Fringe benefits for first comedy festival

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Yorkshire has found a quirky answer to the Edinburgh Fringe with the new Halifax Comedy Festival.

Running from October 23 to 31 across 14 different venues, the festival features 12 top picks from this year’s Fringe as well as its own strand of uniquely programmed events.

Highlights include the Edinburgh Express series, which sees two of the best up-and-coming comedians from the Fringe perform side-by-side. Taking place throughout the week and at a range of Halifax venues, the shows represent good value at only £12 to £15 each (significant multi-buy discounts are available) and feature the comic talents of Andrew Doyle, Angela Barnes, Joel Dommett, Suzi Ruffell and Charlie Baker.

Aside from Edinburgh Express, audiences can catch Fringe favourites The Noise Next Door and children can get in on the action with the acclaimed adaptation of Anthony Horowitz’s ‘The Falcon’s Malteser’, which featured in The Guardian’s Top 10 family picks.

The Halifax Comedy Festival has also commissioned its own fringe events including Hidden Theatre – produced in conjunction with Staffordshire University Drama Department. Actors will lead a select yet adventurous audience through a variety of secret locations. Performances take place on Wednesday, October 28, and Thursday, October 29, at 1pm and 5.30pm each day.

Tony Vino, who is both performing and running shows at the festival, said: “During the Fringe, the whole city is alive with the buzz of creativity, laughter and desperation - and comedy festivals in other towns and cities like Southport, Manchester, Buxton and Leicester have a similar feel of expectation.

“With the varied spread of top comedy stars we are bringing to Halifax this year it is a festival the town can be proud of.”

Festival director Tim Fagan said: “For many years Halifax has been hosting and producing top notch comedy in a wide range of venues, and the idea of a Comedy Festival provided an exciting way of bringing together the energy, passion, skills and resources of the town together. So if you couldn’t make it north of the border then Halifax is the next best place to come to see these new shows.”

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Top Picks:

l Edinburgh Express with Joel Dommett and Angela Barnes, Arden Road Social Club, Saturday Oct 24, 8pm.

l Edinburgh Express with James & Seaburn and Dan Nicholas, The Workshop, Sunday Oct 25, 2pm.

l The Noise Next Door, The Wellington Rooms, Monday Oct 26, 8pm.

l Edinburgh Express with Phil Jerrod and Marlon Davis, The Shay, Monday Oct 26, 8.30pm.