Vicar of Dibley writer out to show he's an incurable optimist
TEESDALE comedy club Funny Way To Be continues its summer season this weekend with the visit to Barnard Castle of one of the UK’s most successful TV and Radio sitcom writers.
Paul Mayhew-Archer, the multi award-winning co-writer along with Richard Curtis of the hit BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, is visiting The Witham as part of a UK tour of his debut stand-up show based on his incurable illness.
Paul’s co-written or worked on many much-loved comedy shows including Radio 4’s legendary I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Old Harry’s Game, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Spitting Image and Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench.
When he was 58 and working as the commissioning editor for BBC Radio 4 Comedy, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Instead of treating it as “the end of the world” he thought of it as an opportunity.
Two years ago he made a BBC One documentary called Parkinson’s: The Funny Side, for which he won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Presenter.
Last year he made a triumphant debut at London’s Comedy Store, and enjoyed a sold-out month at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Promoter Peter Dixon said the show, Incurable Optimist, is a one-man performance about the therapeutic power of comedy from a performer who simply adores making people laugh.
Following the show Paul will be answering people’s questions too.
“One of the phrases used to describe the show has been ‘Paul is not contagious but he is worth catching’,” said Mr Dixon.
“Everyone we know who’s seen it says it’s exactly that. We’ve spoken to a number of people who saw him in Edinburgh last year and they said it was one of the best shows they had ever seen.
“We are delighted that Paul has agreed to come to Barnard Castle to present it.”
Paul Mayhew-Archer’s Incurable Optimist is at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, on Saturday, June 1, from 7.30pm.
The evening is suitable for anyone aged 10+. Tickets are £14/ £13 concessions from the Witham box office on 01833 631107 or online at www. funnywaytobe.com.