Fancy lots of Scilly Laughs this summer?
Introducing the UK's most south westerly, island-hopping-shaped comedy festival
Now in its fourth year, Scilly Laughs has become a highlight of the Scillonian calendar.
Playing to packed out venues stuffed full of locals and visitors all enjoying the crème de la crème of the UK comedy circuit, the festival brings a different line up of top quality comedians each year, all expertly held together by cheeky northerner and island favourite, Julie Jepson.
Jepson has been performing in theatres, arts centres, and the UK's top stand-up comedy clubs since 2004. Here DIVA caught up with her to find out a little more about the UK's scilliest summer festival...
DIVA: How would you describe the festival in a nutshell?
Julie Jepson: Scilly Laughs brings the crème de la crème of the UK comedy circuit to the Isles of Scilly, performing four shows, on four islands, in four days! We are the most south westerly comedy festival in the country, and each year we raise money for Cornwall Air Ambulance through our raffles raising well over £1000 since everything kicked off in 2014.
How long has the festival been running for?
This is now our fourth year! Our first festival was in June 2014 with Jayde Adams, Suzy Bennett and Phil Lucas.
You're one of the festival organisers, who else is on the team?
My wife Jo co-produces the festival with me. There is an enormous amount that needs doing throughout the year to keep Scilly Laughs running, and maintaining the excellent quality of the festival would not be possible without Jo. (Most importantly, she is chief pasty buyer...)
Who are the acts that you've lined up to perform this year, in 2018?
Kirstie Newton is a huge talent and will be bringing her unique style of musical comedy to the islands this June. Nick Doody has performed all over the world and is looking forward to his first visit to the Isles of Scilly. And Steve Best is one of the finest comedians you will ever see, gaining fans everywhere during his long career.
Why the Isle of Scilly?
Lying 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall in the Atlantic Ocean, this beautiful archipelago of islands is my favourite place on the planet. A place I’d wanted to visit since seeing the islands on a programme when I was twelve. I took a job in a hotel on St. Martin’s and fell for the place immediately.
Stunningly beautiful, crystal clear waters, white sparkly sandy beaches - often to yourself - seals to swim with, and gorgeous views everywhere you look. I’ve visited so many times over the years that I've lost count. Entertainment however, is scarce on the islands. Locals and visitors make us very welcome and the shows are always sold out. I really enjoy inviting our comedians and watching them fall in love with the place.
How do festival-goers travel between the islands?
Tripper boats go between the five Islands throughout the day. For our evening shows the boatmen provide a special service. We will perform on St. Mary’s, Tresco, St. Martin’s and St. Agnes. We base ourselves on St. Martin’s for the week and one of my favourite things is getting the jet boat over to whichever island we’re performing on. Beats driving to a gig or getting the tube!
...and accommodation, where do festival-goers sleep?
Visit Isles of Scilly Travel to find out all of the lovely places to stay - from camping to self-catering cottages, B&B’s and hotels. You can stay on St. Mary’s or one of the smaller off islands. Each island has its own character. (Try island hopping and discover your favourite!)
Finally, what's your best one liner..?
When I saw the advert in the local paper for "Lesbian Removals" I wanted to ring them up and ask, “How many can you get rid of in one go?”
Cornwall Air Ambulance remains Scilly Laugh Festival's chosen charity (100% of all monies from raffle ticket sales).
Scilly Laughs will take place on at St Mary's on 9 June, Tresco on 10 June, St Martin's on 11 June, and St Agnes on 12 June. Tickets cannot be pre-booked, just turn up! For more information visit facebook.com/scillylaughs or follow the festival on Twitter @scillylaughs
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