Andrew Dipper

Jesterval Comedy Festival: 2013 line-up

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Jesterval Comedy Festival is to make a return this autumn – in a 350-seater marquee on Gateshead’s quayside.

Comprising 24 shows over five days, this year’s festival will take place in Baltic Square, at the heart of the Gateshead Quays development.

The festival will open with a show from Lost Voice Guy on Thursday 3 October and continue until Monday 7 October.

And Mock The Week regular Ed Byrne, Marcus Brigstocke, Terry Alderton and Andrew Maxwell are some of the stand-out names in the programme, released online today.

According to the festival website, ticket prices range from £3 to £15.

However most are just £5 – with shows from Patrick Monahan, Simon Donald, Barry Castagnola, Tom Binns, Luisa Omeilan, Joanne Neary, Carey Marx, Gordon Southern and Hebburn creator Jason Cook.

Cook will also take part in a Geordie comedy gala on Friday 4 October, featuring the likes of Bobby Pattinson, Seymour Mace and Steffen Peddie.

There are free shows from Peddie, Andy Fury and George Zach too as they preview material ahead of the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe.

For these shows there is no door charge, but you can pay what you feel the comic is worth at the end.

The move to Baltic Square is a bold departure for the festival, which has, in previous years, ran in pubs and theatres across Tyneside.

Gateshead Town Hall, The Sage, The Stand, The Cluny, The Hyena and the Live Theatre collectively hosted the 2012 festival.

But organisers Della Haq and Dave Hadingham say the move to a neutral site is key to securing Jesterval’s long-term future.

“This year we’re taking Jesterval into its own space [on the Gateshead Quays]”, Haq said.

“It’ll enable us to develop the festival independent of venues, giving us greater flexibility to book high profile acts in the future.

“We are grateful to all of the venues that have helped us stage the festival over the years – without them we wouldn’t have got this far.”

The pair also revealed that plans are already in place for next year’s festival.

Giggle Beats understands that Jesterval 2014 will feature comedians who would normally play the North East’s flagship theatres.

“We have already started to make plans for next year,” Haq said.

“We intend to expand so that we can accommodate the larger audiences that the acts we have booked for next year will command.”

Newcastle’s two comedy venues, The Stand and The Hyena, are amongst the sponsors for this year’s festival.

Tickets are on sale now.

Jesterval Comedy Festival takes place 3-7 October at Baltic Square, Gateshead. Click for Jesterval tickets.