You’re having a laugh….
There’s no doubt that the Edinburgh Fringe really is the place to check out some brilliant – and some not-so-much – newcomers in comedy as well as play it safer with some of the established names off the telly. But, really, who wants to wait until August?
Get Stuffed, based at Tring’s Court Theatre and staging comedy nights there and at other local venues, have been pulling in some serious names – Arthur Smith, Henning When, Shappi Korsandi, Jo Caufield, that sort of name – at the Tringe (gettit?) Festival for six years now.
But the Tringe isn’t until June – oh, why do you make me wait so? – so they’ve decided to whet your comedy appetite with the Berkomedy Festival, based in (3 guesses!) Berkhamsted.
Lots of up-and-coming comedians (try saying that three times fast after a slug of Sauv Blanc) are right here, performing in the Kings Arms’ Greene Room upstairs – which definitely comes under the heading ‘intimate’ when it comes to venues. The comedians are here warming up for the summer comedy circuit – the Fringe and so on – so it’s your chance to hear it first. And with three acts a night, you run a pretty good chance that, next year, you can be bragging that you saw so-and-so before he or she was famous….
Some you might already recognise. If you have kids of the right vintage, Iain Stirling – that cheeky chappie from CBBC – is in town on 4 March, although now sporting a rather grown-up beard. And if you watch any sort of panel shows on the telly, Rob Beckett will ring a bell.
Tring isn’t slacking, though, while Berkhamsted has all the fun. Get Stuffed are busy filling the Court Theatre full of names you definitely will recognise throughout March – getting stuffed and warmed up for the Tringe, and that will be getting you warmed up for Edinburgh. (Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?) I can’t quite believe my luck – bad, not to have got tickets before Jeremy Hardy sold out, and good, living in an area that attracts such a varied cast of quality comedians. Nicholas flippin’ Parsons is coming, for heaven’s sake. I mean, I know he’s not exactly cutting edge but… Nicholas Parsons. In Tring.
So, have you heard the one about the blogger and the…. No, perhaps not. Best leave it the pros, I think.