KAREN Koren wants more Invernessians to share the Happyness.
For the third year the woman behind Edinburgh’s famed Gilded Balloon comedy venue has brought the cream of comic talent north for Inverness’s own festival of laughter.
"It’s taken a while with the Inverness people for them to see what we are trying to do and come out to see us, but I’m really pleased that we are back and have a really good programme," she said.
The ultimate aim is to create an international comedy festival along the lines of the Cat Laughs Festival in Kilkenny, so perhaps it is only natural that, as Koren points out, this year’s Happyness Festival has quite a Celtic theme with several Irish visitors.
They include a relatively rare stand-up performance from Northern Ireland’s Patrick Kielty, who also has a busy broadcasting career, Dubliner Jason Bryne, the biggest selling comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe, and Tommy Tiernan, who will open this year’s Happyness Festival on Thursday at Eden Court.
"I think that Scottish people particularly really like the Irish humour, and the north particularly," Koren said.
"The Irish and the Scots go really well together. None of them are touring at the moment and for them to come to Inverness is great.
"I hope the people of Inverness will embrace Happyness and come to all our shows because we do have a really good festival pass where you can go to all the shows for £75, which means you can see 20-odd shows."
• The Happyness Comedy Festival begins on Thursday with Tommy Tiernan at Eden Court’s Empire Theatre and continues until Sunday 25th May with events at Eden Court, IG:LU and Hootananny on Church Street, and throughout Inverness.