Random Thoughts

UCC presents Angela Barnes — The Day After

Christ, it takes me about 3 days to recover from each one of these comedy nights at the Underground Comedy Club.

There appears to be a lot more pressure on my little shoulders than I originally thought; everything that needs to place before the event: Comics, flyers, tickets, seating, lighting, sound check, mics, advertising, newsletters, social media… the list is endless.

Then there’s the running of the actual night. Once that clock starts ticking, it’s game on! Whatever happens, you have to just run with it! Add to that the job of the MC (a role I have very little experience in) and it’s suddenly quite a bit to achieve.

So forgive me if I allow myself a massive pat on the back for achieving a second successful night, though there were a number of things I want to improve on for next month to make the night ever better. One thing I really like is that I get to meet up with a load of chums at the end of the night (something which is always a struggle to organise in London).

Things I noticed I can make even better:

  • The mics once again seemed to fail, even though I replaced them for wireless.
  • The kitchen located at the back of the room can be heard, but there is no other way to serve people upstairs.
  • There was noise from the street as the venue doors were open!
  • People are using the upstairs bar much more than the downstairs bar.
  • The Chalk artist wrote: ‘Danny Rampling’s Comedy Night’ & ‘Buy tickets: FB Dan Rampling Comedy’!
  • The music didn’t fit the atmosphere and was too relaxed.
  • The night is quite stressful as I feel I am trying to juggle too many jobs on the night with not enough experience in any of them!
  • Tickets possibly priced too high.
  • Do we have enough pro comics on the bill to compete with the big boys?
Comedy sotre logo

Research needed:

The biggest Comedy venue in London is the Comedy Store, they perform every night and on the weekends they perform twice a night! Each main night they have 4 pro comics and a pro MC. Its prices range from £20.50-£28 on a Thursday and £22.50-£30 on a weekend. They have a happy hour before the after and 500+ seating.

Obviously I can’t compete with these guys, though Londoners are not massively interested in travelling especially into the heart of the city: “More than 2 tube stops and I ain’t interested!” especially as it’s a nightmare getting a taxi in Soho. So I have that on my side as there are no other pro stand‐up comedy nights in Notting Hill.

What to do for next time…

  • No mics from now on, the room is wider than it is deep, so it should be fine.
  • Chat to staff, so they know to be quiet and focus on getting punters to drown out any other noises.
  • Close the venue doors whilst the comics are on stage.
  • Make sure the chalk artist has a flyer to work off.
  • Get the music sorted. Go the the Comedy Store and see what they play.
  • Increase number of comics to 4 and have 1 of them as the MC to take the pressure off me on the night.
  • The venue is a great place to iron out all the creases and there will never be a perfect venue.
  • Keep the tickets as a low price £10 on the door and £8 in adv. Focusing on filling the venue.
  • Have fun, it’s supposed to be fun remember!

Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.

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