Comedy coming to the countryside

Ents lead for 22/02 edition.
Ents lead for 22/02 edition.

A hotel in Blisworth has been bringing comedy to the countryside with a rich programme of stand up nights featuring established and emerging acts.

This month The Walnut Tree Inn will play host to headline act Christian Reilly whose notable achievements include helping TV regular Rich Hall win a Perrier Award in 2,000.

He will be supported by Gareth Berliner, and Tony Simpson on Thursday, February 28.

Walnut Tree owner Donald Turnbull said: “Christian Reilly has played here before, there’s a strong musical element to his what he does.

“He came when we first started comedy nights, and over the last few months we’ve had sell out crowds of 100 people. Our comedy night usually feature two headline acts everyone month, normal people from the London stand up comedy circuit.

“Quite a lot of them are script writers for radio and television, so the quality is quite high.

“A about three or four times a year we have quite big acts try out new material here before they go on tour.

“We’ve had Sarah Millican in the past, she’s got her own TV show now, and Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert.

“We usually get very short notice of those, so it’s worth keeping an eye on our website.”

He added: “It’s nice to have a little of comedy brought to the countryside, a bit of entertainment without having to do into town.”

Promoter Spiky Mike of Funhouse Comedy said headliner Christian Reilly became an integral part of the Perrier award-winning show Otis Lee Crenshaw and the Black Liars, with comic songster Rich Hall and travelled the world three times.

He added: “Now as a solo performer he both fascinates and amuses his audiences with his comic songs and witty punch-lines.”

Christian will be supported on the night by the easygoing Gareth Berliner.

Spiky said he has already performed internationally with acclaimed shows at the Melbourne and Adelaide Comedy Festivals and added: “He doesn’t just make people laugh, he also has the warmest stage presence in the business.”

Completing the line-up will be the topical writer and radio presenter Tony Simpson who will share his sometimes surreal spin on life and the news.

His love of life and failing to find love are among his favourite subjects and Spiky added: “Brazen but warm, people always like Tony’s interaction.”

Compere for the night is the fun-loving and friendly Ryan Gough.

Tickets cost £7 in advance and doors open at 8pm of a 8.30pm start.

Booking details can be found at, or by calling The Walnut Tree in Station Road on 01604 859551.

Also at the Walnut Tree over the next few months; Geoff Norcott and Barry Dodd will lead the next comedy night on Thursday, March 28 , tickets £7, on Saturday, February 28, Northampton based four-piece soul and funk band Soul Cube will perform from 8pm, entrance is free, and Dave Harmer’s New Orleans Hot Shots, will play on Sunday, March 3, tickets are £8. For more information visit