COUNTY Durham comedy fans to to be treated to a taste of the Edinburgh Fringe – a month before the famous festival.

Teesdale's Funny Way To Be comedy club has arranged a series of shows in June and July showcasing some of the artists who will make their way north.

The Edinburgh preview shows start on Saturday, June 29, with a double-header featuring Andrew Ryan and 2012 Best Newcomer nominee Joe Lycett.

After successful Edinburgh debuts last year, both will be trying out new material in Barnard Castle.

In July, the club will welcome Lucy Beaumont, Tommy Rowson and Howard Read on Saturday, July 13.

Lucy and Tommy will both be preparing material ahead of their appearance at Edinburgh’s longest-running, prestigious comedy showcase, The Comedy Zone.

Multi award-winning stand-up animator Howard arrives in Teesdale with a brand new show called Hide and Speak.

Then 24 hours later, he will perform his award-winning children's stage show Little Howard and the Magic Pencil of Life and Death.

Concluding the pre-Fringe shows is an appearance by Alun Cochrane and Mick Ferry on Saturday, July 27.

All Funny Way To Be shows take place at the Parish Hall, Newgate, Barnard Castle and start at 8pm (doors open 7.30pm).

Howard Read's children's show, on Sunday, July 14, will be staged at The Hub, Shaw Bank, Barnard Castle.

Full details of times and ticket prices are available online at