THE Last Laugh has come a long way since it started eight years ago.
Then, back in 2004, it had just 20 acts on its bill.
But today, the festival is one of the biggest comedy events in the country, with more than 90 acts on its bill and events taking place across the city.
“I can’t wait for the festival to start,” says comedian Toby Foster, who is the brains behind the event which runs this year from October 2 to 30. “It is the hardest month for me in terms of work, but I love it.”
This year the line-up boasts some of the biggest names in British comedy, including Michael McIntyre, Ross Noble, Jack Dee, Dara O Briain, Alan Davies and Julian Clary, alongside some of the UK’s most exciting and cutting-edge acts such as the Peep Show’s Isy Suttie.
For Toby, the highlight is Dara O Briain.
“I haven’t seen him in ages and he wrote in his book, Tickling the English, that the comedy at The Lescar was one of the best things to see in the country.”
According to Toby, who performs on a regular basis at the Last Laugh comedy club, there is a camaraderie among comedians.
“When you are a comedian you are by yourself a lot of the time, on stage or driving across the country, so you just have to get on with people. The atmosphere in the dressing room is great though and while every comedian wants to be the best on the bill, you want other comedians to do well too. No comedian wants to see another struggle on stage.”
Toby says the event put Sheffield on the comedy map: “The festival’s been instrumental in bring comedy to Sheffield and has given the city a boost.”
Visit www.lastlaughcomedyfestival.com for a full programme of this year’s acts and events.