The 2008 Newcastle Gateshead Comedy Festival is produced by top regional events and promotions company Growling Clown Entertainment. Company Director Warren Speed, is also responsible for running the highly succesful Funny Bones stand up comedy clubs in the North East, and after there was no comedy festival in the region in 2005, he stepped up to make sure it returned in October 2006. In agreement with the councils, there was no festival in 2007, as it has now been moved to the month of March, and it is hoped it will now return to prominence as one of the country's best comedy festivals - happening every year in March.
Says Warren "Comedy has been a major passion of mine for a long time now, and I feel privileged to be able to play such a central role in the return of the festival. Historically the Newcastle comedy festival was second only to the Edinburgh festival in terms of size and national awareness, and that's where I would eventually love us to get back to.
"With the close links between Newcastle and Gateshead now, we felt it appropriate to rename the event as the Newcastle Gateshead comedy festival, and we are particularly pleased that the prestigious SageGateshead and Northern Stage venues were both keen to get involved. It is also nice to have Newcastle City Hall involved which was built in 1927, along with a much newer and very different venue - the bistro and terrace bar As You Like It, which has a lovely function room ideal for smaller shows.
"As a born and bred North Easterner, who has lived in Newcastle for the last eighteen years, I know how much we love to laugh up here, and I hope all of the festival shows bring as much hilarity to the region as I expect they will.
"In 2008 we again have a large and diverse selection of top rated comedians, many of whom have international performing experience, and all of whom I am sure will do a fine job of entertaining their audiences.
"Let the laughter begin ......" (Warren Speed, November 2007)
Warren Speed (festival director and performer)
For more information on the festival email Warren at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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