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THE second edition of Stockton’s principal new music and comedy festival is just weeks away – with an even busier line-up.

Taking place from Wednesday, May 30, until Saturday, June 2, there will be a range of exciting free and ticketed events.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “Stockton Stages proved incredibly popular last year so we are thrilled to be able to accommodate it in our busy events schedule again.

“An array of comedy and musical talent is sure to entertain the crowds at some of the town’s most impressive venues, as well as on our famous High Street.”

Here’s the low-down on some of the best shows on offer.

The Wildcats of Kilkenny Family Knees Up: Friday, June 1, 2pm – 7pm 

The High Street will be a buzz of excitement as a free family friendly afternoon of entertainment kicks the weekend off with a bang. Apollo Arts will be offering arts, crafts, circus and music workshops, and Urban Kaos will provide the ultimate family disco. Then join Wildcats front man Mike McGrother as The Wildcats of Kilkenny bring us their Family Knees Up – a finale the audience are invited to star in. Choirs, drummers, brass, dancers… this is going to showcase Stockton at its finest!

Live family comedy: Saturday, June 2, 10:30am – 3pm

A selection of the best family comedy acts from the national circuit will take centre stage in the High Street Marquee.

Howard Read rose to CBBC fame as Little Howard and on The Slammer, while the regular host of Comedy Club 4 Kids, Tiernan Douieb, is also a favourite with the children. Paul Duncan McGarrity is the UK’s foremost stand-up comedian archaeologist, and Chris Betts has received numerous plaudits for his sharp material and relaxed stage presence.

Live music: Saturday, June 2, 4pm – 10.30pm

Stockton Stages is spoiling you with a night of free live music in the High Street Marquee. With a range of musical genres to enjoy, there’s something for everyone!

Here’s the line-up:

  • A tribute to The Commitments: 4pm – 4.45pm
  • Big Red and The Grinners: 5.15pm – 6.10pm
  • Bare Brass Band: 6.30pm – 7.30pm
  • Funk Collective: 7.50pm – 8.50pm
  • Counterfeit Beatles: 9.20pm – 10.20pm

Mike McGrother presents ‘Raise a Glass’: Saturday, June 2, time TBC

ARC will be the perfect venue for Mike McGrother’s ‘Raise a Glass’ show. With live band, Infant Hercules Choir, he will bring the audience stories of Teesside’s community through a musical theatre experience featuring ‘Voice of Big Brother’ Marcus Bentley. The ‘pay what you decide’ show is guaranteed to produce tears of laughter and emotion in equal measure.

Satellite Stages: Saturday, June 2, 10.30am – 3.30pm

Visitors will be treated to an array of artists popping up around the town centre.

Listed venues include ARC, The Storytellers, The Georgian Theatre, Wellington Square and Castlegate. Artists to look out for include musicians Marc Oliver, Ellis Rayner and The Covers Club.

For the full line-up and more information visit www.stocktonstages.co.uk

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