WORDSMITH: John Hegley will be performing shows at Bowes and Staindrop
WORDSMITH: John Hegley will be performing shows at Bowes and Staindrop

TWO villages in rural Teesdale are hosting a family evening with John Hegley, one of the UK’s top comic wordsmiths.

This means that local residents have two opportunities to catch John Hegley’s wonderful world of words.

The famously funny and slightly eccentric John Hegley is widely known as one of the country's most innovative comic poets, with several best-selling volumes of poetry to his name.

Audiences can join him in a show full of stories, japes and verses with silly drawings, quirky poems and clever wordplay.

Come and find out what the boy onboard is pointing at and join in a chorus of “clappy, clippy, cloppy, floppy, flappy sing-song” and poem pong.

It all starts with a picture painted by his father in France years ago.

In his deadpan yet utterly charming manner, he works his way through a series of photographs and sketches, peppering the act with key words and phrases that the audience has to respond to at each hearing. There are often things to do with things, instead of throwing them away hay-hay.

John has published numerous poetry collections and picture books for both children and adults including My Dog is a Carrot, I am a Poetato’and Peace, Love and Potatoes.

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His shows regularly sell out at the Edinburgh Festival and he has also performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival and the USA Comedy Festival, in Aspen, and appeared with Ulrika Jonsson and Anita Dobson in The Pyjama Game and in BBC Radio 4’s Hearing With Hegley.

Now touring to Bowes and Staindrop and other village halls with Highlights Rural Touring Scheme, Family Wordship, is a wonderfully enjoyable show with cross generational appeal that will bring laughter to everyone aged six years and older.

Mike Bettison, promoter at Bowes Village Hall, said “It’s a great privilege to have John Hegley visiting Teesdale – and what a fabulous opportunity for audiences to have not one, but two dates to choose from.”

Sheila Wylie, at Scarth Hall, Staindrop added: “We have an extra treat for audiences in that local bookshop Curlews is going to be bringing a book stall to both venues.

“An assortment of John Hegley’s many books will be there, along with a selection of other books on the subject of word play and light-hearted poetry and verse for all ages.”

The Bowes Village Hall show takes place on Friday, April 12, at 6.30pm. Tickets are £10, £9 concs and £4 for children. Family tickets are £23. Call Mr Bettison on 01833 628343.

The Staindrop show is on Sunday, April 14, also at 6.30pm. Tickets are £10 adults, £5 children and £23 families, available from Staindrop Post Office are by calling 07881 248478.

Tickets for both shows are also available online at www. highlightsnorth.co.uk.