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Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 01:39 GMT 02:39 UK
Homer and Bart head for Britain
The Simpsons
The Simpsons's actors will tour UK festivals
The actors behind the voices of America's most dysfunctional cartoon family The Simpsons are heading for Britain.

The familiar voices of Bart, Homer, Marge and Lisa will be heard at festivals in the UK as the actors stage live readings of the cult cartoon sitcom.
Rupert Murdoch in The Simpsons
Rupert Murdoch is among the celebrities to have read on the show

The tour coincides with the 10th anniversary of the series later this year, marked by a BBC Two Simpsons Night on Friday.

Series creator Matt Groening said: "We are looking forward to this tour and hope to do to England and Scotland what the Simpsons have done to America.

"The most amazing thing is that the actors really look like the characters that they play."

Cult following

All the actors who provide the voices for the principal Simpsons characters will be present at the events, including Dan Castellaneta, alias Homer, Nancy Cartwright who reads Bart and Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa.

While a similar read-through was held at the Aspen Comedy Festival earlier this year, this is the first time such a venture has been staged in the UK.
Celebrity voices
Winona Ryder as Lisa's arch rival Allison
Meryl Streep as Bart's girlfriend Jessica
Danny DeVito as Homer's long-lost brother
Susan Sarandon as Patty and Selma's boss

The tour kicks off at the Edinburgh fringe festival, with a performance at The Assembly Rooms on 14 August.

It will be followed by two more shows, on 17 and 18 August at venues in London which have yet to be finalised.

The cartoon series, shown on BBC Two and Sky One, has a cult following among children, teenagers and adults.

The first episode was drawn up after the primitive launch on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1989.

Since then millions of viewers have followed the antics of the "typical" American family in the town of Springfield.

Each episode opens with naughty schoolboy Bart writing lines on a blackboard which are different every time.
Bart's blackboard sayings
Funny noises are not funny
I will not snap bras
I will not fake seizures
I will not carve gods
I will not spank others

The familiar voices of the Simpsons family and their regular friends have been joined over the years by a host of guest stars over the years including Ringo Starr, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Rupert Murdoch and Aerosmith.

Paul McCartney and his late wife Linda joined the yellow-faced characters to explain to Lisa about vegetarianism.

Groening, who dreamed up The Simpsons following a high school novel called The Mean Little Kids, has gone on to produce a sci-fi cartoon series called Futurama.

He hopes it will have as much success as the The Simpsons.

The Simpsons celebrations will also include a one-day Simpsons event at London's National Film Theatre, followed by a weekend of special programmes on Sky One on 2 and 3 September.

See also:

14 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Death hits The Simpsons
13 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Wahooo! Simpsons celebrate 10 years
11 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Murdoch makes Simpsons debut
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