15 July , 2015
I had a brilliant weekend teaching this fabulous and funny group of people (left) on my June Weekend Comedy Course at Brighton's Komedia. Their relaxed and friendly show on stage with lights and microphone in Komedia's intimate Studio Bar to end their comedy course weekend was fantastic too!
We had a lot of fun over the weekend, although I wouldn't recommend using a banana to practise your microphone technique at home...
It's that time of year again when my lovely Komedia Brighton stand-up comedy course graduates enter the first heat hoping to get through to the semi-final heats of the highly prestigious new act competition "So You Think You're Funny." I've had good reason to do my little dance of joy every single year when my comedy course graduates make it through to those semi-final heats at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. When they've got through to the "So You Think You're Funny" Final I've had no choice but to go for full-on boogie. And this year was no exception. My heartfelt congratulations are going out to the brilliant Lisanne Fridsma (below left), tremendous Dave Fensome (above right) and fantastic Zara Preston (below right) on making it through to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival semi-finals of "So You Think You're Funny." They've all worked hard and come a long way since they first walked through the door into my full-length 12 Saturdays stand-up comedy course at Komedia, Brighton. I know they'll make me proud in their semi-final heats at the Edinburgh Festival's legendary Gilded Balloon.
It's happened before that a participant who's attended one of my weekend comedy courses has also got through to the "So You Think You're Funny" semi-finals. And it's happened again this year. A wonderful new American Vietnamese stand-up Kate Jones (in red on right of picture) started out in comedy back in December. Kate joined my weekend comedy course to brush-up her existing comedy skills and get some advice from me. I told her about "So You Think You're Funny" over the weekend. She managed to get into a heat last minute. And Kate has also gone through to the semi-final heats at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It feels like it's going to be a very exciting summer!
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23 February , 2015
Well Saturday night will take some beating as an exciting text filled night of my lovely stand-up comedy course graduates being brilliant! It all began when I got home from teaching my latest group of fledgling aspring comedians on my Stand-Up Comedy Course at Brighton's Komedia. My Comedy Workshops graduate and regular Comic Boom MC Romesh Ranganathan was making his debut appearance on the Jonathan Ross show that night. I love the clip (above) from that show featuring Romesh rapping to the Ross.
And two of my newer fast rising Komedia Brighton comedy course graduates the fantastic Ingrid Dahle and the brilliant David Jordan were in Leicester getting ready to appear in the Final of the highly prestigious "Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year." It's a highly regarded competition because the comedians who appear in this Final have been nominated for it by established comedy promoters within the comedy industry. I'm so proud that this comedy industry award has been won in previous years by my comedy course graduates and past and present MC's of my Komedia Brighton comedy club Comic Boom, Seann Walsh and Romesh Ranganathan.
The highlight of this crazy night for me was that while I was watching Romesh being absolutely brilliant in his debut interview with Jonathan Ross, Ingrid sent me a text letting me know that she had just been named runner-up in "Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year!" I love the photo (above) of Ingrid's reaction to that announcement on the night. It's just so gloriously the fabulous Ingrid Dahle!
The excitement, pep-talks and congratulations whizzed via texts between the four of us until the early hours of the morning. It's enough to just go down well in the Final of this one and our David Jordan who had to open the show earned a great review from judge and comedy critic Bruce Dessau in which he compares our brilliant David to top class musical comedy legends Mitch Benn and Bill Bailey. A very exciting pride-filled night during which my dinner went cold, my mobile phone ran out of charge and my little dance of joy went to full-on boogie.
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18 February , 2015
The Sunday Mirror magazine (15/02/15) asked some super successful women about their best ever investment (left) and my lovely stand-up comedy course graduate bestselling author Jenny Colgan (below) named my comedy course as her "best ever investment." I'm proud and a little bit tear in the eye. Jenny did my stand-up comedy course back in 1996, before I moved it and myself to Brighton and Brighton's Komedia. I have fond memories of teaching my comedy course at the City Lit, back when mine was the only stand-up course in London, and nobody had heard of such a course in the UK. We're still in touch but I remember everything Jenny talks about in this feature and the feeling that she'd got "something." It makes me incredibly happy that the fantastic Jenny turned that "something" into such a super successful writing career.
When Jenny graduated from my advanced comedy workshop and wrote her very successful and very funny first book "Amanda's Wedding" she gave me one of my favourite quotes about her experience of my stand-up comedy course (see below).
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21 January , 2015
I've done a little dance and now I'm sending out huge and heartfelt congratulations to my lovely Komedia Brighton comedy course graduates the brilliant David Jordan (below) and the glorious Ingrid Dahle (left) on their nominations for the much coveted title of "Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2015." This award has been won in previous years by my stand-up comedy course graduates; Seann Walsh and Romesh Ranganathan. No pressure though David and Ingrid!
What makes it so prestigious is that the comedians up for this award have been nominated for it by top comedy club promoters around the country. Only the most genuinely exciting up and coming comedians will earn a nomination, and they've earned it through doing regular outstanding work gigging across the country in big established comedy clubs. Now the eight nominees will comedically battle it out in one show at the excellent Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival to see who will be crowned the "Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2015." It's honour enough just to be on the bill of this exciting show and I know David and Ingrid will make us all proud. They always do!
I'm also taking this moment to congratulate two of my newer Komedia Brighton stand-up comedy course graduates Julie Oliver (bottom left) and Catherine Heskey (bottom right). They both stood out over the last year. Catherine was outstanding in the Final of the Brighton Comedy Festival's Squawker Award and nobody who was there will forget her incredible performance in the heat she won to get into that Final.
Julie Oliver was also terrific in the Squawker Award Final, made it into the Finals of several comedy competitions and was shortlisted for the BBC New Comedy Awards 2014. Having worked her way up the ranks at Comic Boom at Komedia, Julie made her debut at Brighton Komedia's Krater comedy club last week. I'm feeling quietly excited about the comedy future of these two hard working new graduates...
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31 December , 2014
It was another cheering, foot stamping New Act Night show at Brighton's Komedia as thirteen of my latest comedy fledglings (right) took to the stage for the first time ever. My Autumn 2014 stand-up comedy course at Komedia Brighton fledglings delighted a wonderful sold out audience who were packed into that huge main space downstairs at Komedia. It's a hell of a first gig!
And as usual I felt a tad emotional as each of my newbies stepped onto the stage. I applauded, cheered, and jumped up and down doing both, as each of them came off stage! I left my very happy fledgling comedians still celebrating their joyfully triumphant first ever stand-up gigs at the pub (below!) in the early hours. I'm sure/hope they all went home eventually...
We said goodbye to 2014 and welcomed in 2015 at Comic Boom comedy club at Komedia Brighton on the night before New Year's Eve. Zoe Lyons was on truly outstanding form and performed some of the funniest stand-up I've heard in the headline spot. The exciting discovery of the night was newish comedian Steph Laing (left). Lovely Nick Steel the Director of the Bath Comedy Festival persuaded me to give her a shot at Boom. Steph Laing's a future comedy star and my audience loved her. Thanks Nick!
I had a little moment watching my Komedia Brighton comedy course graduate David Jordan (right) that night, as he stormed the show. It's a moment that's hard to describe; when I realise that everything's "clicked" for them and I'm not just watching a graduate I'm watching a professional comedian. Judging by the hysterical reaction of the audience that night I think I'm right to say that musical comedy maestro David Jordan is most definitely one to watch...
2014 has been packed with memorable moments and reasons to be proud of my lovely comedy course graduates. Today I'm just feeling really excited about what they'll all get up to in 2015...
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