Gratis giggles in the name of the rings

Improv: Neil Mullarkey
Improv: Neil Mullarkey
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THEY like a laugh in Barnsley so news that Neil Mullarkey – comedy actor, writer and improviser – is performing in South Yorkshire for free will come as welcome news.

Not only that, comedy lovers are being invited to effectively be part of an attempt to create a new world record.

Tomorrow the Comedy Store Players founder is aiming to create the world’s biggest comedy improvisation team – without people leaving their seat and with no previous experience.

Neil is hosting Comedy Gold, at Building 21, Elsecar Heritage Centre, which will feature improvised sketches with Neil and Richard Vranch, his colleague from Britain’s top improv troupe.

The free event is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running until September 9 and bringing together artists from across the world.

“It’s my first time in Barnsley so I hope people will want to come and get involved in this world record attempt,” says Neil.

“There is something joyous about improvisation comedy because it gets people more involved and they leave knowing they have had a one-off experience. It’s funny to hear people say something they didn’t even know was in their head.

“There are lots of things going on as part of the London 2012 Festival across the country and not just in London – this is a perfect example.”

Before getting the audience to join in, Neil – whose film and TV appearances include Have I Got News For You, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Austin Powers and QI – and Richard will demonstrate improv games including one where people in small groups tell a story but each can only add one word at a time.

Neil already has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as a founding member of the Comedy Store Players, the world’s longest-running comedy troupe with the same core cast.

Comedy Gold will take place from 6pm to 7.30pm. Visit www.barnsleylive.co.uk