Rock and rolling with laughter

Alasdair McGregor Household names from the world of comedy are to join forces with popular music acts in a summer night of outdoor variety at Somerleyton Hall, near Lowestoft.

Alasdair McGregor

Household names from the world of comedy are to join forces with popular music acts in a summer night of outdoor variety at Somerleyton Hall, near Lowestoft.

Lenny Henry, Jasper Carrott and Jo Brand will provide the wisecracks, while The Manfreds, Elkie Brooks, The Blockheads and Bootleg Beatles have been lined up to get the audience dancing on the evening of Saturday, August 16.

The Rock with Laughter show pulled in 40,000 people at the Birmingham NEC during December and is now being rolled out to four stately homes across the country during the summer.

Chris Bailey, event manager for promoters IML Concerts, said: “This is a show with something for everyone and we are looking forward to having a good laugh with all the audience at picturesque Somerleyton Hall.

“There will be three decades of music and comedy stars on one stage on one night - surely a first for an outdoor show in such a setting - and we feel that this show will appeal across many age groups.”

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Lenny Henry, who has starred in many shows over a quarter of a century, will be the MC for the event in the grounds of Somerleyton Hall.

The Manfreds boast original singers Paul Jones and Mike d'Abo while The Blockheads will feature comedian and television start Phill Jupitus.

Mr Bailey added: “With 40,000 people attending the shows at the NEC last December, we feel strongly that this will be a sell-out event so early booking is a must. We will be installing a giant screen at the venue to enhance viewing pleasure.”

Gates will open at 5pm with the event starting at 7.30pm and ending at about 10.30pm with a firework display.

Mr Bailey confirmed there would also be another big name concert at Somerleyton the night before Rock with Laughter, although details have yet to be confirmed.

Somerleyton has gained a growing reputation as a top concert venue and last year held back-to-back events featuring the Sugababes and Jools Holland.

t Advance tickets for Rock with Laughter, costing £35 for adults, £20 for children (aged 5-15) and nothing for under-fives free, are now on sale.

They are available from IML Concerts (01603) 660444; Norwich Theatre Royal (01603 630000); the Yarmouth Britannia Pier Theatre (01493 842914 or the UEA Students Union (01603) 508050.

t Tickets are also available online at www.imlconcerts.co.uk.

t For East Anglia's hottest listings guide, visit www.EDP24.co.uk/WhatsOn.