Cutty Sark Studio Theatre announces Warm-Up Shows for Edinburgh Comedy Festival

Cutty Sark launches its first ever Edinburgh Comedy Festival warm-up, running for just over a week from 24 July–3 August 2015.

Comedians including Josh Widdicombe and Katherine Ryan will be performing new material for their sell-out Edinburgh performances in the Lower Hold of Cutty Sark, where precious cargoes of tea and wool were stacked over a century ago on the ship's famous voyages.

During the daytime, the hold contains displays of tea chests and other artefacts relating to the ship’s extraordinary history. In the evening, the central section is transformed into an eclectic 92-seat studio theatre, which provides the perfect platform for a comedy festival.

The Michael Edwards Studio Theatre is once again welcoming renowned performers and personalities, whilst also nurturing the talent of the local area for its new season of events.  

We are very excited to be hosting a mini Edinburgh Festival on-board Cutty Sark, says Margie Barbour, Cutty Sark Studio Theatre programmer. Our warm- up for the Fringe includes some of the hottest comedians along with some rising stars. It's always great to catch the stars of the future on the way up, and see if you can tell which ones are going to make it big.

Andrew Lawrence and Mitch Benn

After nine consecutive years at the Fringe Andrew Lawrence is back on the road. Andrew Lawrence: Uncensored is a performance by one of the most subversive and intelligent comedians to emerge in recent years who is about to record his fourth series for BBC Radio 4.  An hour of honest, fearless and uncompromising stand-up where no joke is unacceptable, no subject off-limits and absolutely no concessions made to political correctness. Stand-up without the boundaries.

Dark comedy at its very best. (Edinburgh Evening News)

Mitch Benn: That Was the Future

The future happened, and we missed it. Mitch considers where we're going, where we THOUGHT we were going and what happens when we get there.

Britain’s leading musical satirist. (The Times)

Mark Steel and Suzi Ruffell

Following his highly acclaimed, Sony Award winning and Writers Guild Award winning Radio 4 comedy show Mark Steel’s In Town, writer and stand-up comedian Mark Steel is back on the road. Bringing an element of Mark Steel’s In Town to each live show on this tour, means Mark will write material shedding light on the quirkiness and interesting aspects of every town and city he visits, allowing each show to be unique. 

As well as Mark Steel’s In Town, Mark has presented the BAFTA nominated Mark Steel Lectures for BBC2, is a regular on BBC One’s Have I Got News For You and Radio 4’s Newsquiz. He’s written several, acclaimed books, including: Reasons To Be Cheerful and What’s Going On and he writes a weekly column for The Independent.

He’s a man with a passionate desire to communicate his ideas, who is also very funny. (The Guardian)

Suzi Ruffell is not only a talented actor and writer but since her debut Edinburgh show in 2012 she has also supported some of the UK’s top comedians on their sold out tours, including Alan Carr, Josh Widdicombe and Kevin Bridges.  She has written for 8 out 10 Cats, The Last leg, Twit of the Year and Stand Up For The Week.

Makes you laugh a lot. (Broadway Baby)

Sara Pascoe and Jessica Fostekew

Sara Pascoe has appeared in many television programmes including The Thick of It, Mock the Week, Twenty Twelve and WIA. In Sara Pascoe: The Museum of Robot Pussycats, a Work in Progress she discusses a collection of stories that are unfinished and unwanted: from Hatty the Hoover wanting to break up with Henry, to a man who knocks over bins; to thousands trapped in a Lewisham gym and more. Oh and don’t forget the robot pussycats!

Another big hairy show from Jessica Fostekew, writer on 8 Out of 10 Cats and Mock the Week. We’re always looking at what the future holds, but what does it drop? It hasn’t even got any hands! Jess’s body wants a baby but her brain is scared. What if it comes out racist? What if it’s lovely but it has to contend with a robot revolution, hiccups or an apocalyptic flood? The future of Jess’ womb, technology, biology, ecology and motorways unravelled.

Wears her smarts on her sleeve, great stuff. (The Guardian)

Josh Widdicombe and Ivo Graham

Josh Widdicombe has had an incredible 18 months and is now one of the most in demand and highly regarded comedians in the UK. Since he was last on tour, Josh’s Channel 4 show The Last Leg has gone from strength to strength and been nominated for various awards including a British Comedy Award and a Broadcast Award, and won one at the Royal Television Society Awards. He has also been seen on Mock the Week, QI, Live at the Apollo and Have I Got News for You amongst other stuff.

Ivo Graham’s gauche charm belies a talent rarely seen in someone so young. Combining insightful stories of adolescence with a sharp witted presence, he has rapidly gained the acclaim of his audience, fellow artists and the critics alike.

A very convincing set from this erudite comedian. (The Independent)

Tom Allen and Maddy Anholt

With Tom Allen: Both Worlds award-winning comedian Tom Allen returns from supporting Josie Long and Sarah Millican on tour and brings you his brand new, one man show. Both Worlds is about being up and down, left and right, happy and all other emotions.

Rocked by the rhythm of a saint... (The Daily Telegraph)

Maddy Anholt: Diary of a Dating Addict

With thirty fast approaching like the Grim Wrinkler, Maddy Anholt goes online to find the man of her dreams, revealing every hilarious detail of a whirlwind year of dating, mating and hating.

Kindly sponsored by MySingleFriend.

Nothing short of brilliant. (Broadway Baby)

Rob Beckett, Elliot Steel and Jake Lambert

Rob Beckett’s debut tour in 2014 saw him playing to sell-out venues all over the UK. His cheeky chappy persona won him fans starring on Live at the Apollo, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Mock the Week and Fresh Meat.

He already has the confidence of a veteran. (The Times)

Elliot Steel is the new must-see comic name to watch out for in 2014. His hilarious and honest routines are gritty real-life tales of growing up on a South London council estate – all delivered in his refreshingly individual style.

Jake Lambert started stand-up in March 2013 after gaining a following on Twitter under the pseudonym @LittleLostLad. He has since gone on to be a semi-finalist in the BBC New Comedy Award and was nominated for the Mercury New Comedian of The Year Award

Katherine Ryan and Harriet Kemsley

Katherine Ryan, the razor sharp and hilariously funny Canadian returns with Katherine Ryan: Kathbum, an eagerly awaited brand new show. She is a star of Live at the Apollo, QI and The Jonathan Ross Show and a regular on 8 Out of 10 Cats

Young, smart and acridly funny. (Sunday Times)

Award-winning idiot Harriet Kemsley brings her much anticipated debut hour to the Cutty Sark Theatre with Harriet Kemsley: Puppy Fat as a warm-up for the Edinburgh Fringe. Isn't she brave! Harriet has been Tour Support for Katherine Ryan and Stephen Merchant and has featured on BBC3 Comedy Marathon and Radio1 Comedy Lounge.

A very funny new stand up. (Time Out)

Tom Glover and Luke Honnoraty: Small Town Heroes

A shared performance that promises to deliver no-nonsense, good, honest, award-winning stand up from two of the most exciting and funny talents to emerge from the comedy hotbed of Devon in recent years. Disclaimer: Devon is a very small county.

Tom Glover has a knack of winning over any crowd with his wickedly funny, beautifully timed observations (but if that’s not your thing he also does funny accents and pulls silly faces!). Luke Honnoraty engages the audience so no one is left feeling humiliated and everyone leaves with a big grin on their face. A star waiting to be discovered.

Elvis McGonagall and Rob Auton

Stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary and recumbent rocker, Elvis McGonagall is the sole resident of The Graceland Caravan Park where he scribbles verse whilst drinking Scotch, listening to Johnny Cash and throwing heavy objects at his portable telly.

Righteous ire, directed at very deserving targets. (The Guardian)

York-born writer, comedian and one-time actor Rob Auton has ideas, writes them down and says them to audiences at poetry nights, comedy nights and at theatres at night.

Poetical, philosophical, humane and funny to boot. (The Guardian)

General Information

Cutty Sark reopened to the public in April 2012, marking a new chapter in the extraordinary life of the last surviving tea clipper and one of the world’s most famous ships. Visitors to Cutty Sark can venture aboard and beneath the beautiful three-masted clipper: walk along the decks in the footsteps of the merchant seamen who sailed her over a century ago; explore the hold where precious cargo was stored on epic voyages; and even walk underneath the 963-tonne ship in the dry berth below to view the elegant lines of her hull.

Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Queen’s House operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich.

Cutty Sark is open 10.00–17.00, Monday–Sunday (subject to change).

Admission to Cutty Sark is £13.50 for adults (£11.50 concessions) and £7.00 for children aged 5–15. Family tickets are priced at £24 (1 adult and 2 children) or £35 (2 adults and up to 2 children).

Bundled tickets are available with other Royal Museums Greenwich attractions. Royal Museums Greenwich Members receive free entry to Cutty Sark among their Membership benefits. Admission to Cutty Sark is by ticket, available online, by telephone or in person on the day. Due to high demand tickets may be unavailable on the day to those who have not purchased their ticket in advance. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the bookings line on 020 8312 6608.

Cutty Sark is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.

For details on National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory Greenwich opening hours and admission visit the website.

For further information or images please contact:

Eloise Maxwell, Press Officer, Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office | Tel: 020 8312 6732│07903 547 268 | Email: