LAST weekend marked the beginning of the Regal Comedy Festival in Tenbury Wells.

The festival, which runs until September 23, has got a big-name lineup with live comedy, comedy movies, workshops and a storytelling event.

The festival opened on September 9 with a screening of the new Josh Greenbaum movie Strays.

The rest of the lineup includes Simon Evans, Alistair McGowan, Shazia Mirza, Nick Clarke, Mark Simmons and more comedians.

A highlight is sure to be Simon Evans' show "Have We Met Yet?" which centres around the concept of memory.

Another event not to be missed will be Mark Simmons' live performance. Simmons has appeared on various TV comedy shows, having recently joined Dara O'Brian and Hugh Dennis on BBC Two's Mock the Week. His show is unlike any other stand-up routine, with a running theme throughout. This year, Simmons' parents sold the house he grew up in and he has to collect his box of stuff from the loft. In the show, he shows what's in the box in a one-liner show like never before. The show was described by the Scotsman newspaper as "Absolutely hilarious".

A comedy special will also be staged at the festival, featuring several TV comedians.

The children's storytelling event will take place this weekend, September 16 at 11am, with a funny retelling of the classic Rumpelstiltskin.

The Regal Comedy Festival is supported by the Malvern tourist board, Malvern Hills District Council and the levelling up fund.

The Regal theatre is a community focused theatre in Tenbury Wells, set in an art deco building that started its life as a theatre in 1937. Today it presents a varied programme of live comedy, music and theatre alongside regular movie and arts screenings and an annual professional panto.