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Stellar Line-up Announced for The Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival’s 21st Edition
Kilkenny City from Thursday 28 May to Monday 1 June

From its humble beginnings 20 years ago, the 2015 Sky Cat Laughs has launched its 21st birthday edition with a bumper ‘coming of age’ programme that includes a special birthday bash gig, musical hoedown, physical comedy showcase, comedic tribute to past comedy heroes, premiere screenings of forthcoming Sky comedy programming and a stellar line-up of some of the best comedic talent in the world.

This year’s Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, supported by Sky for the third successive year, takes place across Kilkenny city from Thurs. 28th May to Mon. 1st June.  Ardal O’Hanlon, Al Porter, Neil Delamere, Barry Murphy, Jason Byrne, Bernard O’Shea, PJ Gallagher, Aisling Bea, David O’Doherty, Andrew Maxwell, Gearóid Farrelly, Colin Murphy, Colm O’Regan, Karl Spain, Eleanor Tiernan, Chris Kent and Fred Cooke are amongst the Irish talent signed up for the 21st edition of “the best little comedy festival in the world”¹.  This year’s festival also sees actress Deirdre O’Kane (Moone Boy, Noble) return to her stand-up roots.

There’s plenty of new talent to be enjoyed at the 2015 Sky Cat Laughs with James Acaster, Romesh Ranganathan, Lou Sanders, Luisa Omielan, Beth Stelling and Simon Evans amongst the world-class comedic talent making a first appearance.

Top UK headliners include the hugely popular Jack Dee, loved for his dead pan delivery, and 8 out of 10 Cats team captain Jon Richardson. ‘Exotic Imports’ returning to the fray include Aussie stand up Bec Hill, David Letterman regular Al Lubel and Mike Wilmot.

A mixture of new talent and old favourites will come together to headline the 21st Birthday Party event that opens the festival on Thurs. 28th May. This special gig to mark the 21st festival will feature no less than 10 comedians on stage at Kilkenny’s Cillin Hill, details of which will be announced separately.

Title sponsor Sky will reinforce its credentials as a top producer of television comedy via several special events, including a premiere screening of all new Sky 1 sitcom After Hours in the company of star Ardal O’Hanlon and director Craig Cash. With the third series of Moone Boy set to launch on Sky 1 on March 2nd, Sky is also pleased to announce a very special ‘in conversation’ with two of the young stars of the series. Martin Moone himself David Rawle, and Ian O’Reilly, who plays his best friend Padraic, will be interviewed by Jason Byrne as they look back on the series that made them stars.

New shows at the Sky Cat Laughs this year include a Physical Comedy Showcase by world-renowned double act Pajama Men and Last Dead Stand Up Standing, a comedic tribute to favourite comedy heroes who have passed, presented by Barry Murphy and friends.

2015 also sees the return of family-friendly entertainment to the Sky Cat Laughs. The Kitten Club will feature two shows a day, specifically for children, in historic Rothe House, while the twice Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon studio, who worked on Sky 1’s Moone Boy, will host animation workshops for kids.

Sky Cat Laughs faithfuls Dom Irrera and Rich Hall will return again for the 21st anniversary, the latter bringing his hilarious Rich Hall’s Hoedown – a mash-up of music, comedy and gratuitous coloration – to the festival.  The All-Star International Improv, Wildcats, Fireside Chats with Uncle Dom, Karl Spain’s Hysterical Walking Tour of Kilkenny and The Comedians’ Ireland versus The Rest of the World Football Match also make welcome returns to the programme.
Ardal O’Hanlon commented, “It’s fantastic to be returning to Kilkenny, both for my stand up show and also for the world premiere of After Hours, a brand new comedy series coming to Sky 1 later this year. A warm, funny and moving show, it has a stellar cast including JamieWinstone and John Thomson and I’m thrilled that an audience at the Sky Cat Laughs Festival will be the first to see it.”

Naoise Nunn, artistic director for the Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, commented: “This year we have a bumper programme - and one that’s very diverse - to reflect the huge input the Cat Laughs has had, in 21 years, into modern Irish comedy. This year’s Sky Cat Laughs is a four-day celebration and we encourage everyone to get their tickets early and be in Kilkenny this June bank holiday weekend to be part of the festival’s coming of age celebrations”. 

Jane Russell, CEO for The Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, commented: “This is a significant year for the Sky Cat Laughs. To reach 21 years is quite remarkable and a testament to how the Sky Cat Laughs has become a much-loved festival, not just in Ireland but all around the world, and one loved by comedians. It’s heartening that the Sky Cat Laughs continues to evolve and flourish and our collaboration with sponsor Sky is a great creative partnership”. 

Commenting on the 2015 Sky Cat Laughs programme Lucy Lumsden, Sky’s Head of Comedy said, “I fell in love with this festival long ago and it has been a joy bringing our original comedies to Kilkenny where our customers can get much closer to them and enjoy bespoke events. Regular festival goers will remember our Moone Boy premiere back in 2013 and I’m thrilled that our young stars David and Ian are returning this year. Also, I and Ardal and Craig can’t wait to share After Hours with everyone. Comedy continues to be at the heart of our pledge to bring customers the very best original content. We’ll be bringing more goodies to Kilkenny so watch this space for further announcements.”

Michael Markey, Head of Brand Marketing at Sky Ireland says, “We’re really excited to be partnering with the Sky Cat Laughs Festival for a third consecutive year. It’s a very different type of sponsorship, a true partnership as, in addition to being the title sponsor, we are also part of the line-up showcasing some of our brand new comedy programming to an audience of dedicated comedy lovers.”