EXCLUSIVE - Plans unveiled for Droitwich to host comedy festival to honour Rik Mayall - The Worcester Observer

EXCLUSIVE - Plans unveiled for Droitwich to host comedy festival to honour Rik Mayall

Worcester Editorial 11th Apr, 2024   0

PLANS have been unveiled for a special festival to honour the life of one of Droitwich Spa’s most famous sons – comedian and actor Rik Mayall.

Rik, who died in June 2014 at the age of 56, grew up in the town and performed many times at the Norbury Theatre.

It is believed the first time he trod the boards was at the Norbury in a production of Waiting for Godot directed by his father John Mayall.

As well as making appearances on the stage, he and his brother also also helped behind the scenes with the lighting for some performances.

Rik went on to become one of Britain’s brightest comedy TV stars, appearing in several successful shows, including The Comic Strip Presents, The Young Ones, Bottom and The New Statesman.

Since his death, there have been calls for him, his comedic talent and his achievements to be marked and celebrated in the town.

With this year marking ten years since his death, Rik’s family were contacted about how they would like to see him honoured in Droitwich – whether through a statue, plaque or a festival.

The tribute idea is the brainchild of Coun Richard Morris.

He said: “The family was contacted and it was thought a statue ‘wasn’t really Rik and what he was about’.

“They would prefer a festival as it would help keep comedy – which he loved so much and worked so hard on – alive.

“One thing Droitwich does well is festivals and one thing Rik did extremely well was comedy so hopefully it will be a winning combination.”

The idea would be to have a festival of comedy in June next year – around the month he died.

The organisers hope people will come forward to put on comedy performances – whether that be plays, sketches, stand-up or other forms.

They are also looking for venues across the town to host events over the course of a week.

Meeting organised

A meeting at Droitwich’s Norbury Theatre – which is also backing the festival idea – will take place at 6pm on Tuesday, April 16.

The Norbury’s chairman Anne Lane said: “We are really hoping we can get the inaugural festival going as a fitting tribute to Rik, as well as boosting and encouraging more of the town’s comedic talent.

“It is fantastic – as the first place Rik performed – to be involved in this exciting venture.”

Coun Morris added: “If you want to host a performance, get involved or have ideas to help this event evolve, we want to hear from you.”

It is also hoped the festival will become an annual event every June.

Anyone who is unable to make Tuesday’s meeting but wants to be involved can email Coun Morris at [email protected] for more information.


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