Castle holds Britain’s most foolish event

Plans have been unveiled for this year’s Festival of Fools at Muncaster Castle in the Lake District from 24th to 28th May.

Muncaster Castle was home to the original Tom Fool and the Festival, which is sponsored by Jennings Cumberland Ale, is the Castle’s annual celebration of all things foolish.

The culmination of the Festival will be the International Jester Tournament on Thursday 28th May when a new Fool of Muncaster will be appointed. 

some of the competitors and guests at the Feast of Fools held at Muncaster Castle on Wednesday 1st April.

some of the competitors and guests at the Feast of Fools held at Muncaster Castle on Wednesday 1st April.

The event will be compered by last year’s winner, AJ James and the prize for the winning jester will include a crate of Cumberland Ale every month for a year.  Last year A.J James wowed the judges and the crowds with a performance that included comedy, acrobatics and escapology.

The six competitors who will be battling it out for the prestigious title were revealed at the Castle’s Feast of Fools on the 1st of April.  They include a mix of traditional jesters and contemporary street entertainers.

Peterkin the Fool meets the Queen at Muncaster Castle

Peterkin the Fool meets the Queen at Muncaster Castle

Peterkin the Fool, a former English Heritage jester has performed in front of the Queen.   

Peter White believes his alter ego Trevor Organ will help him take the crown with his exciting, spectacular comedy plate spinning where nothing is safe, not even the Ming China. 


American, Rex Boyd combines the skills of a stand up comedian with a street artist and will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow American Paul Garbanzo who became the Fool of Muncaster in 2007.

Entertainer Rex Boyd

Entertainer Rex Boyd

He will be joined in the tournament by Tim Marston, the Juggling Inferno, who is promising to amaze the judges and the audience with a sensational fire juggling display.

Tim Marston, the Juggling Inferno

Tim Marston, the Juggling Inferno

Finally magician Sam X will no doubt have a few tricks up his sleeve as he bids to join Muncaster’s illustrious band of Fools.

Peter Frost Pennington says:

“We enjoy having our own Fool at Muncaster.  We believe we’re the only Castle in the world that appoints a jester.  As the former home of the great Tom Fool it’s great to keep the tradition alive and our visitors certainly love seeing the Fools in action.

The competition has been really exciting in previous years, so we’re all looking forward to seeing which of the current line up has what it takes to be a proper Fool.”

Earlier in the week there will be a packed daytime schedule of entertainment in the Castle’s gardens.  This will include performances by some of Muncaster’s former Fools, as well as walkabouts by comedians, magicians and musicians and workshops where children will be able to learn some of the tricks of the trade.

The 2006 Fool of Muncaster, Maynard Flip-Flap will open the Festival on Sunday 24th May.  The 2005 Fool, Jem Famous will appear on the Monday, while AJ James will be performing on Tuesday. 

Rex Boyd will take to the stage on Wednesday the 27th of May for his first shows at Muncaster’s Festival of Fools.

There will also be a host of other entertainment including paint ball and archery ranges, face painting and children’s activities and games in aid of local charities.

Normal entry prices for Muncaster apply during the Festival.  Adults £8; children aged 5-15 years £6; family tickets (2 adults & 2 children) £26.  Entry to the Castle costs an extra £2.50 per adult; £1 per child and £4 per family ticket (2 adults & 2 children).  There will additional charges for some activities.

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