21/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 05:05

Machynlleth Comedy Festival: 2,000 expected in fourth year

Category: Wales

Published: 5th May 2012 09:58:58

Hay-on-Wye has books, Brecon has jazz and now another Powys town is becoming known for its jokes.

This weekend sees the third Machynlleth Comedy Festival.

The three-day event has grown rapidly over the last two years, attracting fans from across the UK to hear many well-known acts on the comedy circuit.

The line-up includes Stewart Lee and his former comedy partner Richard Herring, Chris Corcoran, Arthur Smith and Henning Wehn.

Described as a "boutique comedy weekend", the Machynlleth festival has attracted some of the most high-profile performers over the last couple of years.

This year it is expecting 2,000 visitors, four times the number who visited in its first year.

It was born out of a desire to give comedy in Wales a wider base outside the cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

I always knew it was this sort of hidden gem in Wales with so much history and culture”

Organiser Henry Widdicombe said: "I always knew it was this sort of hidden gem in Wales with so much history and culture, and just loved it and it seemed the obvious choice in the first year.

"When you look at the venue spaces the town's got, we're so privileged to use the Owain Glyndwr Centre. The fact that they let us go in there and do stand-up comedy, where the Welsh parliament was, is astounding.

"We've always wanted to to keep it at a nice level where people feel they are discovering a secret, if you like, and getting a really special experience when they come here.

"We've not tried to grow it too much, but it's become a sought after festival to play which in such a short time is a great reputation to have."

Jane Page, the assistant manager of the Quarry cafe, said the festival was increasing in popularity.

"People just flood into the town for it. It's massive for the whole town," she added.

One performer who should not be short of a gag or two this weekend is local man Mike Parker, who is doing a routine about Machynlleth at Y Plas on Saturday afternoon.

"I'm really looking forward to it and I'm kind of nervous. This is the first time I've done stand-up in 12 years," he said.

"I'm doing it the hard way. I've decided to write a show about Machynlleth, which I'm performing in Machynlleth.

"This is a town I've lived near for 12 years I'm not from, and I could well be having my house on the market by Monday."

Mr Parker said the festival was positive for the town.

"Mach is a town that suits a festival like this down to the ground," he added.

"We've got good little venues. We've got a top-notch weekend of top international comedy without having to leave home, so what could be better?"

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Machynlleth Comedy Festival: 2,000 expected in fourth year [Online] (Updated 5th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426717/Machynlleth-Comedy-Festival-2-000-expected-in-fourth-year [Accessed 21st Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Barbecue warning: Cook food in oven first, says Food Services Agency

    People are being urged to pre-cook food in the oven before barbecuing it after research found most Britons make risky hygiene mistakes at the grill.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Yachtsman taken to hospital after Newport Bay incident

    A yachtsman has been taken to hospital after getting into difficulty in Newport Bay in Pembrokeshire.
  • Firms urged to agree to Scottish parcel delivery guidelines

    Online retailers and delivery companies have been urged to agree to work to guidelines designed to offer people in rural areas fair delivery charges.
  • Treasury Wine Estates hit as it destroys excess wine

    Australian winemaker Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has reported its first annual loss due to slower sales in China and oversupply in the US market.
  • US judge: Shakira hit song Loca 'broke copyright laws'

    A hit song by Colombian pop star Shakira was indirectly copied from another songwriter's work, a federal judge in New York has found.