York to host ten-day comedy and entertainment spectacular

Photomontage: YorkMix
5 Sep 2014 @ 2.26 pm
| News
Ready to put a smile on York’s face… the Great Yorkshire Fringe

great-yorkshire-fringe-logoYork will host a ten-day comedy and entertainment extravaganza next year with a festival to rival the Edinburgh Fringe.

Well known comedians and fantastic family entertainment are promised as York city centre hosts The Great Yorkshire Fringe.

The brainchild of a successful West End impresario, the event will take place between July 24 and August 2 2015 and will see the city’s streets transformed into vibrant and exciting performance spaces.

Founded by Martin Witts, The Great Yorkshire Fringe will see London’s Leicester Square Theatre and the newly-opened Museum Of Comedy host a range of well-known acts and shows.

Announcing the news on Friday (September 5) he said there will be multiple stages and plenty of entertainment for young and old alike. There will also be a Yorkshire tent, promoting plenty of homegrown talent.

A key summer event

Anne Taylor, spokesperson for the Great Yorkshire Fringe, said: “This festival will become a key summer event in York’s entertainment calendar, bringing the best in comedy, cabaret, theatre and music to Yorkshire.

“The festival will engage residents and visitors alike, supporting local businesses and encouraging tourism for the wider area.”

Martin Witts, who has long time links with York, said: “The festival will be a great reason for people to visit the beautiful city of York and its many attractions, whether to take in a show or simply soak up the atmosphere and visit some of the great places to eat and drink.

“We’ll be making act announcements with tickets on sale in November, so people can sign up to alerts, or follow us on social media to find out first!”


Mr Comedy

The man behind it… Martin Witts. Photograph: Steve Ullathorne
The man behind it all: Martin Witts. Photograph: Steve Ullathorne

Martin Witts reopened the Leicester Square Theatre with Lesley Ackland in August 2008. The first performer was the late comedienne Joan Rivers who played a 12-week run.

It soon established itself as one of London’s foremost comedy venues.

Stars to play there read like a who’s who of comedy: Bill Bailey, Michael McIntrye, Joan Rivers, Roseanne Barr, Sandra Bernhard, Mark Little, Julian Clary, Russell Howard, Richard Herring and Stuart Lee, among others.

Martin went on to found the Museum Of Comedy in London earlier this year.

It has more than 6,000 artefacts from British comedy history alongside a 100 seat performance space.

Memorabilia on display include both the Two Ronnies’ spectacles, Charlie Chaplin’s cane and Tommy Cooper’s handmade props.

Martin has long links with York, working as a carpenter and stage hand at York Theatre Royal between 1983 and 1985.


  Sign up for more details at the Great Yorkshire Fringe website

  Follow the fringe on Facebook or @yorkfringe on Twitter

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