THE Henley Fringe and Film Festival’s organisers are to launch a short programme of comedy shows next week.
In February, founder Jo Southwell announced that this year’s event would take place on September 5 and 6 and focus exclusively on film.
It usually involves several dozen live performances towards the end of July, but on this occasion several funding applications fell through.
However, she has now arranged a reduced series of performances beginning with a sold-out stand-up night on Hobbs of Henley’s cruiser the
New Orleans on Tuesday.
This will be followed on Thursday by two comedy evenings at Henley Rugby Club at Dry Leas off Marlow Road.
The first features character comedian Sophie Pelham, who has starred in the BBC’s
Reggie Perrin and recently appeared at the Edinburgh Festival.
She will appear in a variety of guises including the UKIP-supporting Lord Ponsonby, retired model Sulky Waterboat, and alcoholic do-gooder Vanessa the Undresser.
Pelham will be followed by The Jest, a quintet who perform “dark and subversive” observational sketches.
The rugby club will also host two shows by sketch comedy quartet Mixed Doubles on the Friday and Saturday nights. Influenced by such classic sketch shows as
Not The Nine O’Clock News and
Smack The Pony, the troupe have been featured on Radio 4 and also appeared at Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, the main film festival comprises three screenings of short films at the Regal Picturehouse cinema in Boroma Way, Henley.
They include Venkat Krishnan’s
Butterfly Dreams, which looks at child labour in India, and 9/11 drama
Then and Now.
There will also be a preview screening of British director Neil Mcenery-West’s debut
Containment, which stars actor Gabriel Senior, 15, of Sonning Common.
It tells the story of a group of people who are trying to survive after the outbreak of a mystery virus.
Mrs Southwell, who is currently shooting her own feature film, said: “We had such a lot of emails from performers and audience-goers that we have created a comedy Fringe.
“I would ask everyone to support our events this year so that we can come back next July with another jam-packed Henley Fringe.”
For show times and bookings, visit www.henleyfringe.org or call (01491) 578631 or 07974 793342.