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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Comedy comes to the Little Theatre

From 28 April

Those bemoaning the recent closure of the long-running Comedy Club in Hebden Bridge have not had to wait long for the gap to be filled. Top acts from the comedy circuit, TV and radio will be appearing on Sunday 28th April in the opening night of Canalside Comedy at the town’s 115-seater Little Theatre.

This is all thanks to a chance meeting between a former comedy promoter and a former stand-up comic during the recent staging of the Alan Ayckbourn farce If I Were You at the theatre.

Stacey BussStacey Buss (nee Hunter), who was handling sound for the production, began her involvement with stand-up well over 20 years ago at the Cosmic Comedy Club in Hammersmith, and progressed to representing top acts like Dave Allen, Rory Bremner and Jo Brand whilst working for Vivienne Clore at the Richard Stone Partnership.

Edmund TirbuttEdmund Tirbutt, who played the male lead in If I Were You, used to perform stand-up under the name Ed de Cantor and won the 2015 Silver Stand-Up Awards – the competition to find the country’s best older comedian held at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.

Edmund says, “Stacey and I had been working together for weeks without having a clue about our shared background but as soon as biogs of cast and crew appeared in the programme on the opening night the secret was out.

“Both of us had already thought Hebden Bridge Little Theatre would be a fantastic venue for stand-up and, having just learned of the closure of the town’s comedy club, launching a series of comedy nights seemed a no-brainer.”

The first night on April 28th, which features TV comedian Jon Richardson as guest MC, also includes prolific radio performer and comic writer Nick Doody, and Welshman Noel James, who became a household name last year during Britain’s Got Talent – when judge David Walliams volunteered “You deserve to be one of the biggest stars on British TV.”

Stacey says, “We are hoping to introduce stand-up to a whole new audience as well as fill the void created by the recent club closure. The theatre has been selling out regularly for its comic productions, and the laughter at these has been threatening to blow the roof off. 

"We see obvious synergies between quality stand-up and some of the comedies we’ve staged here recently, such as ‘Allo ‘Allo, The 39 Steps and a couple of Ayckbourn farces. Possibly many people in our audiences will not have seen live stand-up comedy and would be surprised at how thought provoking and genuinely engaging it can be. There really is something uplifting and special about seeing live comedy.”

Further nights this year at Canalside Comedy, for which a host of awesome acts have already been booked, are scheduled for June 30th, September 8th, October 27th and December 8th.
Full details of the comics performing on April 28th are available on the Canalside Comedy website. 

Tickets, costing £12 each, can be booked directly online.