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Stars including Russell Howard and Nina Conti turn out in support of Underbelly’s Big Brain Tumour Benefit 2019

27th Jun 2019

Underbelly today announced the line up for its third annual Big Brain Tumour Benefit in its biggest venue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, McEwan Hall, which sees 100% ticket income going to The Brain Tumour Charity, the world's leading brain tumour charity and the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally.

  • In two years, Underbelly has raised nearly £100,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity, including £30,000 at last year’s Fringe benefit.
  • For the last two benefit shows at the Fringe, Underbelly have matched the total amount taken at the box office as a direct donation from the company, doubling the amount raised on the night.
  • Russell Howard, Jason Byrne, Nina Conti, Danny Bhoy & Flo and Joan confirmed to appear in this year’s show.  
  • The show is hosted by LA-based Canadian John Hastings, who since 2012 has taken every major comedy festival in the world by storm.
  • The show was created by Underbelly in 2017 following the diagnosis of an aggressive and rare form of brain cancer calld Ependymoma in Alfie Bartlam,  the 7-year-old son of Underbelly’s co-founder Ed Bartlam.
  • Brain tumour research is severely underfunded in the UK and yet represents the biggest cancer killer for under 40s.
  • This show is sure to sell out. Buy your tickets now at

One of the hottest tickets on the Fringe, the annual line up of star comedians performing in support of The Brain Tumour Charity, this year sees John Hastings MC another cracking line up.

Star of his own Russell Howard’s Good News and Mock the Week and fresh from his latest international tour, Russell Howard joins the biggest selling comedian on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Jason Byrne, British Comedy Award winner and BAFTA nominee Nina Conti, Scotland’s own Danny Bhoy and the multi-award winning British musical comedy duo Flo & Joan in a once-in-a-lifetime line-up!

All ticket income goes directly to The Brain Tumour Charity, a cause close to Underbelly’s heart. Co-founder of Underbelly, Ed Bartlam’s son Alfie was just 4 years old when he was diagnosed with a form of aggressive brain cancer.

Research into brain tumours is severely underfunded in the UK and yet represents the biggest cancer killer for under 40s.  Around 500 children and young people in the UK are diagnosed each year but diagnosis times of childhood brain tumours are longer in the UK than in many other countries. The Brain Tumour Charity’s HeadSmart campaign aims to reduce brain tumour and brain cancer diagnosis times to four weeks or less.

Ed Bartlam, Underbelly’s co-founder said: “This year’s line up is stupendously strong! I’m incredibly grateful to all of the comedians taking part for supporting such an important cause. I’ve seen the devastating effects of brain tumours in children first hand and it’s vital that we raise both awareness of the disease and money to help find cures. Our brain tumour benefit show is a wonderful way to do just that whilst also watching one of the strongest comedy line-ups you’ll find anywhere on the Fringe. My son Alfie just asks you to ‘buy a ticket, please’.”

Geraldine Pipping, The Brain Tumour Charity’s Director of Fundraising, said: “Our partnerships are key to our strategy of raising vital funds for research and awareness of the devastating impact of a brain tumour. The continued support of Underbelly and The Big Brain Benefit is hugely appreciated and the event is set to be even bigger and better in 2019. We know that their invaluable help will make a real difference for everyone affected.

“Every year, 11,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour – that’s 30 a day – and our five-year research strategy A Cure Can’t Wait aims to double survival within 10 years and halve the harm caused by brain tumours on quality of life.

“We receive no government funding and rely 100% on voluntary donations and gifts in Wills, so it’s only through the support of Ed, Charlie and the team at Underbelly, that we can work towards our twin goals of doubling survival and halving the harm caused by brain tumours.

“We are committed to fighting for all those people whose lives are turned upside down by this devastating disease. Thank you to Underbelly for their continued support”.

To book tickets for Underbelly’s Big Brain Tumour Benefit visit:


“Never any doubt we’re in the hands of an appealing consummate pro.” Chortle on John Hastings


“Howard and his Hour should be applauded.” The Telegraph on Russell Howard’s show Hour


Terrifically entertaining mayhem.” Chortle on Jason Byrne


This show needs the high dome of the McEwan Hall. It would blow the roof off anywhere else.” The Scotsman on Nina Conti


“His routines have the mark of those which are quoted from, for years to come.” The Herald on Danny Bhoy


“Endlessly charming, catchy, and bloody brilliant.” Stylist on Flo & Joan

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