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The Big Tickle

Big Tickle 2015

The Playhouse Big Tickle Comedy Festival has been going strong since it first started in 2004, showcasing an eclectic mix of stand up comedians, comedy plays, comedy training, master-classes and exhibitions.

The festival has continued to be extended over the years across the city and have included The Waterside Theatre, The Nerve Centre, The Millennium Forum, Sandinos, and of course our own venue The Playhouse.

A range of international comedians have appeared at the festival in venues throughout Derry in the past including: Alan Carr, Lenny Henry, Dara O'Briain, Rich Hall, Frankie Boyle, Reginald D Hunter, Sean Hughes
and many more.

Local people are always encouraged to get involved in the extensive programme on offer every year, be it in the Open Mic, Cinema Screenings, Cartoon Workshops (for example Ian Knox in 2005), comedy workshops (e.g. Mime master classes in 2007) and Cartoons Exhibitions, as well as fundraising events (e.g. The NSPCC's Funny Walk in 2007).

The Playhouse's J2O Big Tickle Comedy Festival came "Highly Commended" in the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards, in the category "Marketing Excellence" in 2006.


Big Tickle 2016

The Very Perry Show, Tim McGarry and Ghostbusters....Retro!

The Playhouse Big Tickle comedy festival will celebrate 12 years of comedy gold this month with Tim McGarry, Wireless Mystery Theatre, and The Threepenny Opera!

This year's festival has a lovely mix, featuring Give My Head Peace funnyman Tim McGarry, chameleon comedienne Kate Perry, internationally acclaimed Nuala McKeever, local comic Peter E Davidson, and award winning stand up Jo Caulfield.

Click here to download the Big Tickle 2016 programme

arrowbig tickle 2016



The line up...

 Very Perry
The Big Tickle Presents
The Very Perry Show

Friday 9th September, 8pm

Called a "major talent" at The 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Kate Perry presents a happy hour of acutely observed and quirky monologues reflecting her unique view on life.

She portrays a wonderful array of characters ranging from five to seventy years old. Whether it's Mary Peachy-Bender, an Amish woman with shoofly pie envy, Susie Hedley-Simmons, a twelve year old who takes control of her mother's medication or Carmel, a celebrity obsessed old age pensioner.

Each is portrayed with chameleon like skill, humour and charm. It's going to be a Very Perry Experience!

Tickets £10/£8 (includes £1 development donation)





David Hull Promotions and The Big Tickle Presents
1916 Tim McGarry ‘Goes Over the Top'
Friday 16th September, 8pm

Tim McGarry (Blame Game, Give My Head Peace, Hearts and Minds, A Perforated Ulster) is back!

Following the success of Tim McGarry's Irish History Lesson, Tim returns with a brand new stand-up show about our history.

In 2016 we have be inundated with worthy and serious dramas and documentaries about the meaning of 1916. There has been much chin stroking and nodding of heads sagely. Tim McGarry doesn't want that. He wants to give you jokes.
What are the funny myths and facts about 1916? Why do we take our history so seriously? And how can we stop taking it seriously?

Tim will cover the period from the start of the 1900s from Oscar Wilde and Carson, to the Titanic and the build-up to the Easter Rising and the Somme.

Expect myths to be exploded and sacred cows to be slaughtered but above all expect laughs.

Tickets £15/ £13 (includes £1 development donation)




  nt Threepenny Opera

National Theatre Live presents
The Threepenny Opera

Thursday 22nd September, 7pm

Mack the Knife is back in town.
A darkly comic new take on Brecht and Weill's raucous musical broadcast live from the stage of the National Theatre.
London scrubs up for the coronation. The thieves are on the make, the whores on the pull, the police cutting deals to keep it all out of sight. Mr and Mrs Peachum are looking forward to a bumper day in the beggary business, but their daughter didn't come home last night and it's all about to kick off...
With Olivier Award-winner Rory Kinnear (Hamlet, Othello, James Bond) as Macheath, alongside Rosalie Craig (As You Like It, My Family and other Animals) as Polly Peachum and Haydn Gwynne (The Windsors, Drop the Dead Donkey) as Mrs Peachum.
This bold, anarchic production is brought to you by a creative powerhouse: adapted by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), and directed by Rufus Norris (Everyman, London Road).
Contains scenes of a sexual nature, violence and filthy language.

Cert: 15

Tickets £11 (includes £1 development donation)

Live Screening




Wireless Mystery Theatre presents
Ghostbusters... Retro!
Friday 23rd September, 8pm

"To whom will you send a telegram?"

Thirty-two years after the original release of the film the award-winning Wireless Mystery Theatre presents Ghostbusters... Retro! Imagining how it might have been originally transmitted if it were a 30's radio play, with live sound-effects, music, and period commercials.

First broadcast in October 1939 on the American CBS, the original radio-play from which Harold Ramis largely plagiarised his 1984 film became the surprise hit of the 2014 Belfast Comedy Festival. Prepare for old-time scares. SPONSORED BY STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOWS!!!!

Wireless Mystery Theatre is Northern Ireland's only audio theatre company, specialising in live staged radio plays and broadcast material. They have toured the UK and the Republic of Ireland and their work has been commissioned for broadcast on BBC Radios 3 & 4.

Tickets £11/ £8 (includes £1 development donation)



Be sure not to miss these other ticklish treats too...

nuala mckeever

In The Window
Friday 14th October, 8pm

Written and performed by Nuala McKeever
Directed by Andrea Montgomery

Life hasn't turned out the way Margaret dreamed. She's lonely as hell, in a house that won't sell, with no kids, no husband and a job that's deathly boring. So tonight, she's got a date with a bottle of pink fizz and a bowl of pink pills and she's going to go out in style.
But her romance with death is rudely interrupted by an intruder, a nosy neighbour and a policeman - a tall, handsome policeman.
In her internationally-acclaimed comedy hit, Nuala McKeever delivers a poignant, hilarious, cocktail that has wowed audiences from the USA to India.

"Totally captivating" ***** Broadway Baby

"Exceptional" Irish News

Tickets: £11/£8 (includes £1 development donation)




guns n rose

The Big Tickle Presents
Guns N' Rosé:
A New Stand Up Show by Peter E Davidson

Saturday 26th November, 8pm

Peter E Davidson is a 38 year old rosé wine drinking man adrift in a sea of beer drinkers. How did he end up this way? Are you born a rosé wine drinker or through a series of unfortunate incidents do you grow to be one? How many times can you lie to a barman with the phrase ‘...and a rosé for the Mrs.'? All of the big questions will be answered in this hilarious new show from Masons' Comedy regular MC and recent ‘Blame Game' panelist Peter E Davidson, fresh from its premiere at the Belfast Comedy Festival.

Tickets £8/ £6



jo caulfield

Lakin McCarthy and the Big Tickle present
Jo Caulfield
The Customer Is Always Wrong

Saturday 4th March 2017, 8pm

Have you ever noticed that even when you're right, you're wrong? From the potential minefields of dating, relationships and divorce, to the simple things, like booking a holiday, or joining a pub-quiz team - nothing is ever as straightforward as it should be. Jo Caulfield is determined to get things back on track...

Award-winning Stand-Up comedian Jo Caulfield takes a humorous look at life's potential traps, what can go wrong and how to deal with them. Sharp, witty and insightful, Jo will make you think as much as she makes you laugh.

As seen on The John Bishop Show, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You.

Tickets £15/ £12 (includes £1 development donation)



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