THE line-up of more than 100 shows in ten days is in place for the inaugural Great Yorkshire Fringe in York next month.

Paul Merton (and His Impro Chums), Reginald D. Hunter, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Stand Up For The Week host Paul Chowdhry are joining German Henning Wehn and very English Al Murray’s Pub Landlord as the star attractions at the festival of the weird, the wise and the witty from July 24 to August 2.

Founder Martin Witts, once a member of York Theatre Royal backstage crew before London beckoned, says: “I’m delighted at the calibre of the comedy stars we’ve signed up to entertain the city of York this summer. These are all superstars who have performed at our West End venue, Leicester Square Theatre, and are among the biggest names in the business.

“But we still have a few last-minute surprises to spring. We’ll be announcing other great names right up to the last minute, so keep checking The Great Yorkshire Fringe on Facebook and Twitter!”

International talent, from children’s theatre to cabaret, magic shows to burlesque, variety acts to music, will participate in the event, for which Parliament Street will be turned into an Astro-turfed village green a quarter of a mile in length. Performances will take place in two mirrored Spiegel tents, renamed The White Rose Rotunda and The Turn Pot, plus a newly commissioned performance space, The Tea Pot, as well as on the green.

Among the other highlights will be two shows a day for tiny tots with Stick Man – Live on Stage, and a family show by Japanese techno sensations Siro-A, featuring visual effects, mime, dance, comedy, music, magic, puppetry and audience participation.

Dozens of cabaret shows are lined up, among them the drag comedy musical extravaganza Margaret Thatcher, Queen Of Soho and The Supreme Fabulettes, plus variety acts, musicals and music, magicians West End Magic and Morgan & West, and magic workshops and theatre in the form of One Man Breaking Bad. Direct from the London jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s musical director and his All Stars will take to the stage to celebrate The Ronnie Scott’s Story.

More than 100 entrants have registered already to take part in The Great Yorkshire Fringe New Comedian of the Year. Heats will run every night at 5.30pm in the Tea Pot, culminating in the final on the last day. The winner will receive the Golden Pudding Award and £500 in cash and will be booked to perform at the Leicester Square Theatre.

Yorkshire Day, August 1, will be celebrated with The Great Yorkshire Fringe Podcast featuring The Goodies’ Tim Brooke-Taylor in conversation. In 1967, Brooke-Taylor and his At Last The 1948 Show co-stars, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman, wrote The Four Yorkshiremen sketch that has since passed into comedy folklore. The sketch will be re-created live on stage with some very special guest stars, no names, no pack drill, but let’s just say a certain dame could be participating.

Full festival listings can be found at Tickets are on sale by calling 01904 500600.

You can follow The Great Yorkshire Fringe at and on using the hashtag #funnyasowt