Anthony King

Anthony King

LOLs to Newcastle

NE comedy festival revived

The Newcastle Comedy Festival is set to make a comeback after a year’s absence.

The event was canned last year after the 2004 festival, held in a giant marquee, was deemed a flop, with tickets overpriced and the venue too cold.

However, Warren Speed, who runs a string of Funny Bones venues in the North East decided to step in to rescue it.

And this year’s event, scheduled for October 18 to 22, will also include Gateshead, too.

Speed, right, said: ‘The 2006 festival is not planned to be a huge event, but is something we hope to grow over the years.  Everyone is very excited about bringing more laughter to the North East.’

He also vowed to take the festival back to its roots, staging it at established indoor venues. This was the way the festival was run before moving to the marquee, when it was y run by comedians Paul Sneddon and Dave Johns and staff at the Hyena Comedy Café.

 ‘We are returning to the original festival format that previously made it such a successful event,’ said Speed. ‘Taking the shows back inside and running them within several existing venues around Tyneside

‘Besides performances by many of the country’s finest stand-up comedians, the festival will also feature some comedy shows aimed primarily at younger children

‘We plan to run shows in four or five existing venues, over a five day period, although this might get extended if we get loads of interest. In 2007, we  hope to y expand the festival quite a bit.’

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The Leicester Comedy Festival has handed out awards to those who helped this year’s event to be such a success.

Almost 60,000 people attended more than 230 events over the ten day event, and at an awards ceremony this week the following accolades were handed out:

  • Best Established Venue: Leicester Haymarket
  • Best New Venue: Ale Wagon
  • Best Participatory Project: Teenage Kicks
  • Best Newcomer: Gujarati Comedy
  • Contribution To The 2006 Festival: Anthony King For Leicester Stands Up
  • Lifetime Contribution: Nick Carter, Richard Haswell, Gary Love & Asgoo Pirbhai
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Published: 28 Mar 2006

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