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Fire hits comedy show
A COMEDIAN is devastated after losing 15 years of props when his parents’ garage was reduced to a charred wreck by an intense fire.
Treason Show creator Mark Brailsford said the loss of thousands of pounds worth of comedy items in a fire has been a “big blow” and “another kick in the teeth” after losing out on seven sites targeted as a permanent home in the past five years.
But the Brighton-based performer has said the show must go on even if he has to perform naked at a scheduled gig at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham on July 12.
The Argus is backing his appeal for anyone with stage props including his talking skull Yorik, soldier outfits, toy guns, wigs and glasses frames to donate items to keep the show going.
The 48-year-old Albion fan plans a fundraiser later in the year and says he has been “overwhelmed” by messages of support sent to him from across the globe.
The fire broke out at Mr Brailsford’s parents’ home in Monks Avenue, Lancing, on Sunday at 7.30pm after a stray hot coal from a barbeque caused the whole garage to go up.
The comedian said he had been travelling home from his parents’ house with his wife and children when he received a call telling him the garage was on fire arriving back in time to see firefighters put out the blaze.
Items lost in the fire include a Zippy puppet, a replica crown of England and a dress made for a performance 20 years ago for the “seventh Monty Python” Carol Cleveland.
The gag-a-minute comedy show launched at Komedia Brighton in 2000 and has been a firm favourite with fans and critics ever since.
He became well-known for stripping off at the end of perfomances.
He said: “The main thing is my parents are OK although they were very shaken. It just went up very quickly.
“If the firefighters had not got there so quickly, then the whole house and the neighbours’ house would have gone up too.
“I am just listing what I have lost now but it is props and technical stuff from monthly shows over 15 years in 32 large plastic boxes.
“Off the top of my head I would say it could be worth up to £7,000.
“It’s difficult to explain to a loss adjustor why Zippy is so valuable.
“If I had been there at the time of the fire I may have rushed in to save some of the items but it would have been a stupid thing to do considering the ferocity of the fire.
“My dad tried to put it out with a hosepipe and it was the equivalent of blowing into a hurricane.”
Anyone who can help to start to build up the Treason Show’s prop box can contact The Argus on 01273 544530 or email neil.vowles @theargus.co.uk.
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