Norfolk Tourism Awards

‘Dereham Fringe will be something else’ - comedians and performers prepare for new entertainment festival

PUBLISHED: 16:50 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:12 07 September 2017

Tim Fitzhigham. Picture: Claes Gellerbrink

Tim Fitzhigham. Picture: Claes Gellerbrink


The final line-up of acts has been revealed for Dereham’s first Fringe Festival on Saturday, including the evening’s Comedy Club performers.

Pete FirmanPete Firman

A gap that appeared in the programme when Youth Blues Extravaganza realised they wouldn’t be ready has been filled by blues band Bell Ayre.

Also the gallery, garden room and foyer will see a professional juggler from Lost in Translation Circus while local groups perform in the main hall.

The Red Card Comedy Club will present three great comics in a comedy club format.

Master of Ceremonies is former Perrier Award nominee Tim Fitzhigham, a Norfolk man who shot to fame as The Gambler, which ran for two series on BBC.

Tanyalee Davis performed at Live at the Apollo. Photographer: Ellis O'BrienTanyalee Davis performed at Live at the Apollo. Photographer: Ellis O'Brien

He also became the first man to row across the English Channel in a bath tub, pushed a wheelbarrow from Ware to Shoreditch in 11 hours, and rowed the River Thames in a canoe made out of paper.

“Another of my exploits was to Morris Dance all the way from London to Norwich, which gave me more blisters than I count easily count,” he said. “These challenges and lots of others became the material for The Gambler.

“I’m just back from Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dereham Fringe will be something else.”

Top of the bill will be magician and comic Pete Firman, with skills which have led to many TV appearances, most notably alongside Derren Brown on his 3D Magic Spectaculars.

Mark Simmons. Comedian. Photo: Jeff Hicks.Mark Simmons. Comedian. Photo: Jeff Hicks.

Tanyalee Davis’s act has been described as “rude and crude but sidesplittingly funny”. A 3ft 6in Canadian, she headlines at festivals and clubs all over the country, and now regards Norfolk as her home.

Opening act Mark Simmons completes the lineup. He’s been supporting Seann Walsh on two national tours, and received rave notices again at Edinburgh Fringe. His special gift is the beautifully crafted one liner.

Mike Webb, from Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall, said: “We are widening and deepening the offer of live professional shows at the Hall. We want people in and around Dereham to support us, and to realise that you no longer have to go to Norwich for a great night’s entertainment at an affordable price.”

Tickets are on sale at, Bright and Beautiful Flowers and on the door, priced £13.


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