Harrogate Comedy Festival: Adam Hills wows packed Royal Hall

Adam Hills
Adam Hills

The Harrogate Comedy festival is in full swing, with some of the world’s top comedians entertaining huge crowds.

The fun began on Saturday, when Ross Noble delivered a storming sell-out show at the Royal Hall.

One audience member said: “His set was unusual and fantastic and he was bouncing off the audience brilliantly.

“There was a wonderful friendly atmosphere at the Royal Hall and it was a great night.”

And on Monday night, fresh from presenting the hugely popular Channel 4 show The Last Leg live from the Paralympic Games, Australian funnyman Adam Hills played to the same packed venue.

Hills’ stock is high this year, with his work on The Last Leg, alongside Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker bringing him to national attention.

His Royal Hall appearance formed part of his Clown Heart tour.

The warm-up act for this tour is Hills’ friend Ian Coppinger - a fantastic Irish comedian, who got the crowd cackling within seconds.

His relationship with the audience set everyone up nicely for the arrival of the main man.

And he didn’t disappoint.

We were treated to a 20-minute precursor to the show, where the comedian invited members of the crowd up to stage to help him record a birthday message for an unwell young fan - a touch of class.

Of course, the Harrogate crowd (ably supported by a man from Keighley) were more than happy to oblige.

And then the show began, a very personal, uplifting and curious act which had us laughing, gasping and groaning throughout!

The highlight of the night, perhaps the tour, was the arrival on stage of Craig Coombes.

He has terminal cancer, but is refusing to let it stand in his way. This is a man who posts a naked picture of himself online every Tuesday!

And here, in Harrogate, this brilliant man was given the chance to perform five fantastic minutes of stand-up.

Take a bow, Craig.

A charity collection by Adam himself at the end of the show raised a fantastic £1600, which will be donated by Harrogate Theatre to a local charity.

Five shows you must see

1. Hans Teeuwen Harrogate Theatre, Wednesday, October 12.

Fellow comedian Stewart Lee says: “In the future, when Teeuwen’s genius has been recognised by the British, you will boast that you saw him way back when”.

2. Pajama Men Harrogate Theatre, Sunday, October 16 .

Fresh from the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe the spectacularly surreal Pajama Men have won acclaim across the globe.

3. Kill The Beast Harrogate Theatre, Friday, October 7.

Multi-award-winning comedy captains Kill the Beast present a new twisted tale – Don’t Wake The Damp - inspired by 80s sci-fi, 90s gaming and cracking superhero theme-tunes.

4. The Boy With Tape on His Face is Tape Face. Harrogate Theatre, Tuesday, October 11.

Having just recently reached the finals of America’s Got talent, this is the show the world can’t stop talking about.

5. Felicity Ward Harrogate Studio Theatre, Saturday, October 8.

As seen on The John Bishop Show, Russell Howard’s Good News, Live from the BBC, ‘Josh’ and heard on The Museum of Curiosity.