YORK comedy promoter Daniel Triscott is to host a series of Edinburgh Fringe previews at the Duke of York pub in King's Square, York.
First up, on April 4, will be a "headline full-preview act", Tom Little, and a "half-preview support act", Jake Donaldson, who will not actually be going to Scotland this summer, but more of that in a moment.
Here's Daniel's reasoning behind mounting his preview season. "I did vaguely have one Edinburgh preview show last year and I certainly saw a lot of potential in the idea," he says. "So this year I've put in a lot of effort in getting together some of the best unknown/unsung acts on the circuit to preview the show they're taking up this year.
"Normally The Duke's Comedy Night is on the third Tuesday of each month and for the preview shows this is still the case, but with the added bonus that there's also going to be a show on the first Tuesday as well to bring as much fantastic free comedy to the fine people of York as possible."
The structure of a Duke's Comedy Night is usually five acts, two in the first section, three in the second. "But for the Edinburgh preview shows I've booked in two acts for the night, where the support act does a 30-minute 'half preview', then the second section has a full-hour preview from the headliner," says Daniel.
"This way I keep the timing similar to the normal structure, which maintains the same rhythm and flow of The Duke's Comedy Night, and with two acts there's a sense of variety and interest that's really important in making sure the audience are entertained throughout."
Introducing part one of the April 4 double bill, Daniel says: "Jake Donaldson has been on at The Duke's a couple of time, very successfully, and has done the Edinburgh festival with a show of his own on multiple occasions, so I'm absolutely sure he's gonna open the show to the audience's delight with his Awake show."
Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, Donaldson will not be in Edinburgh in August. "But I wrote a show and by gum I'm going to perform it somewhere!" he says. In that show, he asks: "Have you ever been to a funeral and thought, 'well, this is a bit miserable; what this party really needs is a teenage magician with acne and a poor Gandalf costume?'. Well, then you're in luck (and you probably need to get some perspective...). Awake is a stand-up show that explores death, grieving, and the afterlife through a stupid story about an idiot who went on to be a stand-up. May contain nuts."
Salford stand-up Tom Little has gigged with Triscott on a couple of occasions. "He's always impressed me with his distinctive and brilliant style of offbeat delivery and in-depth mind for comedy," says Daniel. Expect a show containing material on "failure, geese and Sonic the Hedgehog, in that order, and other stuff as well".
"It may sound arrogant but I honestly think the level of talent I'm gonna bring to The Duke's for the preview season is terrific: comedians with full-on national awards to their names gigging at pro nights all over the country," says Daniel.
"It'll still start at 8pm and be hosted by me as per usual and entry is still completely free as I really do like the idea of offering this up for people as a gift to show that free-entry nights are actually worth something and can be brilliant.
"For the Edinburgh previews, there'll be a bucket collection for donations from the audience at the end, a la Edinburgh, as it costs a lot for some of these comedians to get here and I'd like to help them out with hopefully help from the audience. But really a bucket collection is a reflection of people enjoying themselves to be generous and kind, so there's absolutely no expectation on anyone to have to give.
"I fully expect these shows to be some of the best and I'd encourage as many people as possible to come down to see them."