SOME of the nation’s top comedians will be swapping the comfort of the stage for the rugged Lakeland landscape as part of Cumbria’s biggest comedy gathering.

Household names from the comedy world such as Arthur Smith, Lucy Porter, Omid Djalili and Lee Nelson, will converge on Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre for the annual Freerange Comedy Festival, which runs from May 12-18.

Freerange is famed for staging comedy gigs in imaginative outdoor locations in the Lake District and this year sees one of the originators of alternative comedy Arthur Smith lead 30 comedy fans on a five-mile comedy ramble along the western shores of Windermere before performing in the historic National Trust property Wray Castle, near Ambleside, on Saturday, May 17 (1pm).

Arthur will pop on to a specially chartered launch across Windermere to Far Sawrey where he’ll lead the whimsical walk to the castle for a special bespoke comedy performance.

He also stages a second show the following night (Sunday, 7.30pm) at the Brewery.

Another outdoor show features madcap surrealist Bob Slayer, who takes an audience into the depths of the Langdale Valley on Friday, May 16, before hosting a unique comedy club in a spectacular mystery location.

Following the gig, Bob presents an evening of comedy stories at the UK’s only National Trust-run pub, The Sticklebarn Tavern at Great Langdale on Saturday, May 17, (7.30pm).


Omid Djalili opens the festival on Monday, May 12 (8pm), following a sell-out four week West End residency and a sold-out season at last year’s Edinburgh Festival.

Lucy Porter takes to the Brewery stage on Wednesday (May 14, 8pm) with impeccably punch lined anecdotes of the everyday and on the Thursday (8pm) Paul Chowdhry tackles everything borderline within the human psyche. For the full festival line-up telephone the Brewery box office 01539-725133