Award-winning comedian Sarah Millican is heading home for the inaugural South Tyneside Comedy Festival.
It’s been announced that the stand up star and TV panellist will join the star-studded line up for the event, which already includes Chris Ramsey, Jason Cook, Justin Moorhouse, Gary Delaney, Paul Sinha, Nish Kumar, James Acaster and Joel Dommett.
The event is the brainchild of Hebburn TV show creator Jason Cook and will see a host of top comedians come to the Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, from July 29 to August 7.
Sarah said “I couldn’t possibly not pop in at the very first South Tyneside Comedy festival. Thrilled to be involved. Congrats to Jason and hooray to be spending more time at the glorious Customs House.”
Sarah’s show, which takes place on July 31 at 3pm, will be a fundraiser for her successful Standard Issue magazine and she’ll be joined on stage by Dotty Winters and Standard Issue editor, Mickey Noonan.
Jason Cook said: “We’re so grateful to Sarah for supporting us in our first year, she’s topped off what has turned out to be an incredible festival lineup. And, in line with our other shows, she’s doing it at a rock bottom ticket price so we can make great comedy affordable for the people of Tyneside.”
Ray Spencer, executive director of the Customs House, said “It’s always a joy to have our Sarah pop in. Not only is she a massive star but also a proper Sandancer My guilty pleasure is Standard Issue so I am delighted that Sarah is bringing this live edition to the House. The festival just gets bigger and better by the day.”
Chris Ramsey and Jason Cook have also announced a second performance of their popular “Mucking About” shows. The first on July 29 sold out in just two days so another, the final show of the festival, will bring the programme to a close. An entirely improvised show based on suggestions and questions from the audience, Jason and Chris have used these shows in past years to develop new material for tours and TV scripts.
Jason said: “The first one flew out of the door so it seems daft not to do a second. The beauty of it is that no two shows are the same so people who have tickets for the first one will see a totally different show at the second one.”
Chris said: “I love doing these shows, it’s total free for all comedy and we’re thinking on our feet. The audiences seem more electric at these gigs, because they can see the comedy forming right in front of them.”
Filling out the bumper crop of shows added to the festival line up is a long-awaited return from Adam Rowe, Liverpool Comedian of the Year. He'll be bringing his new solo show to the festival on its way up to the Edinburgh Fringe where he is tipped for great things this year.
Adam said:“I absolutely can’t wait to get back to South Shields. It reminds me of certain areas of Liverpool; just proper working class people who are up for a laugh. The response from the audience last time, both on the night and on social media was really great so I’m hoping enough of them remember me and make it down to see me do a full hour.
“Don’t tell anyone else, but this is the Edinburgh Preview I’m looking forward to more than any other.”
•The South Tyneside Comedy Festival will run in three spaces at The Customs House in South Shields from July 29 - August 7 with almost all shows being 10 pounds or under.
Details can be found here: www.southtynesidecomedyfestival.co.uk