Glasgow International Comedy Festival programme announced

Mark Thomas, Rob Delaney, Ed Byrne, Limmy, Bridget Christie, Rob Schneider, Mae Martin and more included in massive lineup

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival have announced their biggest programme yet for 2018. Taking over the city for 18 days (Thu 8–Sun 25 Mar) with over 500 shows at over 50 venues. Alongside some of the best comedians in the country – including Tommy Tiernan, Rob Delaney, Katherine Ryan, Ed Byrne, Bridget Christie, Limmy, David Baddiel, Mark Steel, Shappi Khorsandi, Tom Allen, Richard Herring, Jerry Sadowitz and Alexei Sayle – there are a number of special shows and events worth keeping an eye out for.

Firstly for anyone with stamina there's the Round the Clock Comedy Roadshow (Sat 24 Mar), a 12-hour comedy marathon with various stand-ups across a selection of venues across the city. If you can't quite hack the pace of the full event there's also the Comedy Pub Crawl (Fridays and Saturdays through the GICF) boasting four pubs and four comedians each night.

Anyone looking for something a bit deeper than just straight stand-up should try Mark Thomas' Showtime From the Frontline (Tron Theatre, Wed 21–Sat 24 Mar) detailing his experiences trying to set up a comedy club in Palestine; you can catch novelist Alan Bissett's alter ego in a double bill of The Moira Monologues and (More) Moira Monologues (Citizens Theatre, Sun 11 Mar); and the world premiere of The Pieman Cometh (Oran Mor, Sun 18–Wed 21 Mar) a loving look at the insanity of Scottish football by Bryan Jackson.

Living up to it's name there are plenty of international acts including US showcase America Stands Up (The Stand, Sat 24 Mar), Canadian comic Mae Martin (The Stand, Tue 13 Mar) and the GCIF debut of film star and Adam Sandler's best pal Rob Schneider (Oran Mor, Thu 15 Mar).

The programme is packed with big names, young talent and special events and the last two we want to highlight are the filming of new TV show Comedians at the Kings (Kings Theatre, Tue 20 & Wed 21 Mar) focusing on comedians over 50 (John Moloney, Fred MacAulay, Gary Little, Janey Godley have been announced so far) and the ever popular fundraising night Stand Up Against MND (Kings Theatre, Mon 12 Mar).

'It's always exciting to announce the lineup and this year is no exception,' explains Festival Director Sarah Watson. 'As the festival grows we are proud to showcase diverse voices, styles and art forms – it's great to have two exhibitions in the programme and we're hugely pleased to welcome eight new venues to the festival including Tramway, Glasgow School of Art Student's Association and the Science Centre. There are shows to suit every budget and taste and I hope people will take a chance on someone new – you might just discover the next big thing.'

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival, various venues, Thu 8–Sun 25 Mar.

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