Newcastle Set To Take A Stand For Comedy
By Adam Clery on October 27, 2011 in Stage
If you’ve been paying attention lately, then you’ll know that we’ve been encouraging you all to get out there and have your funny bones tickled by one of the plethora of stand-up night’s springing up across the region.
We booked you all an appointment with Simon Donald at the Laughter Surgery, and then slapped you in the face with the proverbial wet fish at Tony Jameson’s Laughing Penguin. Those who’ve since been to check out either night have all come back with tales of watery eyes and sore mouth muscles. In a good way.
But as of tonight, the North-East comedy circuit will change forever.
Those of you who’ve visited our cultural neighbours to the North, Edinburgh and Glasgow, will no doubt have heard the raucous hilarity spilling out from The Stand Comedy Club and wished long and hard that they’d make the trek down the A1 (or the A68 depending on the traffic) and pitch up somewhere a little closer to toon. Well, they have, and they’re opening tonight.
Having taken over the derelict basement at 31 High Bridge street and turned it into a beautifully intimate, but still swanky 300 capacity venue, tonight’s launch party will see none other than our old pals Tony Jameson and Simon Donald take to the stage with Carl Donnelly, Mary Bourke.
In what will hopefully be the first of many flirtations between our good selves and the men behind the mic, we took a moment to speak to Tommy Sheppard ahead of tonight’s big opening.
“The Stand Comedy Club is going to be the North-east’s first dedicated full time comedy venue. We’ll have prime stand-up comedy every weekend, big names solo shows on Tuesdays, and our weekly beginners’ night ‘Red Raw’ every wednesday”.
“But of course it’s much more than a comedy club. Upstairs we’ve a classy bistro open all day from 11am and serving fresh coffee, home-baking and exciting lunch and dinner menus. And out back we’ve a lovely courtyard which, as well as our smoking area, provides a quiet open air space to relax and enjoy some food and drink.”
“We’re hoping to bring something different to the local scene because we only do comedy and we’ve been doing it a long time. The Stand is run by comedy fans so it’s all about what happens on the stage. We’re not a party venue, we don’t allow hen and stag parties. We’re aimed at people who enjoy the spontaneity of live stand up. So, all this means it’s a great place to watch comedy. Also, our mission is to help develop the next generation of comedians, so we provide lots of opportunities and encouragement for would-be comics to get started.”
“We’ve been trying to open in Newcastle for years but could never find the right venue. At last we have. For us, Newcastle and Tyne & Wear in general is the next biggest population centre to where we are based in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We have many friends here already – both local comedians who have played our clubs for years and over a thousand punters who’ve enjoyed our exiting venues in Scotland. And of course we no that people here have a great sense of humour and enjoy a good time. It just makes sense in so many ways. We’re only sorry it took so long.”
No need to apologise lads, with Phill Jupitus, Mark Watson, Rory Bremner, Craig Campbell and Frankie Boyle coming up, as well as Johnny Vegas, Mark Thomas, Sarah Millican and Stewart Francis on the horizon, I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.
The Stand Comedy Club launches tonight with Carl Donnelly, Mary Bourke, Simon Donald and Tony Jameson. Hosted by Martin Mor | Doors: 19.30 | Tickets £8/7/4
- The Edinburgh Fringe Review Show – Part 2