Now confirmed for Saturday’s Big Top line up is seminal punk poet John Cooper Clarke. Having risen to stardom back in the late 70’s and early 80’s for support slots for the likes of The Sex Pistols, The Fall, Joy Division, Buzzcocks, Sioxsie and the Banshees, Elvis Costello and New Order, John hit the headlines again in 2007 when his poem ‘Out of Control Fairground’ was printed inside Arctic Monkeys’ single ‘Flourescent Adolescent’. Also joining John on Saturday’s Big Top line-up will be the Tito Robin Trio, an acoustic folk treat from the French Music Office whose namesake front man was described by the late great Charlie Gillett as “…one of the world’s great musicians and visionaries”.
Following the critically acclaimed release last year of ‘Where Do The Children Play’, a Cat Stevens classic that was reviewed by the man himself as “better than his own”, Liverpool soul stars The Christians will be bringing their distinctive take on soul to Wychwood’s Independent Stage on the Sunday. Also confirmed for the Sunday line-up are Afro-Celtic dance band and wonderfully monikered Baka Beyond whose fiery rhythms, enchanting harmonies and spectacular dancing will mesmerise and thrill in equal measure. The uniquely multinational Afrobeat band Baraka, which boasts members from Ghana, Senegal, Dominca and, bizarrely Northern and Southern Ireland will be showcasing their fantastic blend of reggae, calypso, blues and soca. And finally yet more musical loveliness from the French Music Office in the form of Chapelier Fou (or Mad Hatter in English) who blend classical melodies and arrangement with electronic beats and soundscapes.
Leading the charge with the latest comedy additions to the Wychwood line-up is none-other-than comedy stalwart Robin Ince. Having started his comedy career as a writer, working on shows including Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression, V Graham, Norton and Meet Ricky Gervais, his first of many collaborations with the Extras star, Ince appeared with Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Jimmy Carr in the 2001 Edinburgh show Rubbernecker, and regularly supports Gervais on tour. He also appeared in one episode of The Office, playing interviewee Stewart Foot. That role inspired his tongue-in-cheek solo Edinburgh debut in 2004, and he has returned to the Fringe every year since. In 2005 he started erudite comedy night The Book Club, loosely based around bad literature, which won him the innovation award at the 2006 Chortle Awards as well as the outstanding contribution to comedy accolade at that year’s Time Out awards. In 2007, he was named best compere at the Chortle Awards.
Ray Peacock is a well known writer and comedian who, as well as headlining at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for several years, has compered and written shows for the BBC. One of the most famous characters Ian created was a brash, loud Yorkshire man called Ray Peacock and had several successful shows appearing as him. Unfortunately, this character is no more but Ian continues to use the name “Ray Peacock” as his comedic stage name to avoid confusion with his other activities such as acting and writing.
Iszi Lawrence is a comedian to watch. The awkward atheist poses a lean figure onstage that is counterbalance to the crackle of intelligent, silly jokes that drum through her. She’s resident compere of the Lil Fat Comedy Club Witney, has had sell out shows at the Camden, Brighton, Oxfringe and Edinburgh fringe. Her debut show Matter of Tact was Time Out Recommended and London Lite Comedy Pick. Radio credits include appearances on BBC Radio 1 s The Milkrun, BBC radio Oxford’s Breakfast show and BBC 7 as a BBC New Comedy Award semi-finalist, 2005. She has also written and performed for Resonance FM’s The Ten Minute Sketch Show. Iszi is host compere of The Lil’ Fat Comedy Club.
Last but by no means least on the comedy front, Matt Richardson was a finalist in both So You Think You’re Funny 2010 and The Chortle Student Comedy Award 2010 as well as being the 2010 winner of the Newbury Comedy Festival’s new act competition “You Must be Joking”, all by the age of 19. Matt is a young starter, who has regularly proved that he can cut it with the big boys. “Full of verve and energy …quirky asides brought sparkle to his act…undeniably well-told.” – Chortle
Widely regarded as the UK’s most family friendly festival, Wychwood has been nominated for the ‘Best Family Festival’ award at the UK Festival Awards every year since its launch. All tickets are available by visiting the official festival website www.wychwoodfestival.com or by calling the festival office on +44 1993 772580.
Friday Adult tickets are priced at £37, Saturday Adult are £53 and Sunday Adults are £43, all tickets and prices are available from www.wychwood.com. Adult weekend tickets are priced at £115 plus an additional £10 general camping pass and can be purchased from the festival box office on 01993 772580, Ticketmaster.co.uk on 0844 847 1681, WeGotTickets.com or SeeTickets.com. There are also Youth concessions (16-18yrs) available at £95 (full weekend) and 10-15yrs weekend tickets for £55. Under 10’s go for free with each adult ticket allowing two free under 10’s. For more information visit the website www.wychwoodfestival.com.