Innes McQuillin

Last Stop Before Edinburgh 2014: the programme

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Image: Richard Todd

One venue, two days, a clutch of comedians. Silly Billies, the promoters behind Newcastle’s new Last Stop Before Edinburgh festival, like to keep things simple.

They’re not even asking people to put their hand in their pocket. It’s free. A bargain, considering the plethora of name performers appearing at The Cumberland Arms in Byker on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 July.

There are Edinburgh-bound acts aplenty here, as is bound to be the case given the festival’s close proximity to the Fringe, and they all have an alternative edge. Here’s the full programme…

Saturday 26 July

3-4pm: Staple/Face are… Going Down Fighting

Anarcho-brilliant sketch comedy. In 2013 Staple/face won an award proclaiming them to be the best sketch act ever (in 2013). This should have been a good thing, but instead it’s been nothing but terrible. Convinced that they now have to put on the best show ever, or risk being exposed as frauds, the pressure is on, but obviously there’s no way they’re going to pull it off because they’ve set themselves completely unrealistic and unachievable goals. At least they can be assured that they’ll be going down fighting. To that end they’ve bought a tank.

4.30-5.30pm: Thomas Ward and Richard Todd – Bridge Over Toddled Warder

Thomas Ward (“very funny” – The Stage, “Echoes of Emo Phillips” –Bruce Dessau, “Fine writing, evoking silly images and ideas” – Chortle) and Richard Todd (“Hilarious – Broadway Baby, “An inventive comedy thinker” – Chortle, “A smart surrealist” –The Independent) present an hour of delicious stand-up comedy.

6-7pm: Kristian D Kirklan associates present Big Society      

In this show Phil Marketing hopes to convey David Cameron’s vision and message of love to the citizens of Great Britain using nothing more than a microphone and a loop pedal.

7.30-8.30pm: Heavy Petting: Hammer Time      

Middlesbrough’s second-tallest sketch group return with sketches, jokes and a big bag of hammers. Shortlisted last year for Hat Trick comedy’s Short and Funnies award, Heavy Petting have written for Vic and Bob, Susan Calman and MC Hammer (that last one isn’t true). “Inventively absurd… lively and unique… exceptional acting… a severed human head.” ★★★★- Three Weeks (review which hit the nail on the head like a hammer would. We like hammers).

9-10pm: Sean Turner presents Comedy with a dyslexic Geordie

Sean Turner (Loaded Magazine Search for a Star Finalist 2013 and Kill for a Seat Northern heat winner), the dyslexic Geordie, brings you comedy from surreal to observational, an energetic show with a brooding North-Eastern mania.

Sunday 27 July

3-4pm: Al Greaves – The Music Al

Musical comedian Al Greaves (“Greaves is a sweetheart who will make you laugh and clap and grin without realising it” – The Skinny) has written a short musical about being the musical comedian Al Greaves. Expect songs about fear, dinosaurs and death.

4.30-5.30pm: Jonny Pelham and George Zach – Subtitles Not Included

Jonny Pelham (finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards) and George Zach (“this guy is really f***ing funny” – Tony Law) do 30 minutes of stand-up each.

6-7pm: Sean Morley – Diffident      

Cult stand-up unknown Sean Morley has developed a new solo-show for the Edinburgh Fringe. Diffident is a show about regret, atonement, dealing with past/place in the world and tricking corporate entities into having an official stance on the existence of ghosts. It is a show that recreates the feelings of being hugged by a recently bereaved window: unpredictable, emotionally charged and completely hysterical.

7.30-8.30pm: An Audience with Sir Dickie Benson

Join our nations finest living actor, Sir Richard ‘Dickie’ Benson, as he vivaciously recounts the many trials and tribulations of his career. ‘An Audience with Dickie Benson’ gives a rare glimpse of a life behind the scenes in a world of Film, Theatre and Television and the many struggles Dickie has faced with substance abuse, promiscuity, and the countless scandals that have almost destroyed his career.

9-10pm: Seymour Mace and guests

Idiots being stupid.

Last Stop Before Edinburgh, The Cumberland Arms, James Place Street, Byker, Newcastle, 26 & 27 July, FREE (with voluntary contribution).