Nic Wright

Funny Way To Be announce summer season shows

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Teesdale comedy club Funny Way To Be has announced its summer programme for 2016.

The club, which takes places at The Witham Arts Centre, Barnard Castle, will host three evenings of comedy, featuring seven of the country’s top comics, throughout the season.

The programme kicks off with Gyles Brandreth: Word Power! on Saturday 2 July.

Word Power! sees Edinburgh Fringe Award winner Brandreth take his audience on an uproarious and unexpected magic carpet ride around the awesome world of words.

Whether it’s global domination you’re after – or simply getting some nookie on a Friday night – you need the right words to get the right results, and Brandreth just the man to show you how to wield them, in hilarious and typically engaging fashion.

A well-loved wit, Brandreth’s qualifications for the role as chief comedy word-wizard are second to none; a former Oxford Scholar, MP, Government Whip, Just A Minute regular, and One Show reporter, he has also appeared on QI, Have I Got News For You, Room 101, The IT Crowd, Pointless and Countdown.

On Saturday 16 July the club will host shows from four outstanding comics in one evening with its Edinburgh Festival Preview Day.

An evening jam-packed with top quality comedy, the Preview Day will see four full one-hour preview shows from comics ahead of their Edinburgh Festival runs, beginning with Sofie Hagen: Work In Progress.

Winner of last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, and 2014’s Chortle Best Newcomer Award, Copenhagen-born Sofie Hagen is back with the follow up to her award-winning show Bubblewrap.

Hagen will be followed by Justin Moorhouse: People and Feelings. A regular on shows such as Live at the Apollo, Phoenix Nights and Coronation Street, Justin Moorhouse is back with his People and Feelings tour and it promises to be better than ever. He’s been having a think about people. And feelings. About people Justin knows, their feelings and how he feels about them. And they about him. It’ll be a (very) funny show. Promise.

Jo Caulfield will also appear with her new show Disappointed In You. Making a welcome return to Barnard Castle, TV and radio star Jo Caulfield is “one of the finest female comics at work” (The Observer). Caulfield is a regular guest on Mock The Week Have I Got News For You and Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

From dating, relationships and divorce, to things that should be simple, straightforward and fun (like booking a holiday or joining a pub quiz team) – everything has the potential to turn into a massive argument and a major disappointment.

The night will culminate with Matt Forde: Work In Progress. Matt Forde is one of the country’s most in-demand satirists appearing on Have I Got News For You, 8 out of 10 Cats, Question Time, This Week and Russell Howard’s Good News. He also starred alongside Jon Richardson in Channel 4’s Jon Richardson Grows Up.

Shows start at 5pm and are priced individually between £5-6 – or £18.00 for a priority day pass.

Saturday 30 July will see two rising stars of the UK comedy circuit bring their new shows to Barnard Castle. Steve Bugeja and Hayley Ellis will each perform their second full length Edinburgh show in this pre-festival double bill.

Fresh from supporting Russell Kane on his national tour, this is your chance to catch the highly-anticipated new show from BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2013 winner Bugeja.

In October 2013 Steve was picked for Radio 4’s ‘Fresh From The Fringe’, He returned in 2014 to perform as part of the Fringe’s longest-running showcases, The Comedy Zone and returned to the Fringe in 2015 with his debut solo show.

Manchester comedian and former regular contributor to XFM’s breakfast show, Hayley Ellis has gone from strength to strength since she began performing in April 2009.

A regular MC at gigs around the country, Hayley’s natural warmth and girl-next-door charm make her impossible to dislike, something which has become evident in her success in new act competitions throughout the UK.

Peter Dixon, of Funny Way To Be Comedy Club, said: “The summer is always an exciting time for comedy, leading up to the Edinburgh Festival in August. This year we have one of the UK’s best-loved personalities in the form of Gyles Brandreth, presenting a very funny show on a subject on which he is an expert.

“On top of that we have six of the finest UK comics presenting their brand new shows at a fraction of the price you would pay in Edinburgh. We’ve also put together a series of discount tickets, if you see more than one show, the details of which are available on the web site.”

Tickets for all shows are available now from