Underground Comedy Club

The Underground Comedy Club presents: Ian Stone

Today is the big day. The first ever Underground Comedy Club night at the Prince Edward Notting Hill

In preparation I have been handing out postcard flyers, emailing chums, Facebooking the world. Inviting companies like TimeOut and Chortle and handed out 10 tickets to gyms and estate agents I am in touch with, in hope that they will pass on the word.

To‐do list:

Documents to create and print

  • Line‐up of comics with times
  • Contact list of everyone involved
  • Client details list
  • Performance fees
  • Guest list

Things to set up

  • Buy a cash box
  • Buy a spare mic and lead
  • Get £200 in £10 notes
  • Set up the venue with a stage area, chairs and tables
  • Set up mic and test speakers
  • Music

Things to remember on the night

  • Collect all the tickets
  • Explain rules of the night
  • Explain layout of the night
  • Explain what kind of night it will be
  • Remember all comics’ names
  • Pay all comics
  • Press record on the video recorder
  • Keep time of all acts and the night
  • Control the heckling
  • Thank everyone
  • Plug the following event on the 12th June

This is all great, though there is one thing missing, my stand‐up material and there is no time to practice!

I have 10mins to kick the night off, with a further 10mins after the interval, not forgetting a few mins in between each act! Basically this will be the most important night and I will be on stage for approximately 30mins! Oh shit!

Oh well no time to worry about that as I have to leave to set up the venue…

Underground Comedy Club - Notting Hill Venue

Underground Comedy Club — Notting Hill Venue

Underground Comedy Club - Notting Hill Venue

Underground Comedy Club — Notting Hill Venue

Ok venue sorted, all I need is an audience!

If you build it they will come…

The Chalkboard in the Prince Edward upstairs

The Chalkboard in the Prince Edward upstairs

At 8pm which was when we were supposed to start I announced the ‘5mins till we start’, then the ‘3mins till we start’ (obviously 2 mins after the first announcement…) and then the next thing I was walking on to get this night up and running!

It’s a really strange feeling to walk on stage with no one actually introducing you…

I’d planned to explain the rules of the night, the way the night was going to work, and the all‐important interval in the middle of the night. I’d noticed that 2 people in the front row had already nailed their drinks before I had even introduced the first act, ‘Crumbs’, I thought, ‘Would 1 interval be enough?’

Now there’s something I need to get off my chest. I am really bad at remembering peoples names. Panic rips through me whenever I have to introduce people as I always get it wrong. I once forgot my wife’s name through panic!

So imagine having to introduce acts to an audience! What would happen if I got that info wrong?! Luckily I had brought my trusty hand to write on. Phew…

Paul Ricketts Performing

Paul Ricketts performing a brilliant opener to the Underground Comedy Club’s first ever night

As I introduced Paul Ricketts, I knew I was in good hands, he would make the audience love me! As he walked onto the stage, or should I say floor area surrounded by chairs, he reached out for the mic at the same time as I reached out to shake his hand… if this was a game of ‘How to look cool’, I would be clearly in last place. Then to make matters worse I suddenly tried to put the mic stand back in its neutral position in front of me. Paul then had to pick it back up and put it where I had just got in from… balls.

Paul Ricketts Performing a brilliant Opener to the Underground Comedy Club's first even Stand Up Night

Ian Stone performing a pants‐wettingly funny closing act to the Underground Comedy Club’s first ever night

To be honest, that was one of many boo‐boos and moments of panic throughout the night, though the audience didn’t seem to notice or care; they were too busy having a seriously brilliant time, laughing, joking, losing their handbags in the toilets and re‐arranging the chairs!

Paul Ricketts was brilliant, and Ian Stone finished off the night beautifully with everyone wanting more. The other acts were also a great support.

After the show I have to be honest I was completely exhausted. I thought doing a 10min set was draining, though this was a whole knew level of drain!

I couldn’t believe I had done it. I couldn’t believe it went so well, and I couldn’t believe people came up to me after the night and shook my hand and said they couldn’t wait for the next event on the 12th June. It was a great night and thanks to both Laura Tambling and Susan Husband who helped so much

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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