ILKLEY Playhouse has some very exciting news! Our Stagefright comedy nights are always popular, and we have a real coup for the next one. There is a little-known programme that some readers many have heard of called Britain’s Got Talent; we are delighted to host this year’s winner Lost Voice Guy at our next Stagefright comedy night on Saturday, July 7.

Lee Ridley, Lost Voice Guy, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy as a child and is unable to talk. He is the first comedian in the world to use a communication aid and embraces his disability to break down barriers and have a laugh along the way. Not only are we excited to bring Lost Voice Guy to Ilkley but he will also be previewing material from his forthcoming Edinburgh Festival show ‘Inspiration Porn’.

If you haven’t heard of him it’s worth a quick internet search because he really is a remarkable comedian and this is an amazing opportunity to see him live. Lee’s performance is clever, current and very funny.

As with all Stagefright comedy nights we have a whole host of comedians preforming for you: Lost Voice Guy will be joined by the engaging Josh Jones, a high-energy performer who wins the audience over from the off. He is a lovable Mancunian who can handle topics as diverse as school playground politics to gay rights in Pakistan. Josh is a razor sharp improviser and playfully leaves the audience wanting more.

Hannah Platt will also be joining the set. Hannah wins comparisons to Jack Dee for her deadpan timing and her darkly hilarious funny bones. Also performing is Comedy Store King Gong winner Tom Lawrison, who the BBC describes as “delightfully absurd and positively horrifying!” The compere for the evening will be the polished performer Elliot J Huntley who entertains with his mandolin songs! Please note this is a 16+ event, it contains adult material.

Coming to the Wildman Studio before then is a writers’ evening with the intriguing title of Mad, Bad and Sad. Three authors will discuss why writers are drawn to the darker corners of life and why readers enjoy exploring them. Martyn Bedford, Clare Fisher and Mandy Sutter will be chaired by journalist Yvette Huddleston to examine the question and read extracts from the darkest parts of their own latest works. Topics range from prison life, suicide, murder, alcoholism and racism to bullying, depression, death and the supernatural.

Martyn Bedford is the author of eight novels; his first solo short story collection, Letters Home, was described by the Yorkshire Post as ‘a dazzling read.’ Clare Fisher’s first novel, All the Good Things, was described by The Guardian as ‘a sparky and unsettling debut’, while Bush Meat, Mandy Sutter’s second novel was ‘disquieting, touching and darkly humorous.’ This promises to be an interesting and relaxed evening, perfect for book groups, friends and for further discussion on the way home.

Tickets for all events and productions can be found at or by calling 01943 609 539.

by Claire Emmott