MARK Watson and Lucy Beaumont will star in the first Your Place Comedy night in a streamed show live from their living rooms on Sunday at 8pm.
At a time of huge uncertainty and upheaval in the Coronavirus lockdown, not least for the live entertainment industry, ten small, independent venues across the north have come together to “provide their audiences with some much-needed laughter during these difficult times”.
The driving force behind the online venture is Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer, who manages the Selby Town Hall arts centre. “In a nutshell, I was frustrated that the traditional relationship between venue, artist and audience – the venue providing the artist with income and the audience with entertainment – has been eroded for the foreseeable future by Covid-19 and I wanted to find a way to re-create that,” he says.
“So, I’ve got ten venues from around Yorkshire and the Humber to chip in a small amount of money to put on a live stream comedy gig this Sunday (April 19), featuring Mark Watson and Lucy Beaumont and compered by Tim FitzHigham.”
Joining together in this venue-focused initiative are Selby Town Hall; The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber; Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds; East Riding Theatre, Beverley; Junction, Goole; Helmsley Arts Centre; Shire Hall, Howden; Otley Courthouse; Pocklington Arts Centre and Rotherham Theatres.
“Their contributions to Your Place Comedy go towards paying the artists a guaranteed fee at a time when all live income has been taken away, and, in exchange, venues get a show to sell to their own audiences as one of their own, helping maintain those vital relationships with audiences they have nurtured over the years,” says Chris.
“The show will be free to watch on Facebook and YouTube via www.yourplacecomedy.co.uk, but with an option to donate. All monies raised will be distributed evenly among the ten supporting venues, each of them now having to navigate their way through some challenging financial times.”
Mark Watson is an Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, television panel show regular and ever innovative performer. Lucy Beaumont, from Hull, is a BBC New Comedy Award winner who writes BBC Radio 4’s To Hull And Back and stars in the Dave channel’s Meet The Richardsons. Compere Tim Fitzhigham writes and stars in BBC Radio 4’s The Gambler and presents CBBC’s Super Human Challenge.
Summing up the living-room comedy initiative, Chris says: “In these trying times, when the wonderful audiences who make the work we do possible are unable to visit our venues in person, and when the performers who rely on us for their livelihoods have had many months’ worth of shows cancelled, the organisations involved in Your Place Comedy want to help support those who make live entertainment happen, bringing a little bit of joy to the audiences we miss so much.
“If the first one is a success and this looks like a sustainable model, I would hope to do several more through the lockdown period and possibly beyond.”
For full details of Your Place Comedy, and to find out how to watch the show, visit www.yourplacecomedy.co.uk.