Jen’s Lens – Roll out the Barrels and get #Courtlaughing!

On Saturday May 11, the Courtyard are putting on a very special treat for you.   To get you in the mood for good beer, great laughs and a lively atmosphere a free promo event will be held at The Barrels Pub in St Owen’s Street.

From 8pm, up-and-coming, local and downright hilarious comedienne Vikki Stone will be taking to the stage with her keyboard to deliver some absolutely incredible songs.  Emerging on to the comedy scene after declaring her love for Philip Schofield on Youtube, this witty, amazing talent is not to be missed!  Here she is below doing a one woman les Miserables!

Join us at The Barrels on Saturday 11 May from 8pm and prepare to be #Courtlaughing!

Whilst at The Barrels, be sure to indulge in Wye Valley Brewery’s latest tasty keg of special #Courtlaughing brew, Dorothy Goodbody’s Barrel of Laughs.

Look on the beer’s pump clips to discover how you could have our crowds laughing out loud.  Think you’re a budding comedian?  Then get a pint pulled and make sure you join in this summer’s festivities.

vikki poster copy


Jen’s Lens – Get ready to be #Courtlaughing!

Beer & jokes - a perfect partnership for #Courtlaughing!

Beer & jokes – a perfect partnership for #Courtlaughing!

Well, you are very lucky this week, as there are now 2 Jen’s Lens posts!  And this one is by no means less exciting, because if you follow us on Facebook, keep an eagle eye on our tweets, or indeed know someone at The Courtyard, then you will know we have been revealing the big names involved in our 2013 #Courtlaughing festival, our comedy event that is being held over the weekend of the 7 – 9 June this summer.

I, however, had to keep the exciting news to myself as we launched the event last

Local comedienne Vikki Stone gets us giggling

Local comedienne Vikki Stone gets us giggling

Thursday at Wye Valley Brewery to invited press, VIP’s and staff.  This was in fact, the very first moment we could share with others in the county who would be making us laugh out loud this June.  The launch event was held at Wye Valley Brewery in Stoke Lacy and we enjoyed curry, fine ale and joke props as the headliners were revealed, and also enjoyed live comedy from last year’s Wye Valley Brewery Open Mic winner Phil Pearcy, and newly local comedienne Vikki Stone.  Vikki had everyone in stitches as she sang break up songs based on Jurassic Park and declared her love for Professor Brian Cox; songs which were also extremely catchy and resulted in strange looks from my folks as I forgot my place and sang them making the tea.  The evening was a triumph, as everyone socialised, ate, drank, and a few were even papped on camera #Courtlaughing!

So, without further adieu, let me introduce you to our comedy class of 2013.

Phill JupitusOpening up for the festival and kicking off the trio of comedy talent is comedy veteran and star of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Phill Jupitus.  He will be bringing his new show You’re Probably Wondering Why I Asked You Here… fresh from last summer’s Edinburgh circuit to have you all chuckling.

Saturday night’s entertainment comes in the form of dry witted American ironist Rich Hall,

Rich Hall

Rich Hall

who is known for his observational comedy on people both sides of the pond, and is star of such TV shows as QI and his own TV programmes such as How the West Was Lost.

Rounding up the big named comedians and bringing the festival to a close is emerging talent Josh Widdicombe.  Known for appearances on shows such as Mock the Week and 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Josh moves away from supporting the likes of Alan Carr and brings his debut solo stand up to our #Courtlaughing festival.

Tickets for all of these comedians are currently on sale and available to book now – so, what are you waiting for?  Get in fast and be sure to be #Courtlaughing this summer. 01432 340555 or

Josh Widdicombe

Josh Widdicombe

Other events taking place over the festival period is a Sunday evening screening of Monty Python’s jewel the ‘Life of Brian’.  A film which caused much controversy at its time of release but now is widely accepted and has us all singing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ when faced with crucifixion.  Children’s comedian James Campbell and ventriloquist for the younger ones, Kieran Powell will bring some pre-watershed laughs, and there will also be two of The Courtyard’s renowned #Courtlaughing comedy clubs if you fancied having a beer and scouting some emerging talent.

Returning after its success last year is the Wye Valley Brewery Open Mic competition, introducing local budding comedy talents to have a go in front of our Courtyard panel in a bid to be crowned the local King (or Queen) of comedy!

Live music will also be taking place over the three nights, and we are currently on the scout for musicians and performers to put themselves forward to play on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights.  If you are a musician and fancy showing us what you are musically made of then send us your facebook pages, soundcloud, myspace or youtube links to or alternatively drop in your demo’s and CD’s to Box Office or post them to Jennifer Booton, The Courtyard, Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR by Monday 15th April.

Phew!  I think that’s it.  So, like I said, what are you waiting for?!  See you #Courtlaughing.

February Film Offers – Stay entertained this half term


…when you book a family of two adults and two kids to come along to one of our February family films. For extra measure we’ll throw in a DVD of Johnny Depp’s classic animated western Rango, to one lucky winning family. Click on the titles below for dates and ring the Box Office to book.

*[food discount only applicable with a purchase of two main courses/main course specials and two children’s menu courses]

Frankenweenie WEB

Frankenweenie (PG)
Funny, dark and whimsical, Tim Burton’s gloriously crafted animation is a kids’ version of ‘Frankenstein’, softened and reimagined in the postwar American suburbs. When
awkward schoolboy Victor’s beloved dog Sparky meets with a tragic end, the young inventor devises an ingenious way to bring him back to life.

Rise of The Guardians Web

Rise of the Guardians (PG)
This hyperactive animated adventure provides plenty of action, colour and cute comedy for younger kids. When the evil spirit Pitch sets out to take over the world and destroy children’s faith in Father Christmas, the immortal Guardians call on Jack Frost to help them fight back to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.

Hotel Transylvania web

Hotel Transylvania (PG)
Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy and the Werewolf are all living together in Hotel Transylvania, a five star resort where the world’s most glamorous monsters and their families can live it up. When Van Helsing, falls for Dracula’s teenage daughter, he soon finds out that they are destined enemies which makes for a rocky romance…


… when you book a group of four in to see Pitch Perfect we’ll enter you into a prize draw to win.

From the writer of hip American comedies 30 Rock and New Girl, comes a feisty
coming-of-age flick….

Pitch Perfect (12A)
New talent Anna Kendrick (of Twilight and Scott Pilgrim fame) kicks the mean, sweet and weird girls into shape with a subversion on the traditional singing girl group. Arriving at her new college, Beca finds a meddley of girls whose only thing in common is how good they sound when they sing together. When Beca takes them out of their world of perfect harmonies into all-new mash-ups, they fight to climb their way to the top of the cut-throat world of college a cappella. Sharply written, filled with fun and loaded with great music that is seamlessly mixed together, mashed-up and arranged like you’ve never heard before.

pitch perfect collage

Call the BOX OFFICE on: 01432 340555 to book a deal.

If you or someone you know is aged 14-25 they are eligible to receive the Courtyard Card and get free and discounted tickets to selected shows and films. Can’t say fairer than that. Find out more here and call the Box Office to apply for a card.

Don’t forget to join the conversation and here the latest on our thoughts and info on upcoming film @CourtyardArts on Twitter and on Facebook

Laugh-in the New Year, live the healthy life… … and raise money for charity!

Did you know? Laughing for just 15 minutes can burn up to 40 calories.

So kick start your 2013 diet plans and book some tickets to see the brilliantly funny Roisin Conaty – star of BBC Three’s Impractical Jokers – who’s bringing her new stand-up show to The Courtyard for one night only on Friday, January 18th.

“Conaty, oddly, has shades of early Russell Brand, but with less misogyny, including a charming flamboyance and a turn of phrase that proves she’s a verbal gymnast as well as a pretty face.” ~ Kirstyn Smith, The List

Roisin Conaty, comedienne

Roisin Conaty, comedienne

Not only will you be doing yourself some good, you’ll be raising vital funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a cause close to the heart of organiser Melanie Denning who’s been a business development manager at The Courtyard for the last six years. ‘Our 12-year-old son Owain was diagnosed with CF at seven weeks old which was a massive shock. But his dad Chris and I picked ourselves up and decided we were going to do our utmost to keep Owain as well as possible and not let CF dominate our lives. We’re also determined to do what we can to raise money to help find a cure and Chris has done so many mad things, including three marathons, a zip wire at Man United and a tandem skydive while I’ve stuck to organising things like this comedy night, our second at The Courtyard.’

Over 9,000 people in the UK have CF, one of the most common life-threatening inherited diseases for which there is no cure, although much genetic and treatment research is going on, funded mainly by charity fundraising such as this comedy night up and down the country.

The Denning family

The Denning family

Each week five babies are born with CF and two young lives are lost to the disease although improving treatments such as antibiotics mean average life expectancy has been steadily increasing.

Melanie says she can’t wait to see Roisin, a previous winner of Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Comedy Festival, along with young Welsh comedian Dan Thomas who’ll be supporting Russell Kane later this Spring. ‘I’ve also asked Phil Pearcy, our front of house manager, to compere for us… he won our Comedy Festival’s Open Mic competition last year and is very funny so all in all, it should be a great night out for an even greater cause!’ says Melanie.

Book online or get your tickets from The Courtyard’s Box Office on 01432 340555, £15.