Bye Bye, Britain!
Right before Great-Britain leaves the EU, a Dutch comedy festival UICF reminds everyone that Europe can be fun
Today British parliament will vote on a potential Brexit-deal that would make it possible for Great-Britain to leave the European Union at the end of March. The day of the actual Brexit will be a sad day for many British people. Which is why the Utrecht International Comedy Festival decided they needed a little pick-me-up at the beginning of March. That’s why on 8 and 9 March we say: f*ck Brexit and started a cooperation with StandUpEurope.org to get seven comedians from Vienna, Milan, Prague, Stavanger, Wroclaw and Berlin to come to Utrecht to celebrate that Europe is fun(ny)!
StandUpEurope.org, is an idea by Dutch comedian Edo Berger, one of the most active Dutch comedians on the international circuit. Berger: “At the moment there’s an explosion of English language stand-up comedy taking place throughout Europe. And one of the nicest things about that is that you discover that everyone knows each-others culture and can make fun of it (and themselves). It’s great to see a room full of different people having fun with each-other, without any tensions whatsoever.”
Berger: “I started StandUpEurope.org to allow European comedians to reach a bigger audience in different countries. In Holland you can visit five cities and still sleep in your own bed every night. But for a European tour you need a network of people and clubs. We’re starting that network at the Utrecht International Comedy Festival. Basically, it will be like a comedy European Union, but with less euros and more booze and good jokes!”
The Brexit is a rough deal, especially for British comedians who live and work in Europe like Bristol-born comic Jack Holmes. He lives in Vienna and doesn’t know if he can stay there after Britain leaves the EU: “My mother called me on the day of the Brexit-referendum. And she sounded so sad that I thought my granddad had died. But then she said it was because of Brexit. And that happened because of racist, old people who voted so fuck you, granddad. I wish you were dead!”
Participating comedy clubs
Comedy Box from Stavanger
Cosmic Comedy from Berlin
Velvet Comedy from Prague
Vienna Chuckles from Vienna
Worldwide Comedy from Prague
Aguilar Entertainment from Milan
Jack Holmes, Austria
Jim Williams, Poland
Luca Ravenna, Italy
Karsten Blomvik, Norway
Reginald Bärris, Austria
Dharmander Singh, Berlin
Kristyna Haklova, Prague
Jurg van Ginkel of the Utrecht International Comedy Festival hopes that this project with StandUpEurope.org will lead to a more positive outlook on Europe: “Brexit is only a good deal if you happen to own a fishing company or like bendy bananas. It’s a disaster for young people and will also hit us as a comedy festival hard. We’re a very small organisation. If we have to arrange a visa for every British comedian who comes to our festival that will lead to extra costs and lots of trouble for us: comedians aren’t particularly good with paperwork. With StandUpEurope we want to give off a message: Brexit is dumb, Europe is fun. Let’s laugh with each other, dummies”
The Utrecht International Comedy Festival on 8 and 9 March is the biggest stand-up comedyfestival of The Netherlands and Belgium. Tickets are only 40 euro for a night (of more that 6 hours of comedy!)
Some videos of comedians participating in this project.