Thorner Comedy Fest laughter is infectious

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Since 2005 Thorner Victory Hall’s fundraising Comedy Festival has set a high standard for top class entertainment.

Each year departing audiences are heard to comment “that must be the best yet”.

So popular is the event that Saturday night’s 300 tickets sold out online in just 10 minutes, and Friday’s lasted only a couple of hours more.

Laughter was guaranteed from the first minutes inspired by Jayde Adams. Not only did she get the belly laughs, but her skit with opera singing had the audience gasping at her vocal talents.

Tom Lucy confidently drew on audience reaction, often with unexpected responses. Headline act Shappi Khorsandi, presented a rapid fire, breathless set drawing on her experiences as mother of two, on life in the “I’m a Celebrity” jungle and the political scene.

On Saturday Lloyd Griffith brought together in an unlikely way his upbringing in Grimsby, and his other careers as choirboy, sports commentator and goal keeper, plus his encyclopaedic knowledge of English Cathedrals.

He also was able to offer opera as an aside, revealing a voice that prompted thunderous applause.

Luke Kempner is a regular voice on Radio 4’s “Now Show”, and drew an appreciative response with his impressionist skills. For a few minutes Donald Trump educated the Thorner audience.

But the show, and the weekend, went into top gear with the appearance of Russell Kane – a fast paced, hi octane act that left the audience breathless, and in no doubt why he’s a star performer on the global comedy scene.

Over the 13 years the proceeds of the Festival have boosted funds for a major refurbishment of the Hall, which is now a popular and attractive multi use venue serving Thorner and surrounding villages.

Comedy Festival organiser Alex Foster commented: “We could not have built the reputation we have without the support of Leeds Festival promoters Festival Republic and their MD Melvin Benn.

“This has helped us attract top class performers to a little village hall in rural West Yorkshire.

“So successful has our fund raising been that we are now able to make a donation from our proceeds each year to an orphanage project in Kenya.”

Pictures by Steve McNiven Photography.