For the past couple of weeks or so I have been secretly trying to set up a stand-up comedy event in (or near) Bethnal Green, it is something I have wanted to do for a long time and seeing my friend Reiss launch his spoken word night Red Army Fiction has given me a bit of inspiration to finally get off my big fat backside and give it a go.
Bethnal Green has a big comedy venue called The Backyard Comedy Club, but apart from that there is pretty much nothing else on, there have been comedy events in the past, but they have all been moved to the centre of London, where I’m guessing the promoters are hoping to attract the City folk.
I wasn’t aware that it would be so difficult to find a venue to hire, there are not that many pubs in the area who have their own function rooms, and the few who do have turned me down and don’t wish to host a comedy night, possibly because of dealings with dodgy promoters which happens a lot in comedy.
I have received some good news from venues in Aldgate, Shoreditch and a free venue in Canning Town, but these venues are all tucked away down side streets and alleys and are very difficult for people to locate. The venue in Canning Town is in the middle of an industrial estate. Although I have found a venue if I ever decide to put on a rave event.
Without doing anything apart from create a Twitter account (and didn’t even publish one tweet) I have already received some enquiries from comedians who are interested in performing at my event as it is on their doorstep, some of them are headliner acts who have appeared on TV.
I don’t want to do what every other promoter is doing, which is to have three acts strung together with a compare, but on the other hand I don’t want to step on toes and nick something like Set List (where acts pick topics out of a hat and then have 30 minutes to write a ten minute set about them) or Anthology (a gig where you tell funny stories about your life rather than jokes), my idea is to have four acts with a compare stringing them together, I think this would add value for money without the danger of offering the audience TOO much comedy.
It would also leave me the option of allowing an open mic spot onto the card.