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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Jesters in Cumbria for world-class competition

Wacky entertainers from across the globe will be taking over Muncaster Castle as they battle it out to be named the top fool.

Muncaster jester photo
A selection of the fools from a previous year’s contest

The annual Fool of Muncaster Castle competition features the International Jesters Tournament which promises to bring entertainment to families and visitors later this month.

Peter Frost-Pennington, whose family owns the popular tourist attraction near Ravenglass, said this year’s line-up was exciting.

“We have a strong array of contestant jokers, which includes potential local heroes in Gacko from Barrow and Professor Pumpernickel from Carlisle,” he added.

“They will display their skills and pit their wits against the likes of worldwide street performer Joe May and international award winner Abigail Collins.”

The original Tom Fool, who lived at Muncaster 400 years ago, was a notorious character who is said to have been the inspiration for the court jester in Shakespeare’s King Lear.

The Cumbrian castle is believed to be the only one in the world to appoint its own modern-day jester.

This weekend the castle will join in the Brownies’ 100th birthday celebrations, which are taking place across the UK.

On Saturday, Cumbrian Brownies will star in their own cosmic story, travelling through three time zones – past, present and future.

Margaret Nightingale, leader of the 47th Carlisle Brownies, said: “My Brownies are looking forward to celebrating the Big Brownie Birthday and think that the day at Muncaster sounds like the best ever birthday party to be invited to.”

The castle’s Iona Frost-Pennington, who is a former Brownie and also an Ambassador for Girlguiding, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting this important event – it will be a very big occasion for us. I’m sure it will be a fantastic day and that everyone will have a great time.”

Muncaster will be closed to the public on Saturday for the event.

The Muncaster Festival, which also includes a live ball, street performers, circus skills workshops and chainsaw carving, takes place between May 25 and 29.

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