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Elvis McGonagall

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Can you help find a venue for a comic to play in?

As part of Emsworth’s celebrations of being the first ever official Red Nose Town, the Brookfield Hotel had been due to host a Comedy Supper featuring stand up poet Elvis McGonagall on Friday, March 13.

But the hotel has cancelled the event, and now the Red Nose Comedy Festival organisers have stepped in to see if anyone with a large enough kitchen or lounge would like to host an informal comedy evening with Elvis in their own home on the same evening.

‘This is a fantastic opportunity for a group of friends or neighbours to get together and host an evening with this wonderful comedian, who has a massive BBC Radio pedigree, and play a major part in Red Nose Day,’ says the festival director Mark Ringwood.

WemsFest and Emsworth Business Association have come up with a three day festival of comedy-based activity for the town over March 13-15.

Local businesses have even gone as far as to rename themselves during the festival – the award-winning Fat Olives restaurant will be known as Red Olives.

But Pompey supporter and EBA chairman Giles Babb drew the line at changing his pub, The Blue Bell, to The Red Bell as he feels it’s too close to rivals, Southampton FC. He will instead rename it The Blue Nose.

With Friday being nationwide Red Nose Day, the fundraising fun kicks off at 10am and runs until late at night. Shopkeepers and visitors are being asked to carry out their normal activities in fancy dress. This theme extends to the major event of the day – a silent disco in the town’s main square which will be closed to traffic and decorated appropriately as costumed revellers dance to music only they can hear on headphones, while a silent comedy film is projected on to the old Lloyds Bank building.

The Mayor of Havant, councillor Marjorie Smallcorn, gets the silent disco under way at 6pm.

Meanwhile comperes Joe Wells and Jeff Lane introduce the first of three comedy club nights at The Crown Hotel starting at 9pm. And earlier in the day a special charity fashion show gets underway at The Deck.

Saturday sees the town in full swing with everything from a Static Cycle Ride to John O’Groats, street entertainment, the Red Nose Hampshire Farmers’ Market, film at the Community Centre and another Comedy Club.

In the build-up to the festival, youngsters from four local primary schools will also be involved in comedy workshops and will be selling their specially-made wares at The Young Gigglers Market.

And on Sunday there will be Pennies Across the Millpond, linking the Emsworth and Slipper Sailing Clubs, arguably the world’s longest ever Red Nose duck race, a sold-out cookery workshop, and a comedy competition.

For more information go to emsworth.org.uk
To offer to host Elvis, email
wemsfest@btinternet.com or call 01243 378742.

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