and most dynamic annual humour festivals in Europe" and it is happening right here, right now.

Five minutes with Bill Burr (and some strong language)


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