The hugely popular Harrogate Comedy Festival ends this weekend with the traditional Hyena Lounge Comedy Gala at Harrogate Theatre.
Harrogate audiences will already know how great the festival is. But what does a nationally-known, award-winning stand-up make of it?
Fortunately Harrogate has one of those - Maisie Adam.
Here she reports back on what she found for the Harrogate Advertiser...
"As a comedian born and raised in Harrogate, I was set on absorbing as much of this year’s Harrogate Comedy Festival festival as possible, seeing established acts as well as some new faces.
Monday evening let me do just that; whilst Jason Manford kicked off the festival’s impressive programme in Harrogate Theatre’s main house, the Studio Theatre was buzzing with anticipation for the first heat of the Harrogate New Comedian of the Year competition.
Owing most of my recent successes to new act competitions, it was wonderful to see my hometown championing and encouraging such exciting new talents.
Tuesday evening brought the excellent Shappi Khorsandi, with her Edinburgh show ‘Mistress & Misfit’.
I was immediately reminded why she is such a household favourite.
Her observations of - and interactions with - her audience (including a hilarious anecdote from her last visit to Harrogate in which she had a very eventful evening in the Blues Bar) was a masterclass in the spontaneous, non-scripted wit that only the very best comedians possess.
Her show focuses on the life of Emma Hamilton (Lord Nelson’s mistress) - a niche subject, but Shappi’s intelligence and sensitivity drew everyone in as she made hilarious parallels between Hamilton’s life and her own.
On Thursday, I found myself back in the Studio Theatre for Ed Gamble’s show, Mammoth. A regular face on Mock The Week, Gamble has gained a huge following over the last few years and, with this show, it’s easy to see why.
Mammoth is anecdotal comedy at its best; Ed is an excellent storyteller and Harrogate were hanging on his every word, before being sent into hysterics (literally, the lady sat in front of me let out a high-pitched “I can’t breathe!” during a fit of giggles).
My week was rounded off by opening for Bec Hill & Sarah Kendall (two brilliant comics who I’ve admired for some time) on Sunday evening.
Having been in the Youth Theatre as a youngster, it was a very special feeling to be stood on the stage in the main house, closing the first week of an exceptional comedy festival.
Bring on next year!
The ninth Harrogate Comedy Festival runs at Harrogate Theatre and the Royal Hall until October 14.
Remaining shows include:
Dan Simpson: Artificial Ineloquence (October 13), Paul Chowdhry: Live Innit (October 13) and Hyena Comedy Lounge Closing Weekend Gala Night (October 14)