LAUGH Out Loud Comedy Club will play host to two shows tomorrow at The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse, York, both featuring I, Daniel Blake film star and comedian Dave Johns.
Joining him on the 5pm bill will be BBC sitcom star Tony Burgess, Ben Silver and master of ceremonies/promoter Damion Larkin. Simon Wozniak will take over from Burgess on an otherwise unchanged 8pm line-up.
North Easterner Johnshas been part of the stand-up scene since 1989, playing all the major comedy clubs and comedy festivals in the UK and beyond, such as the Kilkenny Comedy Festival, in Ireland, Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival in Australia.
He has worked on stage too in the Middle East, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Sydney, New York, Amsterdam and the Arctic.
As a scriptwriter, his credits include his stage adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Shawshank Redemption, co-written with Owen O’Neill.
He has acted on the West End stage with Christian Slater in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and appeared in Twelve Angry Men, at the Assembly Theatre, Edinburgh, where he also performed in The Odd Couple alongside Bill Bailey and Alan Davies.
Johns played the title role in Ken Loach’s 2016 film I, Daniel Blake, winning that year’s BIFA for Best Actor and a BAFTA too. He is a regular guest on comedy panel shows Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC Two) and 8 Out Of Ten Cats (Channel 4).
Tony Burgess played DJ Troy, Moz’s crazy, vinyl-obsessed brother, in the cult BBC3 comedy Ideal and starred in his self-penned, seven-part BBC One/BBC Three sitcom The Visit. His stand-up comedy has brought him the City Life Comedian of the Year, the runner-up’s place in So You Think You’re Funny and nominations for best stand-up and writer at the North West Comedy Awards.
Founder member of the topical MEN At Work team at the Comedy Store in Manchester and regular compere of the Frog and Bucket Comedy Club, he is a playwright too, his plays Fire Salad and Doorway being premiered at the Royal Exchange Studio Theatre in Manchester.
He wrote for the first two series of Ideal and co-wrote the Sony Award-winning BBC Radio 4 comedy The Nightclass with Johnny Vegas, along with writing for Steve Coogan’s Paul And Pauline Calf’s Cheese And Ham Sandwich, Vegas’s Who’s Ready For Ice Cream, John Bishop’s series John Bishop’s Britain and Lily Savage.
He has a writing credit for Wallace And Gromit’s The Curse Of The Were Rabbit, to the delight of his children who consider he now has a proper job.
Cheerfully self-deprecating, unpredictable Scouse comedian Simon Wozniak has had a meteoric rise from the bowels of the comedy industry to headline the premier British comedy clubs.
Ever modest, he says: “Not much to say really. I have two pairs of jeans for all purposes, work and recreation, mix and match. I’m a part-time contact lens wearer, full-time glasses wearer. I’ve got no thigh gap and I still drink Capri-Suns.”
Ben Silver once crowd-surfed a gig he was hosting, so prepare for anything! He has gigged all over the world, is a regular at London’s clubs, has written for BBC and Comedy Central shows and taken six solo tour shows to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Tickets can be booked at lolcomedyclubs.co.uk. Further shows at The Basement are booked for April 6, May 4 and June 1.
ESSEX comedian and stroke survivor Markus Birdman headlines Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club’s two shows on Saturday at The Basement, City Screen Picturehousen, York.
Joining him on the 5pm and 8pm bills will be Tal Davies, Hasan Al-Habib and promoter/master of ceremonies Damion Larkin.
Noted for his physicality, timing and topicality, Birdman was a 2001 finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards, has appeared on Channel 9 TV in Australia, plays London’s Comedy Store and major UK comedy clubs and has headlined the Avalon comedy network.
He has headed up to the Edinburgh Fringe for 15 summers, presenting The Bearable Heaviness Of Nearly Not Being in 2022, and is a graffiti artist, muralist, performance poet and Glastonbury Festival poetry slam champion too.
In 2022, he suffered a stroke and ended up with a platinum heart, the subject of his Platinum Tour show. This year he was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent.
On the circuit since 2019, emerging comedian and writer Tal Davies was crowned Best Breakthrough Act at the 2021 Midlands Comedy Awards and was a Funny Women semi-finalist too, as well as being shortlisted for the BBC New Comedy Award.
BBC WritersRoom invited her to be part of the 2021 Coventry Voices programme, and the strength of her writing can be seen on stage, where she balances toe-curling anecdotes with dry observational humour, delivered with a warm stage presence and a deadpan Brummie accent.
Hasan Al-Habib was born to Iraqi parents who “decided Baghdad wasn’t dangerous enough and so moved to Birmingham”.
Starting stand-up at university, he took his 2019 show FootDarks to the Edinburgh Fringe, since when he has performed around the country and opened for comedians Ken Cheng, Fern Brady, Ahir Shah, Adam Hess and Sara Barron.
NORTH Eastern filum star Dave Johns, 2016 winner of the BIFA for Best Actor for his lead role in Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, headlines two comedy bills in York on Saturday.
The 8pm show in The Basement, at City Screen, York, has sold out already, so Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club master of ceremonies and programmer Damion Larkin has added a 5pm gig (doors, 4.30pm). Joining Johns and Larkin on both bills will be Jamie D’Souza, Becky Umbers and Phil Carr.
After more than half a lifetime in theatre and stand-up comedy (since 1989), Johns was picked by political filmmaker Loach to play Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old widowed carpenter, who must rely on welfare after a heart attack. Despite his doctor declaring him unfit to work, he is denied Employment and Support Allowance benefits and told to return to his job.
Johns gave an unforgettable performance but still he pounds the comedy beat, guesting on the comedy panel shows Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC2) and 8 Out Of Ten Cats (Channel 4) too.
Johns has played the major comedy clubs and comedy festivals, from Ireland’s Kilkenny Comedy Festival to Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival in Australia. He has worked on stage in the Middle East, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Sydney, New York, Amsterdam and the Arctic too.
As well as a comedian, he is a scriptwriter whose credits include the stage adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Shawshank Redemption, co-written with Owen O’Neill.
He has acted on the West End stage with Christian Slater in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, as well as starring in Twelve Angry Men and The Odd Couple (with Bill Bailey and Alan Davies) at the Assembly Theatre, Edinburgh.
He is producing his own stage adaptation of Paul Laverty’s script for I, Daniel Blake, now on its UK premiere tour, playing the Courtyard Theatre at Leeds Playhouse until Saturday (7.45pm plus 2pm tomorrow and 2.30pm on Saturday; box office 0113 213 7700 or leedsplayhouse.org.uk).
Emerging from a musical background, support act Jamie D’Souza started performing comedy in the summer of 2016, reaching the finals of the So You Think You’re Funny? and Musical Comedy awards, as well as being shortlisted for the BBC New Comedy Award.
Mixing short stories and one-liners, he covers veganism, his mixed-race heritage and coming to terms with entering adulthood. He has appeared on the BBC Asian Network’s Stand Up Show and performs at clubs across the UK, such as the Comedy Store and Up The Creek.
Becky Umbers mixes storytelling and quirky observations in her “unique take on life with the voice to match”. Already a big deal down under in Australia, now she is a medium-size deal in the UK and Europe. Phil Carr favours dark humour in a deadpan delivery.
Tickets for the 5pm show are on sale at £19 (£23 on the door) at lolcomedyclubs.co.uk or in person at The Basement. The next LOL Comedy Club night at The Basement will be on November 4.
MUSIC festivals and mystic femininity in art, comedy antics and bucket list stunts, a scary scientist and a madcap whodunit spark Charles Hutchinson’s interest.
Exhibition launch of the week: Wildish, Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, today until August 13
CURATED by Rogues Atelier Studios artist and interior designer Jo Walton, Wildish unites six women – five artists and a poet – through a theme based loosely on deep and sensual mystic femininity.
Taking part will be Jo Walton, Julie O’Sullivan, Christine Pike, Izzy Williamson, Zoe Catherine Kendal and York poet Nicky Kippax. Meet them at today’s 11am opening for a drink, nibbles and a chat.
Revival of the week: The 39 Steps, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until July 29
ARTISTIC director Paul Robinson revives his hit 2018 production of Patrick Barlow’s fast and frenetic stage adaptation of John Buchan’s juicy spy novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s film in tandem with the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick.
Barlow adds a dash of Monty Python to the winning combination of whodunit and old-fashioned romance as Mischief Theatre founder member Dave Hearn’s Richard Hannay is joined by fellow Mischief alumnus Niall Ransome, reprising his Clown role from 2018, Lucy Keirl and SJT debutante Olivia Onyehara. Cue the iconic chase on the Flying Scotsman, the first-ever theatrical biplane crash and a death-defying (well nearly) finale. Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com.
Outdoor gig of the week: Paul Heaton, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, today, gates open at 6pm
PAUL Heaton, former frontman of Hull bands The Housemartins and The Beautiful South, heads up the Yorkshire coast for a headline gig in Scarborough. Special guests supporting the self-styled “Last King Of Pop” will be Ian Broudie’s Lightning Seeds.
Busy week ahead for Scarborough OAT: Hollywood Vampires, Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, Joe Perry and Tommy Henriksen’s American rock supergroup, play a sold-out show on Wednesday, followed by The Cult on Thursday, Tom Grennan on Friday and Pulp (sold out) next Sunday. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.
Comedy gig of the week: Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club presents Chris Lynam, Patrick Monahan, Dean Coughlin and Damion Larkin, The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse, York, tonight, 8pm
HEADLINER Chris Lynam has been feverishly subverting the traditions of the stand-up comic for more than 30 years with his grasp of crazy antics. Patrick Monaghan holds the world record for Longest Hug at a time of 25 hours and 25 minutes, set at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Dean Coughlin has worked on the comedy circuit since 2017. Master of ceremonies and club organiser Damion Larkin will be improvising his set as ever. Further LOL Comedy nights are in place for August 5 and September 2. Box office: lolcomedyclubs.co.uk.
Musical of the week: 1812 Theatre Company in Jekyll & Hyde The Musical, Helmsley Arts Centre, Wednesday to Sunday, 7.30pm
JULIE Lomas directs Helmsley Arts Centre’s resident troupe, the 1812 Theatre Company, in their first ever musical production, Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s Jekyll & Hyde, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s story.
Marking the venue’s 30th anniversary, the show features husband and wife Joe and Amy Gregory in the lead roles of Jekyll/Hyde and Emma Carew. John Atkin is the musical director; Michaela Edens, the choreographer. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.
Festival of the week: York Early Music Festival 2023, Friday until July 14
THIS summer’s York Early Music Festival takes the theme of Smoke & Mirrors with a focus on William Byrd, a practising Catholic composer working for a constantly threatened Protestant queen.
The City Musick, Ensemble Jupiter & York countertenor Iestyn Davies, The Sixteen, violinist Rachel Podger, The Marian Consort and Rose Consort of Viols and mezzo soprano Helen Charlston are among the week’s musicians. Full festival details and tickets: ncem.co.uk; 01904 658338.
Solo gig of the week: Tom Figgins, At The Mill, Stillington, near York, Friday, 7.30pm
SINGER and songwriter Tom Figgins, programmer for At The Mill’s summer’s season of music, comedy and theatre, plays the Stillington garden for a third time this weekend. Noted for his vocal range, distinctive guitar playing and complex lyrics, he numbers radio presenter Chris Evans among his fans, appearing on his BBC Radio 2 show. Expect songs old and new at one of his favourite spots. Box office: tickettailor.com/events/atthemill/925897.
Stunts of the week: Steve-O, York Barbican, Friday, 7.30pm
EVERY idea on American entertainer Steve-O’s bucket list was so ill advised, he never expected to go through with any of them. Until it was time to prepare for this tour. Not only are the stunts even more ridiculous than Steve-O pulled off on MTV’s Jackass, but now he has made a highly XXX-rated, multimedia comedy show out of them too. Not for children or the faint of heart, he warns. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Heading to the park: The Magpies Festival, Sutton Park, Sutton-on-the-Forest, near York, August 11 and 12
TRANSATLANTIC folk trio The Magpies have confirmed the line-up for their two-day open-air festival of music, activities, stalls and food and drink. The Friday main stage acts will be Laura Cortese & The Cards, Chris Difford and Holy Moly & The Crackers, followed by the Saturday bill of Liz Stringer, Honey & The Bear, Blair Dunlop, Rachel Sermanni, The Magpies and Edward II.
Friday acts on the Brass Castle Stage will be The Dicemen, Thorpe & Morrison, The Often Herd and New York Brass Band; Saturday will welcome Jack Harris, Megan Henwood, Tom Moore & Archie Moss, Gilmore & Roberts, and Bonfire Radicals, concluding with a Ceilidh with Archie Moss. Box office: themagpiesfestival.co.uk.
THE long wait is over. Damion Larkin’s Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club is making a post-lockdown return to The Basement at City Screen Picturehouse, York, on April Fool’s Day.
The sold-out line-up of Daliso Chaponda, Fran Garrity, Steve Harris and master of ceremonies Danny Deegan on April 1 leads off a series of 8pm gigs on the first Saturday of the month, with acts confirmed for May 6 and June 3. Doors open at 7.30pm for each show.
“The first three months of shows will feature TV comedians galore,” says Damion. “These include an international Britain’s Got Talent favourite, a BAFTA award-winning Hollywood superstar, still keeping it real with brilliant comedy sets for us, and a BBC3 sitcom star who’s a multi award-winning act and prolific writer for top names such as Steve Coogan, Johnny Vegas and John Bishop.
“You can check out the line-ups at https://lolcomedyclubs.co.uk/ but as always we’ll be bringing you comedians off the telly from such shows as BBC2’S Mock The Week, Shooting Stars, Channel 4’S 8 Out Of 10 Cats, BBC1’S Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Have I Got News For You, QI and Paramount’s Live At The Comedy Store.”
Each show features three professional comics and a host. “Laugh Out Loud Comedy Clubs have a successful track record of bringing the very best comedy acts on the club scene and breaking new talent on the cusp of stardom,” says Damion, who runs nights at York Barbican’s Fishergate Bar too.
“We’re the people who previously booked Chris Ramsey, Jason Manford, John Bishop, Sarah Millican and Russell Howard before they were household names. So come and see more brilliant comedians.”
Mike Newall, Karl Porter, I, Daniel Blake lead actor Dave Johns and Jed Salisbury are confirmed for The Basement on May 6, followed by Tony Burgess, Eddy Midgley, Russell Arathoon and Damion Larkin for June 3.
Meanwhile, Jonny Awsum, Russell Arathoon and Damion Larkin are booked in for York Barbican on April 15; Alan Hudson, Joshua Robertson, Eric Rushton and Damion Larkin for May 13; Raymond Mearns, Ben Silver, The Young’Uns David Eagle and Damion Larkin for June 10, then Daliso Chaponda, Mad Ron and Damion Larkin for July 8.
Laugh Out Loud Comedy nights are held at Hull City Hall, Bournemouth Pavilion, Stoke Regent Theatre, Portsmouth Guildhall and Hastings LOL Comedy Club too.
LAUGH Out Loud Comedy Club hosts its final comedy night of 2021 at York Barbican on Wednesday, presenting Tony Burgess, Mike Newall and Sam Serrano, hosted by Damion Larkin.
Burgess has a starring role in BBC3 cult-comedy Ideal and pens jokes for fellow comedians Steve Coogan, Johnny Vegas and John Bishop.
He co-wrote the Sony Award-winning BBC Radio 4 comedy The Nightclass and featured among the writers for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit.
Mike Newall’s Nineties’ Britpop haircut gained him the nickname “the Real Magic Mike”, and when he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, he impressed the judges so much that Simon Cowell said, “It was like an Oasis concert where the music ran out and Liam decides to tell a few jokes”.
Gender-fluid, dyspraxic comic Sam Serrano has been taking the comedy circuit by storm, not least in five shows at the online Hot Water Comedy Club. In 2018, Sam finished second in the Great Yorkshire Fringe Comedian of the Year Competition in York.
Host-promoter Damion Larkin likes to improvise his performance. Doors open at 7pm for the 8pm start in the Fishergate Bar. Tickets are on sale at yorkbarbican.co.uk.