Colchester's has always had a comedy scene – the Arts Centre plays hosts to a number of big names, as well as the Funny Farm in Wivenhoe – and in the last three years, it's grown into something much bigger.
The Colchester Comedy Festival has acted as a great catalyst for performers from all levels to test their mettle, with high profile acts rubbing shoulders with first timers in the ever popular New Comedian of the Year Competition, as well as providing workshops for those wanting to take steps into the world of comedy.
On top of that, The Unmistakable Scent of Leopard – the name deriving from a true story regarding the Krankeys – have been putting on monthly nights, with the support of venues such as The Waiting Room, Slack Space and Firstsite; in 2015, they took their show “The Hyper-Bowl” to the Edinburgh Fringe and will be returning to the Scottish capital in 2016.
From the23rd March is a brand-new open mic, Brew Ha Ha at the Brew House. The pub itself has played host to a number of different nights; the start of March saw their week long Fringe Festival take place, under the auspices of Chris Lidbury and Andy Skene. It also serves a nice pint!
If you're interested in putting on an event, drop in and have a chat.
There's lots to see over the summer , so keep these dates free in your diaries :
Thursday April 28th – Wivenhoe Funny Farm – Wivenhoe Cricket Club, 8pm (£7.00, £5.50
Thursday April 28th - Comedy at the Three Wise Monkeys – The Three Wise Monkeys (Free)
1st June- Brew Haha - Start of the Edinburgh Previews- Queen St Brew house
There's a dearth of great acts at all of these, featuring the likes of Colcestrians Carl Denham and Scott Casey (both graduates of Hazel Humphrey's popular comedy course) and BBC Radio New
Act of the Year finalist Athena Kugblenu amongst numerous others.
I'll be reporting back on these, as well as interviewing local comics.
Remember – support live comedy in Colchester!