OFF with his ‘Edliner! Comedian Ed Byrne will not top the Live At The Theatre Royal comedy bill in York on Thursday after all.
“We are sorry to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control, Ed Byrne is now unable to appear,” says the York Theatre Royal .
No Byrne’s night in York, but well equipped to take over at short notice is quip-witted pun-slinger Milton Jones.
The shock-haired, excitable-shirted absurdist with the quiver of arrow-sharp one-liners will be joined by Rhys James and Maisie Adam, introduced by lugubrious host Arthur Smith.
“If you have already booked your tickets, you do not need to do anything and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday,” says the box office. “If you need to contact us about your booking, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01904 623568 between 12 noon and 3pm. Our team will be happy to answer any questions and help in any way they can.”
To check ticket availability, go to yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
JULY I will be Ed Byrne’s night in York when the observational Southern Irish comedian headlines an all-star bill for the Live At The Theatre Royal Comedy Night.
Byrne, 49, from Swords, County Dublin, has presented the television shows Just For Laughs and Uncut! Best Unseen Ads and co-hosted BBC2’s The World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Dara And Ed’s Big Adventure and Dara And Ed’s Road To Mandalay with fellow Irish humorist Dara O Briain.
He is a regular guest on numerous television panel games, most notably Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You and has appeared on TV cooking shows, such as Comic Relief Bake Off 2015.
Byrne last played York in March 2018, presenting his Spoiler Alert tour show at the Grand Opera House, where he explored the thin line between righteous complaining and brattish whining as he asked: “Are we right to be fed up or are we spoiled?”
Joining Bryne will be Mock The Week’s whipsmart wordsmith Rhys James and Have I Got News For You panellist-in-lockdown Maisie Adam, who performed from her living room on the second Your Place Comedy bill with prankster Simon Brodkin last May, as part of the virtual home entertainment series organised by Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones in tandem with ten independent Yorkshire and Humber arts centres and theatres during lockdown.
July 1’s 7.30pm show will be hosted by legendary compere-beyond-compare Arthur Smith, the veteran gloomy weather-faced comedian and presenter from Bermondsey, London.
Tickets cost £20 at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or on 01904 623568.
NORTH Eastern comedian Sarah Millican will pop down to York Barbican for the first time since November 2018 for two nights of her 2021/2022 Bobby Dazzler tour next autumn.
Millican, 45, will play York on November 12 and 13 on her sixth international tour where “you’ll learn about what happens when your mouth seals shut, how to throw poo over a wall, trying to lose weight but only losing the tip of your finger, a surprisingly funny smear test, and how truly awful a floatation tank can be”.
Sarah says she has spent the past year writing jokes and growing her backside. “She can’t wait to get back on the road and make you laugh in her first return to York Barbican since her previous sell-out tour, Control Enthusiast,” her tour patter proclaims.
Last year, the South Shields comic began hosting the BBC Radio 4 comedy panel show Elephant In The Room, featuring panellists sharing their life experiences and testing who is closest and farthest from the national average.
Tickets for Sarah Millican: Bobby Dazzler go on sale tomorrow (27/11/2020) at 10am online only at yorkbarbican.co.uk.
THE comedy is over for the Great Yorkshire Fringe
after five summers in York, blaming “city-centre management” for the decision
to exit stage left.
In a formal statement, founder and director
Martin Witts said: “Our experience of sponsoring, curating and managing
an event in this small city of ours has led to the conclusion that until a
well-managed and efficient is implemented, a festival of our size cannot thrive
and does not have a place in York.”
Here Martin, who also runs the Leicester Square
Theatre and Museum of Comedy in London, answers Charles Hutchinson’s questions.
1.What made you take this decision, Martin?
“My patience with all the red tape ran out of time.
It was the same things every year, no matter what you try to do to address the
most critical things on the Parliament Street village green site. Access.
Drainage. The licence. Security. What we were required to do changed
“Right from the start, there were frustrations. We
wanted to start the festival in 2014, but it took a year to get the licence from
the city council for Parliament Street.”
2.What would constitute a “well-managed and
efficient city-centre management”?
of York Council, Make It York and York BID are all involved in how the city centre
is run. Everyone has great intentions, but there are too many chiefs, not
enough Indians, and it’s got too complicated. That’s the frustration.”
3.Sean Bullick, managing director of Make It York,
says he would “welcome the opportunity to discuss options with you to
bring the event back”. Will you have that discussion?
“I had a meeting with Sean and
Charlie Croft [assistant director of communities and culture at City of YorkCouncil] last year to say this needs to
be resolved, but we still had problems at last summer’s festival with the drainage
provision for the toilets.”
4. Last summer, some people said the ticket prices were high; some
reckoned the quality of the newer acts had lowered; others felt the same names
kept returning. Your thoughts?
“We had no complaints about the festival content or
the programming or the pricing. There were no negative comments from patrons on
our social media and in the box-office day book. Indeed, only positives. The
average ticket price remained the same.
“But there was a drop in audience numbers certainly,
when the Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, running at the same time at the Castle car
park, had an impact.”
5. Do festivals have a natural cycle, especially
when the fickle world of comedy is prone to “the new rock’n’roll” going in and
out of fashion?
“No, I disagree with that. Comedy always has a new
audience and new acts. You only have to see the popularity of the New Comedian of
the Year award we ran each year.
“Comedy is always changing, but people like to keep
seeing their favourite comedian too.”
6.Emotionally, how do you feel about calling a halt
to the Great Yorkshire Fringe after five years?
“I’m incredibly disappointed to be having to do this. You should see the messages I’ve had from the volunteers who worked for the Fringe saying it was the highlight of their career. It was the highlight of my career too.
“In an ideal world, if it had been easier, if there
wasn’t the problem of the structure of the city-centre management, we would
like to have continued the festival, but your patience runs out in the end when
you want things to run smoothly.”
7. What did you achieve?
”We were committed to running the festival for five years and you hope
that after those five years, you’ve covered your costs, broken even, and
established yourself, which we had – and we proved Parliament Street could be a
village green with shows and all the food and drink stalls.”
8. Would you consider taking the Great Yorkshire
Fringe to another great Yorkshire city?
“No, absolutely not. I’m not planning to move it to
Leeds. This festival was always designed for the city of York, the city where
my family is from. York is the capital city of Yorkshire; the second city of
9. You say you will “continue to invest in the
cultural scene of York”. In what ways will you do this?
“We’ll continue to do events in York, but not hold
the festival, but do them in the spirit of the Great Yorkshire Fringe. We’ll
probably have a year off but we’ll support The Arts Barge by doing a couple of
things with them in York this summer.”
10. What else is happening in the world of Witts right now?
“We’re opening a scenery workshop in Pocklington, and I’ve bought the contents of the Goole Waterways Museum after it went into liquidation. We might look at doing something with antiquities and artefacts there.”