Live From The Bill Murray

Just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who watched the first (and hopefully not the last!) show live from the Bill Murray this year. It was a brilliant show that captured the sort of warm chaos the Bill Murray engenders, and it reminded me why live comedy is such a special thing. There was a real community spirit in the venue that night – thanks for being part of that community too!

Luckily Christian wasn’t just on tweets that night, and he managed to capture some great shots in amongst his other duties. I thought I’d share some of the best ones from a night to truly remember.

We’ve also got a couple more Saturday night shows planned before we reopen the doors to the public, you can grab tickets here:

Saturday 17th April – Phil Nichol, Liz Miele, Sikisa, Cally Beaton & Fiona Ridgewell

Saturday 1st May – lineup to be announced

     

Looking Back Over The Best Medicine Festival

 

Towards the end of February, Martin Willis from Objectively Funny and myself sat down to discuss putting on a couple of ‘wellness’ workshops for people in the comedy industry. As a therapist and Director of Angel Comedy, it was a way to morph my two passions in to one – and I was intrigued by Objectively Funny’s engagement with mental health during the 2019 Edinburgh Festival.

By the end of that zoom call, things had got a bit out of hand.

We agreed to put on a Festival, in a few weeks, with panels, workshops and gigs. Maybe Ruby Wax could be one of the panellists. Why not? How about Dave funding some of it? Sure, let’s ask!

 

After a year of furlough (and before that quite a bit of maternity leave for myself), I found myself putting more hours in than I had in a long time. And now I’m on the other side, I thought I’d take some time to reflect.

I’m massively grateful to the project for helping me to re-engage with the comedy community and transition from full time mum to kick ass business-woman once more. For the first times in a long while, I had the chance to wriggle out of my comfort zone: uncomfortable sometimes, but exciting too. My Inner Critic was very loud (‘It should have all been more PERFECT!’ ‘How come you’re not as charismatic as Ruby Wax?’). Luckily, there was a workshop on that. 

 

The Festival also had some objectives that weren’t all about me:

  • To raise money for mental health charities
  • To provide support for comedians
  • To explore what continued support comedians might need and what the industry could offer.

I think we did pretty well here. We raised money for The Listening Place, CALM, Black Minds Matter and Frazzled Café. Workshops were generally well attended, with some excellent feedback. And the conversation has certainly got started in terms of what comedians might need. Turns out they don’t all need the same thing. Who’d have thunk?

 

What we learned

Martin and I had a chat last week about what we might do differently ongoing. 

With future workshops, for example, we might vary the times they take place to improve access. Although an impressive 60 participants were engaged throughout the week, I wonder if more weekend or evening workshops could have helped with accessibility.

I think this experience has also helped me clarify some of my thoughts around ‘mental health’ and support, which I would be more explicit with next time. I don’t want to just offer support to people who consider themselves to have ‘mental health problems’ (although I don’t want to exclude those people either!). I wonder how many people refuse to reach out for support because they consider themselves to be healthy? 

Comedians don’t need a mental health problem to feel anxious or sad or overwhelmed in the comedy industry. 

These emotions are very human, and also very understandable in an industry that can feel competitive and unsupportive. 

 

What we did well

I’m really proud of what we achieved and blown away by the hours and dedication that the Objectively Funny and Angel teams displayed in pulling this together. It was an absolute joy to work with Martin for the first time; the beginning of an exciting partnership, I think.

 

Also:

  • A gig that was positively reviewed in The Guardian
  • Seven workshops, engaging over 60 participants, that actually had an impact on peoples’ lives, ranging from ‘Meeting your Inner Critic’, to exploring spirituality and mindfulness. A representative from Objectively Funny or Angel were at each of them and witnessed some beautiful moments of people finding acceptance or inner support.
  • A conversation started.

 

Objectively Funny and Angel don’t want to stop here. As the industry re-opens, we want to continue asking what more the industry can to do to support comedians in a career that is an absolute privilege – and also has its unique challenges. 

 

How can we build resilience in the face of a disinterested audience or scathing review or a difficult agent? If comedians choose to be authentic and vulnerable in their sets, how can they do that safely and with support? What are some of the conditions the industry needs to explore that all have an impact on mental health: money; harassment; prejudice.

I don’t have any solutions right now, but we’ll see you soon in the clubs, and can continue these conversations in person.

 

For now, be kind to yourself, and – please – reach out for support if you need it. 

 

Sarah Pearce

March Madness

Holy shit bruh have you seen these lineups?

 

As we start building up to reopening, and look to a future where live comedy isn’t illegal, it’s also been fun to look back over our past and some of the crazy stories that come from working in a live comedy venue where comedians run it instead of bean counters people with financial acumen. We’ll be sharing a few of our favourite stories over the next few months.

I’ve always loved that Angel Comedy has been a home for comedians wherever they are in their careers, whether that’s comics at the top of their games, or people just starting off. I love looking at some of the names who were doing their first few gigs at RAW in 2017 and seeing where they are now.

I’m really bloody happy that we managed to put out the Best Medicine Festival this month, but looking at the lineups in March 2017, it looks like every month at Angel Comedy is pretty much the Comedy festival of my dreams…

Opening Ourselves Up to Laughter

We work in laughter.

We give that gift to everyone else.

How much do we give it to ourselves?

How have you found laughter and joy for yourself this last year?

 

I was terrified I’d turn into a marshmallow if I didn’t make a plan as soon as lockdown hit, which is how I come to be saying that I’ve been facilitating online laughter yoga for the last year. The offering was a gift to others, but being someone who does things when I’ve made myself accountable, I knew it was the only way I’d prioritise it for myself.

Though I trained in laughter yoga 10 years ago, I didn’t actually start facilitating it in earnest until the lockdown hit last year. I had always weaved it into my other work, but with all my work GONE, I thought I’d give it a go.

I can honestly say it has had a profound impact on me.

Waking up every weekday morning, looking for something to laugh about (especially on days where the world looks bleak personally or globally) has been a wonderful challenge for me that I’m hugely grateful for.

This year I’ve been “practising” laughter yoga. You know how we speak about yoga as a practice? It’s the same. Showing up day in, day out. Doing the laughter yoga “on the mat”, and watching the impact on my life “off the mat” throughout the rest of the day.

In laughter yoga, you don’t always laugh for real, not at first, anyway. Your body doesn’t know the difference, so it doesn’t matter, but little by little, the more I have practised, the more I notice real laughter, joy, delight in life bubble out of me.

I celebrate small victories and my creative brain has expanded. I’m more productive (as long as I harness the energy right!).

When we laugh, we breathe more deeply, we connect to ourselves and each other.

Other people who’ve joined me have described that they now breathe more fully than before, that they feel more confident, more resilient, more playful, more open-hearted, kinder, more creative.

I’ve no idea if it can help you, because it seems to impact us all in different ways, but this coming Friday, we’re going to take a little moment to invite the part of us that is very easily pleased by very simple silly things out to play, and see how it goes.

 

People think it’s all a bit “wacky”.

You are welcome to this opinion. It might feel like it at first, but actually, it’s incredibly serious.

Our lives have been so limited over this last year and we don’t really know when it’s going to end. This, for me is a safe way to still travel, have adventure, be challenged, play.

It’s likely we will edge out of the comfort zone, but we’re going to take it nice and gently.

 

There’ll be some laughter exercises, some writing, some checking-in, some celebrating.

I hope you can join me for what is going to be a really special hour.

And if you can’t join this session, you’re welcome to join me on weekday mornings.

There’s more info on my website: www.everybodylaughtogether.com

Why The Bloody hell is Shamanism part of Mental Health Week?

Hi, I’m Sarah. I used to do a bit of comedy back in the day; some of you might remember me holding up a psychic magazine (Chat, It’s Fate), and being snide about past lives.

Now I find myself, as one of the directors of Angel Comedy, pushing for Shamanism to be included as part of The Best Medicine Festival, our mental health week. What on earth happened?

Well, I did this Intro course with Dean. I wasn’t expecting much; was just interested in finding out about something I had no prior experience of. Dean started talking about different worlds, and – as a card carrying atheist – I was sceptical to say the least. And then I met my power animal, felt like I’d mainlined MDMA, and said to my boyfriend ‘shit, does that mean it’s all true then?’. He shrugged – ‘does it matter?’

Over the next few years, I started helping to build a comedy venue, training to be a therapist and having a baby – so performing took a back seat. I struggled with burn out and anxiety and throughout this period, my continued practice of Shamanism truly helped with my mental health.

A way to connect to a deeper, wiser level of myself; to my self-compassionate unconscious. A way to just ‘be’ (which, as an active thinker and do-er isn’t easy, believe me). A way to ‘be’ that’s a bit more exciting than meditation, because you get to meet Kali and David Bowie and unicorns and stuff.

As time went on, I started to realise I was experiencing this ‘spirituality’ that people kept going on about. A very grounded, practical, useful spirituality – and one that feels very much ‘mine’. Everyone’s is different, and that’s the beauty of shamanism: it’s NOT one size fits all. Dean offers you a framework and then you’re off to explore yourself and your connection to the world. And if that isn’t relevant to mental health, I don’t know what is.

Community

Doing up a kickstarted venue

Angel Comedy is built on the principle of community. We want to make comedy accessible to everyone, so we host free shows every night of the week, as well as weekly free and inclusive comedy workshops.

This section of our website is a notice board for our community. It will be updated weekly. You can email submissions and comments to info@angelcomedy.co.uk

Please enjoy.

An incomplete list of podcasts from our community

All I Do Is Fail is a podcast that likes to look at life’s failures and celebrate them. Hosted by comedians Tom Elwes and Ali Woods. They are joined by a different guest every week to discuss their life’s failings. The flaw is yours! iTunes Spotify

Billy Joe Mates. A comedy podcast that takes comedians back to school to resit a subject of their choosing. Presented by Joseph Emslie and Joseph Parsons. iTunes Spotify

The Comedian’s Comedian Podcast with Stuart Goldsmith for anyone who writes comedy, makes comedy, loves comedy or just has an interest in comedians and what makes them so annoying. Stuart has interviewed more than 275 of the funniest people in the world (often at The Bill Murray) about how they do what they do.  Acast iTunes Spotify

Daddy Look at Me with Helen Bauer and Rosie Jones. It takes a certain type of person to work in showbiz, and often it was clear from the start that they were destined to end up on stage. Daddy Look At Me takes the time to explore these scenarios with a guest every week. Acast iTunes Spotify 

FOCUS PEOPLE! With David Mills. A look back at the week and a look ahead to a more dynamite future. iTunes Podbean

Nobody Panic. Formerly known as The Debrief Podcast. Your guidebook to being a fully functioning adult without screaming all the time. Each week, Stevie Martin and Tessa Coates tackle life’s big, small, fun and sometimes scary questions with the help of experts and special guests because we’re all in this together, guys. So nobody panic. Produced by our friends at Plosive Productions and recorded at The Bill Murray. Acast iTunes Spotify

Join The Loremen (James Shakeshaft and Alasdair Beckett-King) as they “investigate” local legends and forgotten folklore. iTunes Castbox 

At the Mystery on the Rocks bar you’ll find a retired sleuth, the bartender trying to settle his tab, and the down-on-her-luck lounge singer, solving mysteries and drinking cocktails. Each week a new guest enters the bar and attempts to solve an unsolved mystery alongside the regulars. Hosted by Masud Milas, Chris Stokes, and Sooz Kempner. Acast iTunes Spotify

Off Menu. Comedians Ed Gamble and James Acaster invite special guests into their magical restaurant to each choose their favourite starter, main course, side dish, dessert and drink. Ever wanted to eat your dream meal? It’s time to order Off Menu. Produced by our friends at Plosive Productions and often recorded at The Bill Murray. Acast iTunes Spotify

The Rob Auton Daily Podcast. It is him reading out writing he’s written that he values enough to want to share with people who are not him. The pieces range from 2-8 minutes and are accompanied by music and sounds (most of the time). Produced by our friends at Plosive Productions. Acast iTunes Spotify  


Funny funnies

 

Daniel Muggleton – 3 Stripes

Follow Daniel on twitter and instagram. Watch part II of his special here


Alasdair Beckett-King’s Lear

Follow Alasdair on twitter, youtube, and listen to his podcast.


Crush On: Lynn Ruth Miller

Follow Lynn Ruth on twitter.


Lad Pad Episode 2 with Ali Brice and Joz Norris

Follow Ali on twitter and instagram

Follow Joz on twitter and instagram. Follow Mr Fruit Salad on twitter.


Things Drinkers Say to Non-Drinkers

Follow Daman on twitter, instagram and youtube.


James OD’s new life mission

 
 
 
 
 
Ver esta publicación en Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida por James O’D. (@jamesodcomedy) el

Follow James on twitter and instagram.


Taylor Trash – Smooth Operator

Follow Lou on twitter and instagram.

Nish Kumar returns to The Bill Murray

The wonderful Nish Kumar returns to The Bill Murray this May for a run of work in progresses of his new show: It’s in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves.

The Double Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee & host of The Mash Report trials new material for a national tour. The title is a quote from Terminator 2. There will be jokes about politics, mankind’s capacity for self-destruction and some jokes that simply don’t work.

6:45 – Wednesday the 9th May – SOLD OUT

6:45 – Thursday the 10th May – SOLD OUT

2pm – Sunday the 13th May

6:45 – Thursday 17th May

6:45 – Monday the 21st May

6:45 – Wednesday the 23rd May

6:45 – Thursday the 24th May

Come watch someone build something.