Top acts from TV, radio and the comedy circuit will be appearing at the opening night of Canalside Comedy at the 115-seater Hebden Bridge Little Theatre in April.
And it is all thanks to a chance meeting between a former comedy promoter and a former stand-up comic during the recent staging of the Alan Ayckbourn farce If I Were You at the theatre.
Stacey Buss (nee Hunter), who was handling sound for the production, began her involvement with stand-up more than 20 years ago at the Cosmic Comedy Club in Hammersmith, and represented top acts like Dave Allen, Rory Bremner and Jo Brand working at the Richard Stone Partnership.
Edmund Tirbutt, who played the male lead in If I Were You, performed stand-up under the name Ed de Cantor and won the 2015 Silver Stand-Up Awards – the competition to find the country’s best older comedian held at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.
Edmund says: “Stacey and I had been working together for weeks without having a clue about our shared background but as soon as biogs of cast and crew appeared in the programme on the opening night the secret was out.
“Both of us had already thought Hebden Bridge Little Theatre would be a fantastic venue for stand-up and, having just learned of the closure of the town’s comedy club, launching a series of comedy nights seemed a no-brainer.”
The first night features TV comedian Jon Richardson as guest MC and includes prolific radio performer and comic writer Nick Doody and Welshman Noel James, who became a household name last year during Britain’s Got Talent. Also appearing are Lucy Beaumont and Kevin Precious.
Said Stacey: “We are hoping to introduce stand-up to a whole new audience. The theatre has been selling out regularly for its comic productions.
“We see obvious synergies between quality stand-up and some of the comedies we’ve staged here recently, such as ‘Allo ‘Allo, The 39 Steps and a couple of Ayckbourn farces.”
The opening night is Sunday, April 28 and tickets, costing £12 each, can be booked directly online from www.canalsidecomedy.co.uk
Promoter Rob Riley confirmed Hebden Bridge Comedy Club has stopped for now but wanted people to know he has a show with Britain’s Got Talent star Daliso Chaponda on Easter Sunday at The Fleece, Barkisland, details of which will appear in Go in a forthcoming edition.