A HOST of comedians will be performing at the weekend when the Edinburgh Fringe Festival comes to North Herts.

The two-day event at The Victoria pub in Hitchin forms part of Hitchin Festival and could become a permanent fixture if its debut is a success.

Organised by Hitchin comedian Paul B Edwards with the help of Trudi Stevens from BBC Radio Comedy, the Hitchin Comedy Festival on Saturday and Sunday will feature stand-ups each previewing new material which will be performed at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.

Saturday’s line-up begins at 2.30pm with Where’s Barry? by Barry Castagnola, who was the co-star of BBC Three spoof documentary Cyderdelic, before Marlon Davis, who has his own show on MTV, performs Enter The Davism from 4pm. Next up at 5.30pm is Danielle Ward with Speakeasy. Her TV credits include Mock The Week and Newswipe with Charlie Brooker, while star of Channel 4’s The Comedy Lab Paul McCaffrey will take to the stage at 7pm for Pills’n’Thrills and Bellylaughs.

Stand Up For The Week regular Sara Pascoe is on at 8.30pm with The Musical before the night concludes with Late and Live – a stand-up show featuring four acts and hosted by Paul B Edwards from 10pm.

Tickets for each show are �5 or �15 for the first five acts.

Sunday’s entertainment has been dubbed ‘Free Fringe Sunday’ with all shows free of charge, although voluntary contributions are welcome.

Starting off proceedings will be Lastminutecomedy Club host Paul B Edwards with Songs In The Key Of Death at 2.30pm, followed by Charmageddon by Charmain Hughes at 4pm and Peter Buckley Hill at 5.30pm. The Quadrantines are on at 7pm before the weekend’s festivities culminate with a show from the Lastminutecomedy Club featuring acts from the day and local talent.

“The whole thing is fantastic value and is an opportunity for people who have never been to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to get a taste for it right here in Hitchin,” said Paul B Edwards.

“I’m desperate for it to be a success because I really want it to be an annual event as there is nothing else like it around here and it could become a real institution.”

Tickets for the individual Saturday shows are available from the pub in Ickleford Road, while Hitchin Initiative are stocking a limited number of the all-day passes.

For more information visit www.last minutecomedy.com