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What's on: Blackburn and Darwen Comedy Festival
THE full line-up has been revealed for this year’s Blackburn and Darwen Comedy Festival which starts next month.
Now in its sixth year, the festival sees some major names from the comedy world heading to East Lancashire along with some rising stars of the stand-up circuit.
King George’s Hall will once again be the main home for the festival, with Darwen’s Library Theatre also hosting a number of shows and the Thwaites Empire Theatre joining in the fun to celebrate its own 10th anniversary.
Among the highlights, which will see 19 different shows being performed under the festival banner, are two dates from Jimmy Carr and the return to stand-up for the first time since 1999 by TV favourite Alan Davies.
Jimmy Carr will be bringing his new show, Gagging Order, on Saturday, October 13 and again on Tuesday, November 20.The inaugural winner of the Lancashire Telegraph Award for the most popular performer of the festival, his shows are briliantly observed but not for the faint-hearted.
Over the past decade Alan Davies has established himself as a successful actor through dramas such as Jonathan Creek and a key panellist on the award-winning show QI.
But with Life is Pain, he is returning to stand-up and a format which saw him pick up various awards in the mid ’90s, plus a run in London’s West End.
Alan will play the main concert hall at King George’s Hall on Thursday, October 25.
Also lined up at King George’s Hall are Canadian Stewart Francis, winner of the funniest joke award at this year’s Edinburgh Festival; former teacher turned stand-up Kevin Precious and Paul Tonkinson who gets the festival underway on Thursday, October 4.
Other highlights include a return to Blackburn for the country’s leading musical comedy duo Frisky and Mannish, ‘old school comics Freddie Starr and Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown and the Lancashire Hotpots.
At Darwen there’s comedy with a Lancashire flavour from Norman Prince and Paul Johnston and the Houghton Weavers and Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis brings one of TV’s favourite comedy characters to the stage with An Evening with Boycie.
Once again the Lancashire Telegraph Award will be given to the best performance of the festival decided by a panel of judges and the votes of Telegraph readers.
King George’s Hall, Blackburn
Thursday, 4: Paul Tonkinson
Friday, 5: George’s Comedy Club
Saturday, 6: Freddie Starr
Saturday, 13: Jimmy Carr
Thursday, 25: Alan Davies
Thursday, 1 Kevin Precious
Friday, 2: George’s Comedy Club
Thursday, 8: Hairy Bikers
Friday, 9: Frisky and Mannish
Saturday, 10: Roy Chubby Brown
Saturday, 17: The Lancashire Hotpots
Darwen Library Theatre
Friday, 5: Norman Prince and Paul Johnston
Sunday, 14: An Evening with Boycie
Thursday, 22: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
Friday, 30: The Houghton Weavers
Saturday, 8: Gervase Phinn
Thwaites Empire Theatre
Sunday, 28: Jimmy Cricket
Contact: King George’s Hall box office 0844 847 1664; Darwen Library Theatre 01254 706006 or Thwaites Empire Theatre 01254 685500
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