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The real Northern Powerhouse and a beloved comedian’s unexpected life revelation

To brighten up February’s tempestuous weather, Theatre by the Lake is to welcome two fiercely funny and sharply subversive shows to both their Main House and Studio, from unexpected revelations, to who’s really the Northern Powerhouse we hear so much of nowadays.

Simon Evans: The Work of the Devil

First up is much-loved and established comedian Simon Evans with his new show: The Work of the Devil in TBTL’s Main House on Tue 25 Feb at 8pm. Simon Evans’ last tour, Genius 2.0, provided a hilarious analysis of the departure of any visible sign of intelligence from modern life. But his new show raises the stakes, with his usual excoriating views of a world on fire – given a perspective shift due to personal revelations that have turned his world upside down this year.

Evans says of his new show: “It’s an unusual show for me, because the message of the show – almost beyond my conscious control – has become one that is genuinely heart-warming and uplifting, rather than just another weary sigh at society’s collapsing values and so on. And honestly, I couldn’t be happier. The subject matter, the show itself and audience reaction to it – it’s no exaggeration to say that it had a positive effect on my mental health, just performing it every night.”

Chortle’s Jay Richardson spoke only in superlatives of the show: “Jaw-dropping… You tend to expect a high standard of stand-up from this veteran performer. But in sharing something so deeply personal he has exceeded what seemed to be his full potential. Outstanding stuff.”

Kate Fox: Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras

Over in TBTL’s Studio is Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras on Wed 26 Feb at 7.30pm, performed by stand-up poet Kate Fox. This comic and thought-provoking show is about the real Northern Powerhouse: Northern Women – the sung and the unsung!

This funny, gently subversive performance uncovers the hidden history of the writers, scientists, sportswomen, politicians, protestors, musicians, innovators, activists and other heroines who represent the grit, determination and spirit of the North’s women.

Women you might have heard of include Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman; the first female speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd; and music hall star the inimitable Hylda Baker. Women you may not have heard of include Liverpool’s Hilda James who introduced the front crawl to the UK; Lilian Bader, one of the first black women in the RAF; and “Red Ellen” Wilkinson the MP who led the Jarrow March.

In this hilarious and thought provoking show, BBC Radio 4 regular Kate Fox asks who gets remembered and why (and why not). Sarah Millican says of Fox: ‘[She] is funny, quirky and a wonderful writer,’ with the Sunday Telegraph saying: ‘[She is] funny and endearing with a cynicism that cuts through the whimsy.’

To find out more and to book tickets for either show visit www.theatrebythelake.com or call the Box Office on 017687 74411.

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