Funny Way To Be Comedy Club, based at key venues in Barnard Castle including The Witham and The Jersey Farm Hotel, has unveiled its line-up for the summer months today, which starts a few days after the top, already sold out, gig with Russell Kane (7/6/14).
The star-studded programme includes Funny Way To Be’s fourth birthday bash, as well as a series of Edinburgh Festival taster shows designed to give Teesdale residents the chance to see brand new routines months before they debut at the world’s largest arts festival.
Kai Humphries and former Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominee Imran Yusuf will do just that when they open Funny Way To Be’s summer season at The Jersey Farm Hotel on Wednesday 11 June.
Local hero Pete Firman, meanwhile, headlines our first show at The Witham on Saturday 21 June, bringing his spectacular comedy-cum-magic show to Barnard Castle.
Pete, originally from Middlesbrough, is widely recognised as the UK’s leading stand-up magician.
A star of BBC1′s prime-time Saturday night programme The Magicians, Firman’s skill for fusing magic and comedy has made him one of the most in demand acts working on British television, writing and performing in magic shows including Monkey Magic, Dirty Tricks and Derren Brown’s 3D Magic Spectacular on Channel 4. Support comes from Steve Shanyaski.
On Tuesday 1 July, Justin Moorhouse (Phoenix Nights, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow) and Jason Cook (Hebburn, Jason Cook’s Hard Knocks) will be hoping to create their own moments of magic when they team up for a very special night of stand-up.
The show marks four years since Funny Way To Be was launched by Barnard Castle resident Peter Dixon. And, as a thank you to comedy fans in Teesdale, the club are reducing advanced ticket prices for the show from £10 to just £6.
Dixon said: “Jason was the very first act that we booked back in 2010. He’s been a firm favourite with our audiences each time he’s played with us since then as we’ve watched his career go from strength to strength. And for Justin to be making his first appearance with us the same night is just fantastic.”
He added: “To mark our fourth anniversary the reduced ticket price of £6 is great value at a quarter of what you’d have to pay to see both these shows at Edinburgh.”
Mock The Week star Jo Caulfield is next up at The Witham on Saturday 19 July, as she returns to the region following her sell-out, one-woman show in 2012.
While Funny Way To Be’s final show of the summer takes place on Saturday 26 July, and marks the return of two of the most popular acts to have performed in Barnard Castle.
Lucy Beaumont was the 2012 winner of the BBC New Comedy Award and, last year, won the Chortle award for Best Newcomer. She was also a finalist in the 2013 Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year.
Patrick Monahan, meanwhile, has spent the last two years developing his theatre touring shows after winning ITV’s hit stand-up competition Show Me The Funny.
The pair arrive in Barnard Castle just days before they debut brand new shows at the Edinburgh Fringe – and, as promised, you can see them first at Funny Way To Be.
Dixon said: “We are thrilled to be presenting such a top line up of acts in a great performance space. It’s quite a change from our small beginnings in 2010.”
Tickets for all Funny Way To Be shows are on general sale now from funnywaytobe.com. Funny Way To Be are also offering a 'Road to Edinburgh' season ticket, which allows you to see all five shows for £25.