The first ever South Tyneside Comedy Festival kicks off tonight.
The 10-day festival has been organised by Hebburn funnyman Jason Cook and thousands of tickets have already been snapped up for shows at the Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields.
The event is proving a hit before it's even begun, with Jason saying he's been contacted by comedians already keen to sign up for next year.
He said: "We’ve sold more than 2,000 tickets already and it hasn’t even started yet.
“The response has been amazing, there are so many people wanting tickets, and so many people wanting to see a comedy festival in South Tyneside.
“I’ve already got comics asking me if they can have a spot for next year, and the reputation can only grow from here.
“I’m so excited for it to get started and to get people through the doors at the Customs House.”
Here's a full line-up of shows:
Friday, July 29:
7pm - Justin Moorhouse: People and Feelings, £8
8.30pm - Ramsey & Cook Are Mucking About, £10
Saturday, July 30:
1pm - Martin 'Bigpig': Funny Stuff For Happy People, £8
4pm - Tom Allen, £6
7pm - Steffen Peddie: 99 Problems and the Chips Still Ain’t One, £7
Sunday, July 31:
3pm - Standard Issue in Conversation with Sarah Millican, £10
5.30pm - Adam Rowe, £5
7pm - Gary Delaney: There’s Something About Gary, £10
8.30pm - Paul Sinha: Postcards from the Z List (18+), £10
Monday, August 1:
7.30pm - James Acaster: Reset, £6
9pm - Joel Dommett: Pretending to Smoke With a Breadstick, £5
Wednesday, August 3:
8pm - Carl Hutchinson: The Fixer, £7
Thursday, August 4:
7.45pm - The Geordie Rat Park Destroy Songs From the Shows, £20
Saturday, August 6:
8pm - Ramsey & Cook Are Mucking About, £10
Some of the comedians are offering free tickets to BHS South Shields staff who recently lost their jobs when the shop closed down.
It came about after Paul Sinha, best known as one of the Chasers on ITV quiz The Chase, got in touch with Jason.
He said: “It’s hard enough losing your job, but when you lose your pension, you lose part of the future you invested in. As comedians we’re not claiming to solve anything, but we’re hoping that some free tickets to festival shows might help the former BHS employees have a good laugh during a hard time.”
Jason then took the idea to other comics, who stepped up to help out.
Steffen Peddie is giving away 10 pairs to his show on Saturday, Carl Hutchinson has offered 10 pairs for his show on August 3, Adam Rowe is giving away five pairs for his show on Sunday, Jason and South Shields comic Chris Ramsey are offering 10 single tickets to their show on August 6, and Gary Delaney has pledged 10 pairs for his show on Sunday.
Jason said: “When Paul approached us with the idea I knew we had to get other shows in the festival involved, so I did a quick ring around and loads of the comedians were only too willing to help. Hopefully we can put smiles on a few faces after such devastating news for the BHS employees.”
Go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 0191 454 1234 to book tickets.