Wow, it’s barely even April – am I really already writing a preview for the Fringe? That’s ladies and gents, Tickets have already gone on sale for August Festival shows taking place at the Stand – probably the première venue for comedy in the UK. Jumping the gun by quite a significant margin this year it seems only right to approach these shows now while the digital ink of their announcement is still fresh – and some of these shows are likely to be sold out soon, so well worth getting in there while you still can! Big Names As usual, The Stand will play host to some of the most well respected names in comedy. Top of the list this year, as with most, will be Stewart Lee’s “Much a-Stew About Nothing” which will be working on material for Series 3 of his Comedy Vehicle, while his former double-act partner Richard Herring will once again be hosting his daily podcast from the venue. Simon Munnery returns from his curious and genre defining show last year “Fylm-Maker” with what one can only assume is the more; last year’s attempts to use live video as part of his performance was a delightful experiment in a new medium which, although still genuinely brilliant, felt like a peek into a genius trying to work out what they can do with a new toy; like an alchemist carefully measuring comedy and art there might never be the guaranteed outcome, but it will always be worth being part of just in case. Alexei Sayle, who you should recognise as the landlord from the Young Ones if nothing else, is the act this year returning from years in the comedy wilderness with his first, and much anticipated, full length stand-up hour in 17 years. Tony Law too is now a big name among those in the know, and fast becoming a recognised face from bits of TV – and is easily deserving a position alongside these greats. Future Brilliance Local Acts Newer Names Katie Mulgrew and Tony Jameson both debut (I think) with shows this year, and are already regular hosts and acts at the Stand throughout the year – and important members of their recently launched Newcastle branch. Jameson’s premise this year, the equally agonising and joyous experience of Championship Manager, has already struck a chord with audiences, selling out at the Glasgow Comedy Festival, and is likely to perform equally well; I’ve not, but he is a very. Similarly, Mulgrew’s stage presence is always at home with audiences
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