You’d think only the household name, arena-filling comics would have the power to crash major websites, but no. The rush to buy tickets to any Kitson show never fails to bring down the toughest of URLs (including the National Theatre’s site). In the comedy community, he’s a god; a reclusive DIY comedian who produces some of the funniest, most beautifully written pieces of storytelling stand-up in the land.
See him at: Latitude
Shambolic charm, curmudgeonly observations, whimsical metaphors… you get it all with ‘Black Books’ creator Dylan Moran. The 41-year-old actor-comedian seems to be on a festivals jaunt this summer, popping up at three of them, fresh from a North American tour. His chaotic, wine-fuelled delivery belies the fact that even throwaway lines in a Moran set are intricately written. A master of misanthropy.
See him at: Latitude, Larmer Tree and Rockness
Vegan, atheist, activist comic Jamie Kilstein switches from cute cat stories to savage political rants in a heartbeat, and makes it work. The Washington-born comic probes politics and religion, reaching uncompromising conclusions, throwing in slices of performance poetry and swipes at the right-wing. He’s bound to sit well with the Guardian-reading hummus-monkeys at Latitude, and will easily keep the kids at Reading and Leeds under control.
See him at: Latitude, Reading, Leeds
She was practically unknown at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, but Luisa Omielan’s word-of-mouth hit show ‘What Would Beyoncé Do?’ has quickly rocketed her to the holy status of ‘feelgood comedy heroine’. The sassy stand-up treats every gig like a party, and her high-energy act has the power to turn hostile audiences into whooping, boogying, Friday-night-at-Tiger-Tiger crowds. Prepare to feel bootylicious.
See her at: Latitude, Reading, Leeds
In many ways, Scottish freewheeler Phil Kay is the perfect festival comic: no set is ever the same twice; he can veer off on any number of unexpected tangents; and he will almost definitely amuse and bemuse in equal measure. Kay abandons all conventions of comedy and just does whatever he wants, whether that be singing a 25-minute improvised song about food stalls, or just faffing about and commenting on people’s shoes. He’s a meandering headfuck genius.
See him at: Lounge on the Farm