The Belly Laughs festival - a food and comedy festival - has come to Birmingham for the first time having started in Bristol, and it is all for a good cause. Proceeds from the tickets go to the Birmingham charity SIFA Fireside, which supports homeless people in the city.
On January 9, the festival took place in The Church Inn in Jewellery Quarter and the tickets were only £20 - of which £5 goes to the charity.
Along with entry to the festival, I received a glass of wine and a meal while comics took to the stage to entertain the audience for the evening. Drinks options included white, red, and rose while the food menu included a vegetarian option along with mussels and ox cheek.
Having had no experience with the latter two - I opted for the veg fricassee. So, if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to do something kind or just to do something fun - this festival is the perfect place to start.
The evening started at 7pm when I walked into the pub and was sent out back to the private performance venue. The room was full of couples, friends and colleagues out on a Monday night to have a good time together.
Local professional stand-up comic James Cook was the compere for the night and did a great job at keeping the audience engaged.
Among the performers, Tal Davies, 31, stood out for her delivery and content. Belly-aching giggles followed her full set of self-deprecatory humour.
Among other performers was Lovdev Barpag, who probably heard the most amount of silence in the room. The former Free Radio presenter tried out a new set of jokes, which the audience weren’t completely sure of all of the time. But, comedy is a hard business and even the best comedians have bad days.
There are multiple other shows happening across the city where local comedians will donate their time and organiser Yuup provides time and resources free of charge.
Tickets range from £15 to £30 based on the venue. The full list of venues and times can be seen on the Yuup website. Some of the shows have already sold out and there are different comedians expected to perform at different venues.