The Royal Shakespeare Company opens its doors to stand-up comedy for the first time ever next week. From 23 February to 2 March 2003, there will be a full roster of comedians taking to the stages of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres at the RSC home base in Stratford-upon-Avon. Amongst the names scheduled to appear as part of the "Week with Laughter" are Never Mind the Buzzcocks' Bill Bailey, Mark Thomas, Rhona Cameron (who achieved widescale recognition with I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here), Ed Byrne, Richard Herring (with his male Vagina Monologues rip-off, Talking Cock), Ross Noble and Daniel Kitson. The move has caused some opponents to sound the "dumbing down" horn. Will the stand-ups make the UK's flagship classical theatre company a laughing stock? Or simply provide some much-needed light relief?