Friday, October 15, 2010

Comedy Festival 15, 16 October

The Swanage & Purbeck Hospitality Association is delighted to announce the first Swanage Comedy Festival, which will take place at 3 venues in the Town on Friday 15th October with ‘Open Mic’ nights, and other comedy events planned at various venues in and around Swanage on Saturday 16th October.  For full details of the evening and the weekends events please visit the Swanage Comedy website . Tickets are on sale at the 3 venues (The Conservative Club, Bay View Caravan Park or the Royal British Legion) or on-line via the website.


Reece said...

excellent! more of this please!

Really good promotion of the comedy festival - sends a message out to those beyond the Swanage walls that we can compete. We've got great venues - we just need to use 'em! And a fabulous open air theatre spot...why oh why does this not get used..

Anonymous said...

I hope is is a success but I wonder why they chose the weekend before the half term break. I am in retail in the town and we always notice that the weekend before a holiday is quiet. Friday was very quiet, Saturday has not been too bad but I do wonder whether it should have been a week later or a week earlier.

Reece said...

But its thinking beyond the holiday season - we need to get visitors/investors all year round so great to advertise 'off season'.

Anonymous said...

I understand that the session at the Vista was packed. Don't know about the other venues. I agree about the need for off season events but I was fearful that a weekend already known to be very quiet was a good starting point for this festival. As they put in "Yes Minister", "A courageous decision Minister".

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Vista event was packed, judging by the noise, vomit and mess all over the lower part of the park. It seems the Vista provided no form of security whatsoever.

The Postman said...
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The Postman said...
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The Postman said...

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Rick Maughan

There’s often Sun, there’s always Sea, but Stand Up Comedy? On October 14th Swanage launched its very first Comedy Festival.

A comedy quiz kicked things off on Thursday night, followed by a very successful open mic night on Saturday, which spread across two venues as a result of its popularity and ensured there was something on offer for everyone. All festival proceeds were given to the Heroes Haven Charity, which will provide a specially adapted holiday home in Swanage for disabled service men and women.

So to the main night. Three comedians billed to appear at three different venues in an ambitious, baptism of fire for the Swanage comedy circuit. With one venue sold out and the other two very full, and very loud, the town showed that comedy does have a home at the seaside.

Each gig was further supported by one up and coming local act and expertly compered by an experienced comedian. Miles Crawford, Paul B. Edwards and Danny Ward were superb in warming the crowd, peaking anticipation for a night of laughter, which was duly delivered in three very polished acts.

The Postman said...

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A dose of old age pessimism from the unashamedly straight-talking Sol Bernstein was at times as outrageous as it was charming. Always delivered with a disarming sincerity, the Jewish comedian’s ability to switch effortlessly from sweet struggling pensioner, to dirty and mischievous old man proved sharpness has nothing to do with age. Rather like when an old relative rants controversially over the dinner table, Sol played with his elderly status as a license to push the boundaries. Delivered with style and experience, the audience was with him all the way.

With the most universally accessible performance of the night, Gareth Richard’s unassuming style charmed the audience. A fantastic blend of one-liners and surreal observation, Gareth’s subtlety endeared him to all as he showed just why he is so well regarded by established names such as Frank Skinner. With seemingly little effort he captured the crowd with easily relatable tales of scarring childhood memories, recently becoming a father, having his savings tied up in Boots points or his views on immigration:

“I don’t worry about asylum seekers or immigrants, I worry about Babies. They come here, they don’t speak the language, they’re claiming benefits the moment they arrive, they don’t wear the same clothes or eat the same food as us and they have their own shops! We let as many of them in here as they like and yet, if we try to get where they came from there are very strict border controls!”

A fantastic lineup was capped off in style with the uncontainable Ian Cognito. An unflinching and fiery performance from a man who proudly claims to have been banned by more venues than any other comic in this country. Passionate, loud and charismatically aggressive, as he walked amongst the crowd, preferring not to use the stage, Cognito launched upon his audience with a tortured rant about 25 years in the business without a TV appearance or award.

The Postman said...

3 of 3
Cynical, pessimistic, yet somehow hopeful, he spoke of his personal struggle with alcohol in a world where tee-total comedians advertise beer, and his dismay at what he sees as an increasingly messed up planet. On the surface, it could have been depressing or self indulgent, but with expert humour combined with the honest presence of a man who truly lives what he says, Ian Cognito delivered stand up comedy in its most raw and finest form.

A hugely successful night proved the town can laugh with the best of them, and announced Swanage as the freshest addition to Britain’s comedy circuit. Miles Crawford, compere at Bay View suggested a big future for the festival. “It was just a great response, people really got behind it. There were three very different comedians on the bill and that was great because it showed what sort of comedy is on offer out there.”

Miles, who has warmed up many a TV audience on shows such as, Jonathon Ross (also a Swanage Resident), Comic Relief or Parkinson, says the Swanage reception particularly impressed him. “I’m an audience watcher, I like to get in amongst them before the show and as soon as I heard that first cheer, I knew we were in for a good night. Everyone embraced it and the acts really enjoyed themselves. This is definitely a place comedians are going to want to come to and I know I’ll be coming back!”

Laughter lovers strap in, it looks like Stand Up is staying in Swanage.

Visit for information on future events