A number of our favourite Fringe comedians amassed by a London canal this afternoon to kick off Pleasance Ahoy, a pre-Fringe comedy venture being staged as part of the London 2012 Festival, that slightly confusing programme of cultural happenings taking place around the UK in the run up to and during the London Games.
This bit of the London 2012 Festival proceedings is simple though, a canal boat carrying comedians will work its way around the canals of Great Britain, stopping off at various towns and cities along the way to stage stand-up gigs, before arriving in Edinburgh on 12 Aug for a bash at Cargo at Edinburgh Quay. An onboard crew will document the journey with podcasts throughout, and will continue to post content from the boat until 27 Aug.
Over the journey, a plethora of comedians will step aboard the boat (or, technically, boats, because there’ll be a slight cheat half way through, when one vessel is left in Manchester and another picked up in Glasgow, the UK’s canal system not being quite that perfect). Amongst the stand-ups due to take part are Jenny Eclair, Reginald D Hunter, Jarred Christmas, Rob Beckett, Matt Rees, Andre Vincent and Justin Moorhouse, while Cariad Lloyd, Tim FitzHigham, Sam Simmons, Cardinal Burns, Idiots of Ants, Pat Cahill, John Kearns and NewsRevue will all get things going with the first canal-side gig, at the Canal Cafe Theatre in London’s Little Venice, this evening.
Commenting on the project, Pleasance chief Anthony Alderson (pictured left) told ThreeWeeks: “Mucking about in boats is a quintessentially British past time, and what better way to take comedy from the cultural celebrations of this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in London to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe than on a canal boat? This is where Victorian England meets the 21st Century; new digital technology bumps into the Industrial Revolution. The Pleasance is delighted that Arts Council England, the DCMS and Creative Scotland are supporting our comedy canal relay”.
Meanwhile Ruth Mackenzie (pictured right), Director of the London 2012 Festival, added: “Good luck to Pleasance and their intrepid team of comedians on their comedy relay from London to Edinburgh! It should be great fun for the audiences they surprise on the way, and those who follow them online, and I am delighted they are a highlight of the London 2012 Festival”.
You can follow progress, and get information about each Pleasance Ahoy gig, at www.pleasanceahoy.com