Kendal Calling Announces Comedy and Spoken Word Line-up

Kendal Calling have delivered one of the biggest music line-ups in the UK - and now they excel themselves with a bulging line up of comedians & spoken word artists too.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 27th May 2010

Kendal Calling have delivered one of the biggest music line-ups in the UK - and now they excel themselves with a bulging line up of comedians & spoken word artists too.

Proving that there's so much more to this festival than an awesome musical line-up and a stunning setting, Kendal Calling is following in the footsteps of Glastonbury and Latitude with a great programme of poetry, spoken word and comedy to complement the musical action. 

The Soapbox Stage is proud to present legend John Cooper Clarke - the original pun poet who has opened for the like of Sex Pistols and Joy Division with his poetry. More lately, his poem “Out of Control Fairground” was printed inside Arctic Monkeys' single 'Fluorescent Adolescent.' Much more than just a poet, John Cooper Clarke is funnier than most comedians and is at the top of his game after 30 years performing.

Howard Marks AKA Mr Nice returns to Kendal Calling - which he last year declared his “favourite festival”. For the third year running Howard Marks will take to the stage to tell tales of his amazing life that has earned him a global reputation - from his drug smuggling past, to his pirate ancestry and everywhere in between!

Mrs Barbara Nice is the alter ego of Janice Connolly, an average housewife who has given up the domestic bliss of Tupperware and poundstretcher shops for the unpredictability of the comedy world. With the aptitude of a playgroup teacher at an Iggy Pop concert, Barbara has been described by the Times as “a hybrid between Mrs Merton and Victoria Wood.”

Also sharing rock n' roll tales in the Soapbox is Clint Boon - who's seen it all. His experiences with Happy Mondays, Black Grape, Inspiral Carpets and at XFM means nothing is off limits and he’s coming along to tell us all about them... What happens in the Soapbox stays in the Soapbox. Get involved!

Artist Jay Foreman (Beardyman’s brother) won Best Newcomer at the Tuborg Musical Comedy awards, and will be bringing his guitar and some of the songs that have made him a hit at Edinburgh over the last couple of years

Comedian Alex Boardman has been lighting up stages inspired by music with his debut show called “Hit the North” (named after his favourite song by The Fall). Joined on the bill by Mike Wilkinson who has supported the likes of Peter Kay, Johnny Vegas and Ross Noble. We are also joined by the stunning Glitter Kittens who will bring their burlesque magic to proceedings.

Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer has been hailed the inventor of Chap Hop (though we are pretty sure he doesn’t have much competition!) Straight out of Surrey Mr B often wears a boater and cricket whites, he’s been described as ‘Pure Genius’ by Tom Robinson from BBC 6Music.

Chris Cross has been described as a comedy magician, contortionist and escapologist that's all bases covered as far as we're concerned. Throw in the fact that he's in the semi finals of Greece's Got Talent (that really is true!) and you can see why we're so excited to have him on board.

Mike Garry will be our very own Kendal Calling poet laureate, arriving on Thursday evening and gathering inspiration from overheard conversations and everything he sees and will be putting it together for an extra special closing show at The Soapbox on Sunday night. There's nothing stuffy about him and those who see Mike Garry perform rarely forget him.

Hilarious songwriter as well as personable comic, Ruth Cockburn is also on the line up. She'll be joined by North West Comedian of the Year Andy Watson, whose quick-fire act grabs audiences with hard-hitting one-liners.

Phil Chapman weaves a series of gags and observations that at times is too much – at one show an audience member was literally left in stitches after laughing so hard, then passed out and landed on their beer glass! 

On top of the other sterling comedians on the line up, Kirsty K Latham is our artist in residence, she will be painting live throughout performances all weekend before displaying them all with a riveting talk on Sunday night.

With many more artists still to be announced The Soapbox Stage provides a vibrant alternative from the sterling line up of music, adding extra dimensions to the North West’s leading independent festival. Watch this space for more news coming soon…

The House Party, described by the Guardian as ‘A perfect night out, you’ll be dancing one minute and talking broken biscuits in the kitchen the next’. By day the House Party has a Wii in the living room, massages in the bedroom and tea and biscuits in the kitchen while the Wasted Little DJ’s will be doing hair and make up to keep you looking your best!

House Party even features a string quartet and our old friend Howard Marks will be stopping by for a special breakfast. By night it'll all go a bit more crackers with some of our friends coming along to play their favourite records and problems with noisy neighbours will be eliminated as we'll finish each night with a silent disco. Expect DJ sets from Same Teens, Mr. Sushi, Tramp!, Up The Racket, Dave Haslam, Twisted Wheel, The Murkage Cartel, Juicy, Clique, The Wasted Little DJs, Good Vibrations and some extra special guests

Kendal Calling really is shaping up to be THE small festival of the Summer. Get involved - and get your ticket below. 


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