Fringe Festival Previews Comedy Round-Up | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Penelope Solomon

Summer’s here, which usually spells joy, but with the daily discomfort of sweat and sunburn, mafting work conditions and the kids being off school, it’s not always the case. Fret not however, as we live in the North East with its vibrant comedy scene and convenient location of being the last stop before the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You’ll soon be smiling again.

South Tyneside Comedy Festival

South Tyneside Comedy Festival is at the Customs House in South Shields, the home of Hebburn star and festival director Jason Cook’s Comedy Club, from Friday 29th July until Sunday 7th August.

The aim is simple: “To put incredible comics on, doing their festival shows, at affordable prices. One of the problems people have with the Edinburgh Festival is that it’s become too expensive, which stops them going to see as many shows as they would like.” Says Cook.

The impressive line-up includes Chris Ramsey, Justin Moorhouse, Gary Delaney, Paul Sinha, Nish Kumar, James Acaster and Joel Dommett, plus South Shields’ very own Sarah Millican.

Demand for tickets has been high, with a thousand tickets sold in the first fortnight, and as most shows are £10 or less we advise you don’t hang around!

Darlington Comedy Festival

Darlington Comedy Festival, now in its fifth year, features both TV comics and the best in local talent. It takes place in a variety of eclectic venues, including Darlington Library, The Forum Music Centre and Hole in the Wall from Saturday 2nd until Wednesday 27th July.

“We’ve always gotten a great response from comedy fans across Teesside and County Durham; we’re sure this year they’re going to love what we’ve got lined up for them.” Says organiser and Hilarity Bites main man Neil Jollie.

Events include a kid’s comedy club and a new act competition along with performances from Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee 2015 Newcastle’s Seymour Mace, James Meehan, Scottish Comedian of the Year winner Mark Nelson, TV’s favourite surrealist Tony Law, character comic extraordinaire Tom Binns, multi-award-winning sketch group Gein’s Family Giftshop, Teesside’s own Patrick Monahan and many more.

The Bottle Shop Bar & Kitchen, Newcastle

Popular Newcastle venue The Bottle Shop Bar & Kitchen will give fans an opportunity to enjoy the best acts of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

On Wednesday 6th July they have Matt Forde (Have I Got News For You) and Rob Auton (Former Dave Funniest Joke of The Fringe winner). On Thursday 14th July the venue will host cartoonist Barney Farmer (Viz, The Male Online) for an evening of conversation, stand-up and more; while on Wednesday 3rd August local comic Matt Reed will appear, alongside a special guest headline act.

Tickets are £5 and for those hungrier for more than just comedy, £15 with a ribs, chicken wings, fries and coleslaw platter. Yum.

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Justin Moorhouse

The Witham, Barnard Castle

On Saturday 16th July Funny Way To Be Comedy Club will host four Edinburgh Festival preview shows at The Witham in Barnard Castle, featuring Best Newcomer winner of 2015’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Sofie Hagen and Live at the Apollo regular Justin Moorhouse, TV’s Jo Caulfield and satirist Matt Forde.

Peter Dixon, of Funny Way To Be Comedy Club, said: “This year we have limited the day to four acts, but we have hand-picked four of the very best. They are award winners, headliners and top touring comedians.” Shows are priced individually or £18.00 for a priority day pass. Bargain.

Plus, on Saturday 30th July BBC Radio’s New Comedy Award 2013 winner Steve Bugeja and XFM’s breakfast show host Hayley Ellis will be at The Witham to perform their new Edinburgh Fringe shows in this pre-festival double bill.

ARC, Stockton

Teesside comedy fans have a chance to see four exclusive Edinburgh previews heading for Stockton’s ARC in July at just £10 per night.

Justin Moorhouse of Phoenix Nights and festival regular John Gordillo begin proceedings on Thursday 14th July, Jo Caulfield from Mock The Week and Geordie legend Gavin Webster are on Saturday 23rd July, followed by 8 Out Of 10 Cats writer Geoff Norcott and Edinburgh award nominee Seymour Mace on Wednesday 27th July. Catch 22 Comedy Club favourite Danny McLoughlin and one to watch Brennan Reece finish the run of dates on Thursday 28th July.

Peter Vincent from promoters Ten Feet Tall said: “We’ve got four great nights ahead, all in a gorgeously intimate studio that feels like the comics are right there in your own front room.”

The Stand, Newcastle

Throughout July and August, The Stand are showing some work-in-progress shows from comedians performing at Edinburgh’s equivalent venue at this summer’s Fringe Festival.

Shows include the delightfully named I Was A Penis At The Royal Albert Hall from BBC Radio 4‘s Penelope Solomon (Sunday 3rd); Andrew Doyle’s Future Tense and John Pendal’s International Man of Leather show (Monday 4th); Vladimir McTavish: Scotland In Sixty Minutes plus stand up and chat from Scotland’s satirical comics Topical Storm on (Sunday 17th); along with shows by Seymour Mace and Gary Little (Monday 18th); local favourites Gavin Webster and Lee Kyle (Tuesday 19th); Lost Voice Guy’s second instalment of his Disability For Dunces show (Sunday 24th); Laurence Clark and Russell Hicks (Sunday 24th); George Zach’s Confessions of A Homeless Sex God (Sunday 31st July) plus John Gordillo presents his Love Capitalism show alongside Ben Van der Velde’s Barbarians (Monday 1st August).




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