Machynlleth becomes the Comedy Capital of Wales again this weekend as it hosts the ninth annual Machynlleth Comedy Festival with more than 7,000 people expected to flock to the town where more than 200 events are taking place.

Starting this Friday, May 4, and continuing over Saturday and Sunday, involving numerous venues throughout the town, the festival is presented Little Wander and BBC Cymru Wales.

This year’s guests include Welsh favourite Rhod Gilbert with shows on all three days, plus James Acaster, Sofie Hagen, Mark Watson, Simon Mummery, Joe Lycett, Gein’s Family Giftshop, Ivo Graham, Tom Allen, and many more.

The festival has always looked to showcase comedy in its broadest terms and is about testing where the lines are drawn between comedy and other art forms.

The specifically programmed theatre programme is a testament to that and festival director Henry Widdicombe says that “Whilst the comedy programme often bleeds freely across these boundaries it is equally important for us to showcase this process happening in reverse.”

Shows by Amy Mason, Molly Naylor, Jamie Wood, Will Adamsdale, Adam Scott-Rowley and more, continue the strong presence for theatre at the event, showcasing everything from clowning to musicals and exploring where the lines are drawn between comedy and theatre.

Talking with County Times arts editor Barry Jones, Henry said: “Support from the Arts Council of Wales has enabled us to build a specific space for theatre this year, and given us the ability to work with some incredibly exciting artists.

“Each show has been hand-picked, and we can’t wait for people to see them. If we had our way every single person attending would go and see at least one theatre show during their visit.

“Much of this year’s theatre programme is about journeys. From the physical journeys taken by Amy Mason to Texas, Jamie Wood walking to Wales and Molly Naylor taking us interstellar, to the journeys we sometimes have to make as human beings in Beth Vyse’s As Funny as Cancer and James Taylor’s Team Viking.

“As Machynlleth Comedy Festival turns nine more and more shows are starting life at the festival with their very first read-throughs and returning sometimes two or three years later having been on their own journeys.

"We’re incredibly proud that our event has become both testing bed and final bow for so many works and it is a testament to our audience that the artists we work with want it to be that way,” added Henry.

Find out full details about the 2018 Machynlleth Festival via