Matt FordeNorth East comedy lovers can get a taste of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival this July right on their doorstep – and for a fraction of festival prices.

On Saturday 16 July Funny Way to Be Comedy Club, which takes place at The Witham, Barnard Castle, will host four 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, with tickets a fraction of their usual festival cost. Tickets for individual shows start at just £5, with an option to get priority entry to all four shows for just £18.

5pmSofie Hagen: Work In Progress (£5)
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. Sharp wit, fierce barbs and engagingly told stories of heartbreak and teenage rebellion aplenty.

6.30pmJustin Moorhouse: People and Feelings (£5)

A regular on shows such as Live at the Apollo, Phoenix Nights and Coronation Street, Justin Moorhouse is back with People and Feelings 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.

8pmJo Caulfield: Disappointed In You (£6)

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.

9.30pm – Matt Forde: It’s My Political Party (and I’ll Cry if I Want to) (£6)

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, The Royal Variety Performance 2015 and Russell Howard’s Good News. He also starred alongside Jon Richardson in Channel 4’s Jon Richardson Grows Up.

Following the UK’s most important referendum until the next one, Matt Forde celebrates why it’s great/awful that we’re in/out of the EU/UK/NATO and whatever the hell happens next.

Peter Dixon, of Funny Way To Be Comedy Club, said: “This weekend last year we produced the first Comedy Festival in Barnard Castle.  This year we have limited the day to four acts, but we have hand-picked four of the very best.  They are award winners, headliners and top touring comedians.

“It is a real thrill to have them perform in Barnard Castle on the same day.  We have made it easy to pick and choose which combination of shows you can come to or you can see them all for a budget priced priority day pass.”

Shows are priced individually from £5.00, or pick up a priority-access day pass for £18.00. All tickets are available from funnywaytobe.com.