Massive line-up for Chippenham's big comedy festival

This Is Wiltshire: Wil Hodgson Wil Hodgson

Chippenham's second comedy festival begins next weekend with 17 comedians lined up for June 6 to 8.

The West Country will be showing off its own talents with James Dowdeswell, Cerys Nelmes and Tom Glover, while some, like Aussie Sarah Bennetto, will have travelled from further afield.

Some comics, such as Peter Buckley-Hill, Richard Sandling and Richard Herring, are making a welcome return to Chippenham.

Favourite Kate Smurthwaite will please the left-wing atheist feminists in the audience, while Andrew O’Neill, also no stranger to the town, will this time be talking about the history of the one thing he loves most in the world – heavy metal.

There are also plenty of firsts for Chippenham, such as Juliet Meyers and Caimh McDonnell, who have both written for The Sarah Millican Television Programme.

Festival organiser Wil Hodgson’s own slot, on Saturday at 7pm, will be the first time he has performed this year’s Fringe show in his hometown.

The comedian said: “If anyone wants to come and ask me for ideas, I’m happy to advise them on what they might like. The festival this year ties in with our usual monthly night on the Friday, which gives a good taste of what the club is about and is a double headliner for the same price of £5 – Angela Barnes and Sally Anne Hayward.”

Lisa Lewis, chief executive of the homelessness charity Doorway, said: “Go support your local comedy club. I highly recommend that you at least go and witness the local legend that is Wil. He makes me laugh so hard that I snort.”

The festival started out last year at The Three Crowns but this year has moved to the larger venue The Old Road Tavern, where tickets are available from behind the bar.

Show prices range from £4 to £7 (or by donation for Peter Buckley-Hill) and all 15 acts can be seen for £73.

Lindsey Miller, manager of the Old Road, said: “Tickets are selling nicely.

“With 17 incredible comedians billed, we would normally have to go to the Edinburgh Fringe to find this much quality in one place.”

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