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  • New Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt show added to the Live at the RSC: Comedy Festival at 6pm on Saturday 21 September
  • Nina Conti, Flo & Joan, Matt Forde, and Alun Cochrane announced as acts in variety shows

Award-winning comedian Adam Kay will now share entries from his diaries as a junior doctor across two “electrifying” shows of stand-up and music at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Live at the RSC: Comedy Festival.

Further acts have also been announced for the brand-new Comedy Festival, in association with Underbelly, including astonishing improvised ventriloquism from Nina Conti, “first class comic” political satirist Matt Forde, multi-award winning British musical comedy duo Flo and Joan and award-winning stand-up and radio host Alun Cochrane, who will join the variety shows across the two-week festival.

Adam Kay said:

'One thing I’ve always said about the RSC - they need to have more doctors telling horrific medical anecdotes. How nice to be finally proved right. I’m absolutely delighted to be bringing THIS IS GOING TO HURT to Stratford-upon-Avon for two shows.’

The rest of the festival includes solo shows and mixed bill shows with performances from Carl Donnelly (Mock the Week, Russell Howard’s Good News), Fin Taylor (Roast Battle, 8 out of 10 Cats), Sarah Keyworth (Dark Horse, The Now Show), Bridget Christie (What Now? Because You Demanded It), Rhys Nicholson (Live at the BBC), Felicity Ward (The Guilty Feminist, Live at the Apollo), Milton Jones (Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo), Hal Cruttenden (Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News for You), Ivo Graham (Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo), Phil Wang (Taskmaster, Would I Lie to You?), Zoe Lyons (Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week), Darren Harriott (Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala, Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central), Desiree Burch (Have I Got News For You, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order) and Rhys James (Mock the Week, Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central).

The programme, which runs from Thurs 12 to Sat 21 September, forms part of Live at the RSC, which offers audiences the best in new music and comedy. 

Underbelly last visited the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in 2015 with Comedy Hullabaloo, a five-day festival which saw over 5,000 visitors watch 25 of the UK’s best comedians in iconic and intimate settings across Stratford-upon-Avon.

Ticket sales are live now.

Listings information:

Thu 12 Sept 7.15pm
Live comedy in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Stratford-upon-Avon with MC Carl Donnelly joined by Bridget Christie, Fin Taylor, Rhys Nicholson and Sarah Keyworth.

Sat 14 Sept 8pm
Live comedy at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre with MC Alun Cochrane joined by Milton Jones, Matt Forde, Flo and Joan and Suzi Ruffell.

Thu 19 Sept 7.15pm
Live comedy in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Stratford-upon-Avon with MC Ivo Graham joined by Hal Cruttenden, Nina Conti, Phil Wang and Zoe Lyons.

Fri 20 Sept 7.15pm
Live comedy at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre with MC Felicity Ward joined by Darren Harriott, Desiree Burch, Rhys James and Rory Bremner.

Sat 21 Sept, 6pm and 8pm
Award-winning comedian Adam Kay shares entries from his diaries as a junior doctor in this “electrifying” (Guardian) evening of stand-up and music.

The accompanying book, This is Going to Hurt is a Sunday Times bestseller, and is being turned into a BBC series. Copies will be available to buy and for signature after the performance.


For more information on this press release contact Emily Magdij at the RSC
01789 412657
07920 541729

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.  

Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.  All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town. 

We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.  Registered charity no. 212481

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Underbelly is a UK based live entertainment company and producer. Their events and festivals division operates one of the largest operations at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, selling over 460,000 tickets for over 200 shows, in 22 venues over 25 days in 2018. 2019 marks the eleventh year of Underbelly Festival on the Southbank - one of the biggest multi-arts offerings in London and London’s original pop-up festival, with over 140 shows programmed over 6 months on the South Bank. Underbelly also produce Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay for City of Edinburgh Council, Christmas in Leicester Square, Udderbelly Festival in Hong Kong, West End Live in Trafalgar Square for Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre. In 2018 Underbelly sold over 1.5 million tickets to their various events and productions.



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