Festival of top comedy heads for Morecambe

Matt Panesh.
Matt Panesh.
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Morecambe is to host its first ever comedy festival this weekend, bringing talents into the resort on their way to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Thirty comedians including Lancaster-born Robin Boot will be appearing at the week-long, three-venue festival in Morecambe’s West End between July 7 and 14.

Lancaster comedian Robin Boot.

Lancaster comedian Robin Boot.

Organiser Matt Panesh said: “This is the first festival of its kind here. Morecambe doesn’t really have a regular comedy night which we thought was odd.

“The acts that we have got are absolutely brilliant. I am amazed at the strength of the shows we have got – people who are already making a noise in the industry and will be tomorrow’s Russell Howards, Michael McIntyres and Bridget Christies. Massive thanks to the town council who’ve funded it.”

The festival is taking place at three venues – The Boardwalk in Marine Road West, The Exchange Pub in Regent Road and The Gordon Club in Springfield Street – and will see acts performing en route to Edinburgh Fringe, including some festival favourites such as Tom Little, Bethany Black, Henry Paker and female trio Northern Power Blouse.

Former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil Robin Boot is among those to be performing at the festival.

Comedian Tom Little.

Comedian Tom Little.

Robin, who also played rugby for England Under 18s and for the Vale of Lune from the age of eight to 18, first appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, and this August will be taking his fourth to the festival.

Robin will be doing a full hour preview of his new show Welcome to the Pungle at Morecambe Comedy Festival at The Gordon Club on Saturday July 7 from 9.20pm – the first time he will have performed in the area.

His routine is described as being a unique brand of “rockomedy”. Expect clever wordplay, darkly surreal lyrics, tasty guitar skills, percussive feet and beautiful hair.

To gain entry to the performances, all you have to do is buy a £5 badge (£2 concessions) which will then give entry into any of the shows – which will operate on a first come, first served basis.

You are then invited to make donations to the artists themselves after the shows.

“It’s in the heart of the West End which is an area massively overlooked in Morecambe,” Matt said.

“This will bring in money to the local economy.”

The festival kicks off at 4.30pm on July 7 with a discussion about comedy and refreshments.

Produced and funded by Morecambe Town Council in conjunction with Morecambe Fringe, which was set up last September.

This will be the third event hosted by the Fringe, and it is hoped a regular cycle of festivals will follow.

“Hopefully the comedy festival will become an annual event as part of a cycle of festivals,” Matt said.

“It will be followed by a literature and spoken word festival next year, and then the year after we will have a theatre festival.

“Hopefully the festival season of arts will become a jewel in Morecambe’s crown and provide a renaissance for Morecambe’s arts scene.”

For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/morecambecomedy

* Anyone who sees all 30 shows at the Morecambe Comedy Festival has the chance to be entered into a competition. Simply get a copy of the programme at each show and get the acts to sign each programme. At the end of the festival at the last show, hand in your 30 signed programmes which will go into a draw to win two tickets worth £22.50 to see Dr John Cooper Clark on September 24 when he comes to Morecambe.