RUSSELL Kane, Sean Hughes and Arthur Smith were this week confirmed as some of the big name acts to play at Tring’s Comedy Festival in July.
This year the not-for-profit event also features two weeks of family shows and a performance by 90s band Dodgy.
Festival founder Ben Moorhouse said: “It is very well established in the comedy world, but ironically the numbers of people coming to the shows from Tring is relatively small. A lot of people come from outside. The legacy for Tring is that it boosts tourism and gets people spending money in the bars and restaurants.”
Last year the comedy events attracted roughly 6,000 people and the family shows 2,000. The festival raised £6,000 for charity.
Mr Moorhouse set up the Get Stuffed Comedy Club in Tring after his first charity-comedy night proved a success. Since then the event has continued to grow and last year earnt the tag ‘the seventh largest comedy festival in the world’.
The 2012 Tringe Comedy Festival is being marketed as ‘Olympic sized comedy. “It was that or the diamond of all festivals,” jokes Mr Moorhouse referring to the Queen’s Jubilee.
This year’s festival will feature more than 50 performances over 21 nights.
Established comedians Arthur Smith and Dominic Holland will also take part in the festival’s Roving Night, performing in pubs across the town alongside aspiring comedians (marketed as 20 comedians for £6 and that includes a free drink!)
The up and coming comedians are all being trained by comedy coach Logan Murray and a TV company is currently in talks with The Tringe to make a programme following their journey.
This year family audiences will be able to catch shows including Little Howard, Horrible Histories and Horrible Science.
Mr Moorhouse, who is a festival volunteer, describes himself as ‘a family man’ and believes the child-friendly events are now an important part of The Tringe.
He said: “The families love it and the schools love it, so I’m persuaded to keep it carrying on.”
Tickets sales from the comedy shows help to offset the cost of putting on the family performances, which are more expensive to stage because the performers are paid the full rate. The comedians are paid a reduced rate, because they use the experience as a warm up for their Edinburgh shows.
> This year’s Tringe Comedy Festival runs July 1-21. For more details visit www.get-stuffed.biz
There is also comedy tonight at the Aristocrat Pub in Aylesbury at 8pm, organised by Aylesbury’s Peter Purvis.
He said: “This will be the second night and the first one was rammed and a sell-out.
“I have a pro compere Ronnie Rigsby.
Our pro headliner is Shelley Bridgman who appeared on BBC Radio 4 Midweek in February after winning Silver Comedian 2012 at Dave Leicester Comedy festival. She lives in Penn.
“I also have on the bill up and coming talent. Last time I had four of last year’s Tringe Rovers on the bill, including two very local folks. This time I have four.”