The Healey Club is in the village of Healey just outside Rochdale, Lancashire and Saturday was the first night of comedy here. The show sold out three weeks in advance so at least audience numbers weren’t going to be a problem. I did have a couple of concerns about this show though – the first being the room layout. It’s not a straightforward room for stand up but can be made to work. the key to this would be getting the seating spot on. Its also a bit long and thin for comedy which isn’t ideal as the people at the back can become disengaged from the show.
Fortunately, the steward, Steve, is the kind of bloke I can do business with. He wants a great night for his customers and is prepared to take advice on board to achieve that which makes life a lot easier all round.
I was MCing but with Tom Wrigglesworth and Jo Caulfield taking care of opening and closing my role was pretty much ancillary. The middle spot was taken by Jack Carroll who is best known from his appearances on Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago.
The show got underway and the reception was warmer than expected as the audience were mainly, well, older than me and that isn’t usually my safest demographic. No need to worry though as they were fine. I MC’d in quite a mainstream fashion which does nothing for me personally but it seemed to work just fine. After the usual fifteen minutes of chat, letting them now how the night works and explaining the mobiles off and no talking rules I handed over the reins to the ever excellent Tom and set off to the back of the room to encounter a small kerfuffle between a couple and a table of four males of varying ages.
‘Would you mind not talking?’ asked the lady in the couple
‘Well you keep laughing.’ replied the dunderwit
Even by the standards of the sort of idiot who talks through a show they have paid to see this was breathtakingly world class idiocy. I almost admired him. Words were said. More words were said. The idiots idioted off.
Tom had had a blinder and Jack trotted out his fifteen minutes bringing us nicely to the second interval.
My second concern was the PA Loose tweeter in the PA
Friday night was a stressy one. A sold out first night in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire plus our monthly Comedy @ Chorlton Irish Club. Running two shows a couple of hundred miles apart is never going to be easy but, with good organisation and communication it can be done.
I put Ray Peacock in as MC at Gerrards Cross as not only is he a great at that particular job but also understands how a show works. Even with the best acts in the world if the technical and show management side are lacking a car crash could well be the end result.
The line up was excellent – Ozzy comic Wayne Deakin with double bass player and Harry Potter star Jim Tavare and Philip Simon. The brief was a lot of the audience would be retired and could be quite conservative when it came to risque humour. No problem with this with the aforementioned acts. The show sold out in advance, everyone had a great night with the venue making money on both ticket and bar sales and we’ve been asked back to do another show in a few months.
It’s been a year since I took over the running of the monthly comedy night at Chorlton Irish Club. I’d been booking the acts for a couple of years but now I run the whole shebang so as well as booking the acts I market and produce the show as well as putting up the cash. If you’re reading this because you’re interested in having a comedy night then always, always use a booker who runs at least two or three regular gigs at their own financial risk. If they can’t make a show work as a business then how can they advise you on yours?
The first tweak was to change the room around so all the audience were nearer to the stage. Previously the show had been overteched with too much sound equipment meaning there had been technical problems in the past. I put in the usual Yamaha set up and the difference is amazing making for a much better night.
Marketing was a combination of local press and listings, a fair old bit of work on social media and lots of flyering in the local shops. The work was certainly worth it as we sold out fifteen minutes before the show started and another great night was had by all with tickets sold for June’s show.
As it’s an Irish club we have tried to get a strong Irish comic on every month which has helped tempt in club regulars who wouldn’t ordinarily come to a comedy night. As the shows have been so strong they’ll all be coming back and spreading the word around the locals.