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THE ALTITUDE PREVIEW - James Rampton, PlanetSKI's roving reporter
Thursday March 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

It's time to send in the clowns. The hills are about to be alive with the sound of merriment. NEW

The Altitude Comedy Festival - the most fun you can have in the Alps without your skis on - will be entertaining us once again this month.

PlanetSKI has always had a soft spot for this particular Festival.

Over the years, we have spent many memorable evenings at Altitude laughing our ski-socks off at top comedians such as Eddie Izzard, John Bishop and Bill Bailey.

Altitude Comedy Festival"Maxwell embodies the spirit of Altitude."

You can read numerous reports from previous Altitude Festivals in our compendious archive.

Altitude is the perfect marriage of two of our favourite activities: skiing and stand-up.

All in all, it's very hard to disagree with the Altitude tagline: "The funniest show on the snow."

Altitude Comedy FestivalAltitude Comedy Festival


Tim Minchin, the hugely successful comedian who wrote the hit West End and Broadway musical, Matilda, put it very well when he asserted that, "Altitude is awesome!"

After several years in the Austrian resort of Mayrhofen, the Festival is migrating this year to Avoriaz in France. 

In a smart move, Altitude is teaming up with Snowboxx, already established as one of the leading Alpine music festivals.

music_preview1_500.Music at Snowboxx

So stand-up fans this year will also be able to enjoy such top music acts as Fatboy Slim, Chase and Status (DJ Set) and Rage, Mike Skinner, Loyle Carner and Artful Dodger.

For further details about Snowboxx, which runs from 17th to 24th March, you can read our recent piece about it here.

Comedy afficionados should already be rubbing their hands with glee at this year's Altitude line-up.

The bill for the two shows at the XX Club in Avoriaz - on Monday 19th and Wednesday 21st March - is headed ‎by Andrew Maxwell.

He co-founded Altitude with fellow comedian and fellow mad-keen snow-boarder Marcus Brigstocke.

Maxwell embodies the spirit of Altitude.

Every year he spends the entire Festival in a pair of deeply unflattering lederhosen - surely the greatest comedy prop since Rod Hull joined forces with Emu.

Altitude Comedy FestivalAltitude Comedy Festival

The Irish comedian is an electric presence on stage.

Like a comic Pied Piper, he leads the audience on a dazzling dance through the vivid brilliance of his imagination.

At the last Altitude, he lit up the Festival with a sparkling set.

He delivered some especially good - and very well-received - Brexit gags.

"Anyone in from Britain?" he inquired.

"Welcome to your last look at Europe. Spend your currency while you can!"

He went on to wonder what the Irish equivalent of Brexit might be:

"If we had a Referendum, I'm sure we would vote to leave Bono."
Maxwell will be joined by another viscerally exciting act, Abandoman. ‎

The idea of someone making up a rap on the spot about, say, an audience-member's gripe that his local Aldi has run out of Merlot may not instantly strike you as comedy gold - but trust me, it is.‎

Every performance by Abandoman (the stage name of the Irish comedian Rob Broderick) is different.

Maxwell has described Abandoman's spell-binding improvisational comedy gifts as "voodoo", and he's not wrong.

A review of Abandoman's show at the last Altitude can be found here.

rampton2_5001_500Altitude Comedy Festival

The Altitude bill is completed by the excellent stand-up Matt Reed, whom the BBC called:

" Absolutely hilarious...had the crowd rolling around."

There now appear to be almost more festivals in ‎the Alps than ski-lifts, but Altitude has always stood out as one of the very best.

It generates a terrific feel-good vibe.
And even if you're not at a comedy show, you may well still find yourself laughing uncontrollably when you bump into Maxwell on the slopes in his lederhosen.



Tickets for Altitude can be purchased as extras for existing Snowboxx customers for just £15 per‎ person.

Tickets for Snowboxx Festival are on sale now, with packages starting from just £259 per person‎ for Wristband and Accommodation packages.
SnowboxxSnowboxx 2018

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