Popular North East comedy club Funny Way To Be is to launch a new comedy night in Teesdale at Staindrop. Having brought the best names in comedy to Barnard Castle over the past six years, Funny Way To Be will be bringing the funny to Staindrop's Scarth Hall from next February. The four show line up includes a host of top comics including two winners of the Edinburgh Festival best show.
The first of the club's Staindrop shows will take place on Friday 24 February when comedy's favourite housewife Barbara Nice performs her new show Raffle. This hour of critically acclaimed tip-top character comedy from Phoenix Nights actress Janice Connolly is a playful, life-affirming show for all the family. Barbara Nice is soon to be heard in a new her own radio series on BBC Radio 2.
Saturday 1 April sees Scarth Hall's first club night, featuring Phil Nichol and Pat Cahill, plus support to be announced. A truly unique performer, Phil Nichol is an acclaimed actor, award winning comedian (including Best Show at the Edinburgh Festival), producer, presenter, writer and musician with an unquenchable thirst for mischief and pushing boundaries.
Pat Cahill is a comedian and musical talent who won Best Newcomer at the Chortle Comedy Awards in 2012. Cahill has also supported both Ardal O’Hanlon and Nina Conti on their UK tours.
On Friday 12 May, two of Barnard Castle's favourite comics and stars of sitcom Hebburn - Jason Cook and Steffen Peddie - make their way to Staindrop. Cheerful Geordie comic and master storyteller Cook presents more true-to-life stories that drag you in and won’t let go, close to the edge but always intriguing.
Comedy royalty arrives in Staindrop on Saturday 24 June, when Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Kearns takes the stage, alongside local favourite Lauren Pattison.
John Kearns is a comedy performer and writer who won Best Newcomer at the 2013 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards. His follow-up show, Shtick, won Best Show in 2014, making him the first comedian ever to win the two awards back-to-back. Writing and performance credits include Psychobitches (Sky), Top Coppers (BBC) and his own BBC Radio 4 series.
Newcastle comic Lauren Pattison is a talented stand-up and actress who has been performing for three years. One of the brightest young talents on the comedy scene, Pattison came runner up at the Funny Women Awards 2014 and in 2015 was the only female comedian to reach the final of the Chortle Student Comedy Awards.
Pattison has supported Katherine Ryan on two national tours as well as opening for Stewart Francis.
Founded by Peter Dixon in 2010, Funny Way To Be is the home of comedy in Teesdale. Previous acts include Russell Howard, Russell Kane, Mark Watson, Romesh Ranganathan, Omid Djalili and Chris Ramsey.
The club was recently featured in The Guardian national newspaper, with comedian Lucy Beaumont writing: "The [comedy club] I love most is Funny Way To Be in Barnard Castle. [They have] priceless audiences – people who are comfortable with each other and love to laugh out loud.”
Funny Way To Be promoter Peter Dixon said: "When we started the club six years ago, we never could've imagined how it would take off. We've had the pleasure of hosting some huge acts, and to be able to bring such big names to a little place like Barnard Castle has been wonderful. We're absolutely thrilled to be expanding our stable in the new year, and hope to be able to offer the same quality nights of comedy to the comedy fans of Staindrop in the coming months."
Tickets available online from funnywaytobe.com now. They can also be purchased in person at the Post Office in Staindrop. Tickets for each of the shows are priced at £10 in advance (or £12 on the door if available)