Harpenden stages first Comedy Festival with Edinburgh Fringe previews

ELEVEN comedians will be taking to the stage of Harpenden Public Halls next week to preview their Edinburgh Festival shows.

The first-ever Harpenden Comedy Festival runs from next Tuesday, July 19, until Saturday, July 23 and among those appearing is comedy legend Barry Cryer performing his new show Butterfly Brain.

Barry, who has written for and performed with a host of comedy stars in his time from The Two Ronnies to Morecambe and Wise, will be taking his audience next Wednesday, July 20, on an alphabetical hypothetical journey from A-Z.

The week opens with a double header next Tuesday with newcomers Josh Widdicombe and Seann Walsh performing. Both have recently appeared on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Live at the Apollo.

On Thursday it will be the turn of the winner of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer in 2010, Roisin Conarty, and Chortle Student Comedian of the Year 2007, Tom Deacon – both rising stars of the UK comedy scene.

Next Friday is sketch night featuring new group Jigsaw, comprising Dan Antopolski, Nat Luurtsema and Tom Craine performing quirky, smart and silly sketches.

They are followed by Steve Hall, a member of We Are Klang who recently supported Russell Howard on his sell-out UK tour.

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Bringing the festival to a close next Saturday is Gareth Richards, Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee 2010, and Andy Salzman, who has been described as the Bob Monkhouse of political comedy.

Tickets and further information about the Harpenden Comedy Festival can be obtained from the box office on 01582 767525 or visit www.harpendenpublichalls.co.uk