THE Great Yorkshire Fringe brings the documentary of an iconic American comedian to a tent in Parliament Street, York, on Monday to raise funds for a plaque at the birthplace of Frankie Howerd.

Screened in the White Rose Rotunda at 8pm, American: The Bill Hicks Story (15) is an exuberant celebration of the short life of a brash and fearless comic who died of cancer in 1994 aged 32.

Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas's 2010 documentary "opens up new portals of thought towards freedom of speech and what it means to be an American, while showcasing the work of a sorely missed icon of alternative culture".

Fringe festival director Martin Witts says: “Bill Hicks and Frankie Howerd were very different characters, but each very challenging in their own way. It’s interesting to bring them together in York and to start to develop a partnership with City Screen for the future.”

The Great Yorkshire Fringe is committed to three years in Parliament Street with the possibility of two more and the festival has plans for expansion, prompting City Screen marketing manager Dave Taylor to say: "We’re pleased to be working with The Great Yorkshire Fringe and expect the festival to grow next year.

"City Screen is contributing a fringe-of-fringe Wozzon Comedy Club show in The Basement tomorrow at 7.30pm, but next year there will be more. This year’s fundraising for the Frankie Howerd Memorial Plaque to be erected in Hartoft Street, where he was born, is a nice gesture and a welcome contribution from The Great Yorkshire Fringe.”

Film tickets cost £5 at, on 01904 500600 or from the Parliament Street box office; Wozzon Comedy Club,