In the decade after the Second World War, the Ealing Studios in West London made a name for itself with a series of light-hearted romps through various tales of love, crime and duplicity. The Ealing Comedies, as they became known, proved to be a perfect tonic for a public still crippled by rationing and the scars of war. It has been sixty years since Alec Guinness led the laughs in The Lavender Hill Mob but, it seems, the name 'Ealing' can still pull in some of comedy's biggest stars.
This year's Ealing Comedy Festival, or 'Comedy in the Park', takes place in the borough's Walpole Park across five nights in mid-July, beginning on Friday 13th. Leading the line on the opening night is Ricky Grover, ably supported by a host of big-name comics including Terry Alderton, Paul Sinha and Pete Firman.
Following that comes headliner Paul Zerdin on the Saturday night. Andre Vincent is the MC and support includes John Moloney and Seann Walsh. After a few days' break to catch breath, the action resumes on Wednesday 18th July with Rich Hall and Milton Jones topping the bill - two huge headliners in their own right. The Thursday line-up again boasts big names, with Al Murray at the top of the poster and support (and MC duties) coming from Jo Caulfield.
The last night, on Friday 20th July, sees no let-up in quality as Bob Mills MCs a bill featuring Abandoman and Paul Tonkinson. In addition to those listed above, a whole host of comedy stars are also appearing. Nobody's promising Passport to Pimlico or The Titfield Thunderbolt but, it seems, Ealing's proud comedy heritage remains in safe hands.
The five nights of laughs in Ealing's Walpole Park kick off on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th July 2012, resuming a few days later from Wednesday 18th to Friday 20th July. We have tickets available now, priced £16.50 for each night.