PLANS to turn Taunton into the ‘Edinburgh Fringe Festival of the South’ are making good progress, according to one of the organisers.

Trish Caller, of Taunton, said a number of gigs have shown her there is an appetite for comedy nights and she is planning to bring more to the county town.

She is running comedy nights on Thursday (March 6) at the Creative Innovation Centre in Paul Street, followed by further comedy evenings on March 20 and May 15 in Brazz.

It will culminate in a grand event in a marquee on Taunton School playing fields, headlined by Mark Watson, with six comedians performing during the evening on June 22.

Trish said: “I’ll be arranging lots of comedy during May and June in various venues around Taunton to suit all tastes in comedy – something for everyone.

“The main reason I wanted to bring more comedy to Taunton stemmed from the Brewhouse closing down, and having to travel to Bristol, Yeovil and Plymouth to see decent comedy.

“Also, comedy makes people laugh (hopefully) and forget their problems for a while.

“Let’s embrace comedy to make Taunton great again – the Edinburgh of the South.

“The festival’s going to grow and grow year on year – with little acorns mighty oaks will grow.”

Trish organised a comedy festival at Taunton School in June last year which was headlined by stand-up comic Milton Jones and saw around 800 people in stitches.

In June this year, the event will raise money for Stand Against Violence, and will be run by MC Geoff Whiting, followed by Australian Yianni Agisilou, who left a crowd at Somerset County Cricket Club laughing in the aisles at Christmas.

Trish said there could be a number of smaller events in the week leading up to the festival at Taunton School as comedians find Taunton an attractive place to polish their routines.

She said: “I've been offered a bunch of Edinburgh Shows that comedians want to play in front of audiences before they head off to Scotland for the fringe festival.

“I know there is an appetite for comedy in Taunton by how fast tickets sell out and how many people keep asking for more and more shows to be put on.”

Click here for ticket information.