THE Great Yorkshire Fringe in York has sprouted a winter offshoot, the Off The Wall Festival in the Gillygate Shed.

The same Gillygate Shed out the back at Brian Furey's pub – The Gillygate on Gillygate – that made its GYF debut in this year's summer festival and has since housed such delights as The Flanagan Collective's brace of Alexander Wright plays, Some Small Love Story and Fable.

Off The Wall will be on the menu from tomorrow until early New Year's morning for 17 events spanning comedy, music, magic, children's cinema, The Beatles on film, food on a plate, a Delightful Sausage and a festival-closing Gillygate Shed New Year's Eve Bash.

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The Delightful Sausage

As Gillygate and Bootham's businesses and traders gather as one association and prepare to rise anew as "The Fifth Quarter" of York from early next year, Irishman Brian Furey is playing his prominent part at The Gillygate, in this instance in tandem with Martin Witts, York resident, London and York arts shaker and maker and director of the Great Yorkshire Fringe.

Off The Wall will be presenting the likes of Glaswegian close-up magician Jerry Sadowitz and Canadian comic Tony Law. "Jerry and Tony both stayed here at The Gillygate during the summer festival and loved it, and historically, in my student days, this was the pub where I used to hang out when it was the Wagon and Horses and it always had a late licence!" says Martin, whose affection for Gillygate is undimmed.

"Everyone is behind what Martin and I are doing here because we both have a love for this street, and it's an independent street, so every penny matters here," says Brian, who is turning his back bar into the Fifth Quarter Traders Bar.

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Mr Tony Law

No doubt, Off The Wall will draw still more attention to Gillygate, with the focus on this occasion on the Gillygate Shed with its distinctive green flooring, all-important big heaters and a pop-up theatre design also seen at Martin's Jon Ronson: Psychopath Night event at the Central Methodist Church on November 11. The capacity for each Shed show bar one will be 130, rising to more than 200 for the New Year's Eve Bash spread across the pub.

Opening the festival will a big hitter of both the 2015 and 2016 Great Yorkshire Fringe, Mr Tony Law, with his 2016 tour show, A Law Undo His-elf What Welcome, tomorrow at 7pm and the promise of new material in a second gig on Saturday, again at seven.

In between, Law has another duty to perform on Saturday afternoon, as befits the host of a web show called In The Woods featuring Tony's Alsatian dog and his mother-in-law's Pomeranian. At 2pm, he will be judging the Off The Wall Christmas Dog Show in aid of the RSPCA York Animal Home; competition entry per dog is £2; admission to watch is free.

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Amy Gledhill, behind the beard

Harlequin Comedy will play host to four up-and-coming stand-ups in 9pm gigs tomorrow and Saturday, definitely featuring Amy Gledhill, the Yorkshire comic now living in Manchester and Dave Hardcastle, plus a couple more northern comedians each night.

The comedy will resume with Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show on Wednesday at 5pm and 7pm as John Hewer's tribute show returns to York direct from the Museum of Comedy, the London museum run by Cooper enthusiast and memorabilia collector Martin Witts. "We've licensed 18 of Tommy's working men's club scripts, and the York performances will in effect be the Christmas version of John's show," says Martin.

York Press: Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show

John Hewer in Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

Rahul Kohli's Newcastle Brown Male show offers a Geordie take on current affairs and the world today next Friday at 9pm after going down well in The Tea Pot in a late-night turn in the summer-fest en route to the Edinburgh Fringe.

The Great Yorkshire Fringe's pop-up Working Men's Club combines comedy, variety and music, darts, bingo and a meat raffle in an hour of booze, games and top turns where "ladies are welcome and southerners will be tolerated" on December 29 at 7pm, while Chris Cantrill, who researched The Northern Comedy Trail for display in Parliament Street in the summer, turns his attention to his own material in The Delightful Sausage on December 30 at 7pm. Expect interactive and very, very silly alternative comedy shenanigans.

Dave Hardcastle will be in action hosting The Gillygate Gong Show at 9pm that night when "the good, the bad and downright delusional" compete in a bid to beat the gong to survive five minutes on stage and win a place in the 2017 Great Yorkshire Fringe New Comedian final. "Come along and laugh, cheer and boo," says Martin. "Who wins? You decide!"

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Rahul Kohli: Geordie take on current affairs

Music plays a key part in Off The Wall too, led off by Daniel Cainer, brother of the late York astrologer Jonathan Cainer, presenting his Jewish-humoured show, Daniel Cainer's Gefilte Fishe & Chips, in a special Christmas edition of his stories in song for ten year olds and upwards on Monday at 8pm.

The Arts Barge Collective presents The Incredible Hammond Band in a night of the Sixties and Seventies sounds of Jimmy Smith, Booker T and Alan Hawkshaw on Tuesday at 7.30pm before leading the music and entertainment at the New Year's Eve Bash. Paul Lowman, from The Inkwell vinyl store in Gillygate, hosts the Turntable Take Over in A Soulful Christmas from 6pm on October 22. "Bring your own vinyl to play," says Paul.

The focus falls on films in two events on Sunday. Cinema@Afternoon presents this year's remake of The Jungle Book at 4pm and community cinema organiser John Beecroft hosts Cinema@Evening's Merry Christmas Beatle People! at 8pm, when a screening of A Hard Day's Night will be followed by a live set by Jonny And The Dune Bugs and Beecroft's compilation of rare footage from Beatles press conferences.

What of Mr Jerry Sadowitz, hardcore Glaswegian comedian and master of sleight-of-hand magic? You can see his close-up skills up closer than ever when he performs his magic and card tricks to a maximum of 70 people on December 23 from 7pm.

A family selection box of activities will be run every day of the festival from 10am to 4pm. For Off The Wall tickets, visit or phone 01904 500600.