Saturday, January 18

Nangle Natters: Funny farm

- September 25, 2017

Best-of-the-Fest

It’s at this time of year, historically, that I have stared at the listings of what’s on in our fair city with all the wonder and greed of a toddler as they first discover a second layer in the family box of chocolates. You know – those big wide eyes, paralysed by indecision and awe. This is when I have had my first proper look at what was on in the Brighton Comedy Festival.

Hopefully, once the Brighton Dome’s refurbishment is complete and all of its venues are open again, the festival will return. In the meantime, I’d just like to draw it to your attention that the lack of a comedy festival in October has not, in fact, stopped a lot of top comedians from scheduling Brighton into their tours in that month. There’s heaps of them!

I started chasing new comedy nights like Will O’ The Wisps

In the last decade the live comedy scene has blossomed beautifully. When I first pitched the idea of including previews of comedy shows to Latest 7, way back when, there was Komedia’s weekend Krater Club, the new act night Rabbit In The Headlights upstairs at the Marlborough Theatre (then programmed by a lovely band of people who went on to set up Otherplace Productions, the folks behind pop-up Brighton Fringe venue, The Warren), and the odd big name playing at the Brighton Dome’s Concert Hall, or the Brighton Centre. That was it. I started chasing new comedy nights like Will O’ The Wisps, turning up at pubs I’d heard had an open mic night on only to found that they’d closed it the previous month. But I persisted.

Boy, am I glad that I persisted. Slowly I saw new comedy nights start. Discovered other clubs that had wandered homeless, start to put down roots. And saw new acts progress from a five minute set to a ten, to a small night’s headline slot, and on to big night line-ups and DVD specials. The creativity has flourished, with sketch comedy, character acts, and new bonkers formats cropping up. It’s been marvellous. And led to an incredible comedy community.

So welcome back you returning victors, and welcome new faces to our city. Come. Make us laugh some more.


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