Check out the video featured showing the comedy talent that has performed at the festival previously.
CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
NORRIS: We met at the Manchester Met School of Theatre in 2009 and discovered a shared day of birth and a love of dark and surreal comedy. We then decided to write and perform our own. Our first show was in 2010 in a tiny theatre pub in Manchester. About 50 of our friends and family came and one person from the actual public who thought they’d come to our birthday party.
PARKER: All our teachers attended and took up the front row like it was a school assembly. One of the teachers brought his two young children; this was ill advised and at one point he had to shield their eyes and ears. Since then we’ve popped on a “not suitable for under sixteens” warning because we’re so edgy. My Dad was terrified it wasn’t going to be funny and rang me before to ask me if was worth bringing my Uncle Clive. I told him I couldn’t make any guarantees. He took a risk on me and brought Uncle Clive along and luckily it went well enough for him not to feel let down or humiliated.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
PARKER: An over reliance on swearing to compensate for the lack of good jokes.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
NORRIS: Chris Morris, Julia Davis, The League of gentlemen.
PARKER: We have unhealthy obsessions with all of the above. I also love everyone involved in Father Ted, Tommy Tiernan and Doon Mackichan.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
NORRIS: We’re actually trained actors so we get really funny about that question. Infact, I should probably ring my agent about that audition for BBC Doctors that I never got.
PARKER: I never had any ambitions to go into comedy due to being a nervous wreck of a human being. I just copy what Katie does because I want to be her. She recently got a sophisticated bob so I measured it when she was sleeping and got an identical one the next day.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
NORRIS: We sit and stare into each others eyes and pray that jokes appear whilst sipping on copious amounts of Yorkshire gold tea. We then get horrendously drunk on gin and wine and beer and with a hangover we write better because we are in a dark place.
PARKER: It’s a long an arduous process which regularly makes us question why we bother doing it. I like to have the computer as a safety blanket and Norris undermines all my suggestions until I lose all confidence in my abilities. Someone makes a tasteless joke about nonces and because we are tired and hungover we just go with that.
CB: Do you gig as a comedy performer full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
NORRIS:No it is a full time career for us…in between the waitressing, bar tending, lap dancing and answering the phones for British Gas.
PARKER: Shit jobs always provide comedy gold as does human misery (mainly our own), failed relationships, failure in general and our parents.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
NORRIS: The lonely men and drunk men.
PARKER: When people laugh / when nobody laughs.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
NORRIS: Lonely men and drunk men.
PARKER: Strangers who have actually paid and have no obligation to enjoy the show but do enjoy the show.
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
NORRIS: Once Sinead’s Dad shouted ‘I DO STILL PAY YOUR RENT SINEAD!’ He is both lonely and drunk.
PARKER: I think the audience are aware that my ego is so fragile that if they heckled me I would shatter on stage like a china doll and they would witness a person having a full mental breakdown. This may sound amusing in principle but I think the aftermath might be more effort for them than it’s worth.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
NORRIS: My dad says you should do Law instead.
PARKER: I wish I’d done Law. I’m researching Law conversion courses in between answering these questions.
‘SWAG’ is a short silent comedy film written by and starring David Elms, directed by Matt Holt and produced by Sara Shulman.
Director’s Award at the North Carolina Film Festival
“Outstanding Quality Entertainment” – Patrick Manss, Program Director
Award of Merit at the San Francisco Film Awards
LA Indie Film Festival
Tickets: 9:30pm on 7th March 2015 – LA Premiere
Let Live Theatre
916 N. Formosa Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Going South on Formosa from Santa Monica Blvd. it is the Blue Building at the end of the block. There is a 60 car parking lot that is on either side of the building feel free to park here. Additional street parking is available as well as parking in the Gateway Mall, home of Target.
Los Angeles Short Film Festival
Sunday, March 15th
The Promenade Playhouse
1404 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401
6:30pm – 8:00pm
Eastern North Carolina Film Festival
David Elms for Best Actor – Los Angeles Short Film Festival
Mark Davison for Best Supporting Actor – Los Angeles Short Film Festival
Simon Elsbury for Best Cinematographer – Los Angeles Short Film Festival
Thank you to all the cast and crew for their hard work, time and effort, everyone that funded the film, attended the fundraising gigs and screening and supported the film!
Tash Demetriou, Pierre Novellie, Phil Wang, Patrick Turpin
Market Stall Owner
Adam Hess, Stevie Martin, Phoebe Walsh, Liz Smith, Rhys James, Lolly Adefope, Will Green, Tessa Coates
Lizzie Daykin, Adam Lawrence, Hamish Colville, Charles Lyons
Joe Bannister, Ben Ashenden, Alex Owen
Director of Phootgraphy
Additional Camera Assistants
Richard Perry, Oli Ford
Hair & Make Up
Art Department & Poster Design
Rob Morris, David Herd
Tom Lobo Brennan
With thanks to:
Adam Kay, Alex Pudney, Beth Aynsley, Emma Pawle, Gabi Herrett, Gilly Black, Henry Piechoczek, Janet French, Jasper Fry, Jennifer Priestley, John Galvin, Josh Lawton, Laura Sorenson, Neville Galvin, Ollie Black, Richard Elms, Richard Hanrahan, Rohan Acharya, Ryan Taylor & The Pleasance Theatre, Nicholas Flugge
A Dave Has Mates / Humour Me Production
This interview was originally broadcast in December 2011.
Mon 12 – Sat 17 Jan, 7.15pm
£10 Mon, £15 (£12.50) Tue – Thu, £20 (£17.50) Fri – Sat
Mon 19 – Sat 24 Jan, 7.15pm
£10 Mon, £15 (£12.50) Tue – Thu, £20 (£17.50) Fri – Sat
Mon 26 – Sat 31 Jan, 7.15pm
£10 Mon, £15 (£12.50) Tue – Thu, £20 (£17.50) Fri – Sat
New Variety Lives’ annual Top-of-the-Bill new-act showcase, hosted by Arthur Smith at the Bloomsbury Theatre, has selected an eclectic evening of new and diverse comedy acts.
After 6 weeks of ups and downs at Rich Mix, 144 auditionees were narrowed down to a tight 15, who will now present a show crammed full of inspirational comedy and variety on the Bloomsbury stage. On the night a panel of comedy enthusiasts will nominate the Top-of-the-Bill Act for 2015.
The finalists are:
SEAN PATRICK: deadpan commentary on life, love and truth
JOSH R CHERRY: original, slick material, starting to find his voice
CHRIS BETTS: long-form, punchy stand-up
ASHLEY HADEN: angry and topical and very funny
FRANCiS FOSTER: confused human being, in a ridiculous, bizarre wreckage of an existence
MIKEY BHARJ: impressions as comic comment
DON BISWAS: razor-sharp one-liners
THE JEST: innocent sketches with dark, subversive twists
RACHEL FAIRBURN: dark, observational humour with a morbid edge
NICK ELLERAY: droll and literate, laconic Australian in London
DANIEL DUFFY: a comedy snapshot of life in a bizarre Irish village
CHEEKYKITA: clown, character-comedy, surreal, offbeat, energetic and silly
JOE SUTHERLAND: caustic, camp cattiness
JENNY COLLIER: likeable, clever, fast-paced wit
THE HERBERT: a cockney idiot with a whistle and flutes
Headlined by Alasdair Beckett-King
Sunday 25 January 2015 at 7:30pm
Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH
Tickets: £15 | Box Office: 020 3108 1000 | thebloomsbury.com
As someone addicted to comedy, each gig is another opportunity to find that laughter hit, that moment when you see talent and you think “this is why I love stand-up comedy. This is what it’s all about”.
That unique, raw and emerging comic voice that oozes confidence, creativity and commitment to an art that most often seems so simple. Alex Edelman is such a talent and his debut hour at the Edinburgh Fringe is a stunning display of how exciting it can be to watch an emerging writer and performer.
Alex has been performing comedy since he was 15-years-old, starting in the US and has now gigged all around the world. I asked Alex to write about some of his ‘local favourites’ in places he has performed.
An insight into the life of a comedian that you don’t often see on stage. I cannot recommend enough that you go and see him if he’s in a town near you.
When you become a working comedian, and begin travelling for shows, you have to learn to find comfort immediately. You have to be at ease with whatever is thrown at you, unfazed by the unusual and constantly changing locales. Whether it’s a quick visit to a famous city, or an extended stay in an anonymous town, you have to sort of be able to seek out tranquil places where you can find some quiet or fun.
These are my favourite spots in some of the places I’ve performed. They aren’t all restaurants, or beautiful landmarks, or tourist attractions, but they’re places I’ve fondly remembered visiting before or after shows.
Victor’s Nightclub – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Victor’s, a nightclub just a few blocks from the Comedy Café on Water Street, has been an insidious Milwaukee institution for almost half a century. It’s one of those joints where your shoes stick to the floor with every step. Locally, it’s known as the place where horrifying stories and memorable nights begin, and where you’ll find yourself wedged against the bar between sixty-year-old farmers and sixteen-year-old girls who got in on fake IDs. There’s a real powder-keg atmosphere to Victor’s and it can kick off in there at any moment. I once saw a brawl there that began with two couples accidentally bumping into each other during a slow dance to Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love. True story.
Promenade Plantee – Paris, France
This is a bona fide hidden gem, actually. Built over an old rail line that starts behind the Bastille Opera, the Promenade pre-dates New York’s High Line by about two decades, and is three lush miles of jogging paths, sculpture gardens, and Parisians who aren’t aware that it isn’t cool to rollerblade any more.
Back Steps of Panchito’s – New York, NY
Minetta Lane is this narrow sliver of pavement between MacDougal and Sixth Avenue. It’s secluded and quaint and cobblestoned. On weekends, when the two streets on either side of it are heaving with drinkers and audience members from the Comedy Cellar a few steps away, Minetta is still quiet.
Panchito’s, a Mexican place, has its back entrance on Minetta — there’s a more heavily trafficked MacDougal entrance — and a seat on those steps is a much-needed exhale from the pandemonium of the West Village. BTW, right at the end of the alley on Sixth Avenue is Joe’s Pizza, which, I swear to God, has New York City’s best slice. Seriously. Nowhere else even comes close.
The Laser Quest on Dalry Road – Edinburgh, Scotland
Dalry Road runs through the Stockbridge/Haymarket area of Edinburgh, a neighbourhood pretty removed from the 600-odd comedy shows that Edinburgh sees during the Festival. This place is a laser quest place. It’s dark and they give you laser guns and then you run around in the dark and try to shoot each other with the guns. It’s wicked fun.
The Waterhole – Saranac Lake, NY
The Waterhole is a short three-hour drive from Ottawa and a long leisurely five-hour drive from New York. It’s fifteen minutes from Paul Smith College, the finest (and I think only?) accredited University in Adirondack Start Park. I performed at Paul Smith on a particularly brutal winter night, and after the show, the only restaurant still open and serving food was this place, a two-story structure on Saranac Lake’s Main Street. The jukebox played four Bon Jovi songs in a row and the same one twice, but the barbecue sauce wings were as good as any I’ve ever had.
It was really cold that night. Seriously cold. When we took our locally brewed Saranac Lake Root Beer outside to drink on the porch, they froze solid pretty much immediately.
Post Alley – Seattle, Washington
Okay, so it’s this little street just underneath that famous Pike Place Market, and there’s a lot to love about it. It’s a bit of a walk from the comedy rooms in Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square – both areas of Seattle worth a visit – but Post has got this famous bubblegum wall that’s strangely photogenic. It’s just a wall covered in bubblegum, but it’s cool to look at (and add to, btw). Also, five minutes away, in the same little alley, there’s a tiny unmarked pink door that hides a great Italian restaurant/cabaret club.
Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles, CA
After a show at the Laugh Factory or the Comedy Store, take a left and follow Sunset Boulevard until you run out of Sunset Boulevard to follow. You’ll run into Dodger Stadium, one of America’s best places to watch baseball. There’s a great view of LA’s downtown from the stadium’s upper-deck parking lot.
The Bench in Front of the Willow Tree at the Brookline Reservoir – Boston, MA
A few miles up Route Nine there’s this secluded little man-made reservoir in a suburb called Brookline. It’s not a big reservoir, and if you were one of the many people who jog it daily, you’d find it’s almost exactly a mile around. My childhood home is pretty near to it, and after a set at a place like the Comedy Studio in Cambridge, I’ll drive to the reservoir, and walk the half-mile around to where the reservoir’s willow tree is, plug into my iPod, and sit on that bench and try to think calm thoughts for as long as possible, until it’s time to go home.
You can see Alex Eldeman’s Millennial show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe – for more information head over here.
Joz Norris is a stand-up comedian, character comic, writer and actor based in London. He started working on the stand-up circuit in 2011 and has since become a critically lauded and well-respected figure on the alternative comedy, character and clowning circuits, as well as working prolifically in other media and collaborating frequently with some of the best alternative comics.
In 2011, he was one of the winners of the “Huge” competition to perform at the UK premiere of Ben Miller’s film Huge at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square. His first solo character show in 2012, Joz Norris Is Matt Fisher: Uberperson, was greeted with unanimous praise from critics, comics and audiences alike. 2013′s Joz Norris Has Gone Missing was his first full Fringe show and was similarly well-received, being chosen as one of Time Out’s Top Ten Free Shows and Laugh Out London’s Pick of the Free Fringe, as well as being Fringe Review’s Pick for its venue.
He is a frequent collaborator with other comics, being a part of the Chortle Award-nominated Weirdos Collective, with whom he had a part in their sellout performance of Hook in 2012, and he will also have a regular role in Weirdos’ new monthly project, Blueprint. He is also a frequent collaborator with several performers on the clowning circuit and had a regular guest role in the children’s clowning show Are You Serious? A Whimsical Stupid Circus at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe.
In other media, he is one half of the popular online What Not Comedy Podcast with Karl Schultz and is a prolific writer, performer and producer of online sketches, as well as taking roles in sketches by other comics including Bec Hill and Barry Ferns. He is currently working on the early stages of a new webseries currently titled What Not Dating. In May 2012 he was the host of the student-produced online panel show, Punchlines, by UCA Maidstone, and he was also featured as a guest of Tom Wrigglesworth for BBC Radio 4 Extra’s The Comedy Club Interviews in July 2012.
He has worked extensively in theatre, having set up the No Answer Theatre Company in 2007 as a showcase for local acting and writing talent, through which two of his own full-length plays were produced by Salisbury Playhouse. More recently he had a role in two immersive theatre projects by Christopher Green, Late at the Library: The Party Rules at the British Library and This Show Has No Name at the London Wonderground.
Joz Norris will be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe from 30th July – 24th August 2014 at the Underbelly at 16:20 (1 hour).
“Norris has created a genuinely brilliant character, performed with a confidence that belies his years and a pomp that defies the room. The audience loves every second.” – The Skinny
“Quality moments of silliness…Norris performs with indefatigable gusto and not a hint of pretension…the kind of cheeky grin that must have been a hit with the dinnerladies.” – London is Funny
“One of the most exciting comic character creations on the up-and-coming comedy scene…If there’s a space to watch, it’s this one!” – Comedy Blogedy
“Norris is uber-confident, but he has the material to back up his tenacity.” – Time Out
“Actually pretty good.” – Terry Pratchett
“Joz Norris may have gone missing, but his comic ability is still evidently present.” – Three Weeks
“For this young and talented comic, the future is obviously bright.” – The Comedy Journal
“Some of the most original and involving comedy I’ve seen for some time.” – Theatre Geek
Sara Shulman is the Founder and Editor of Comedy Blogedy, TEDxUCL Speaker on ‘The Power of Funny’, specialist comedy blogger for Ticketmaster and blogger for The Huffington Post. Sara was the former Head of Comedy at UCLU Rare FM and produces the Comedy Blogedy podcast ‘Humour Me’. Sara is currently a student at the National Film & Television School and occasionally gigs on the comedy circuit
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