Monthly Update: November 2017

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Find out what’s happening with the society and with the Sheffield comedy scene for the month of November 2017.

Hello everyone and welcome to another monthly update. Telling you all what’s going in Sheffield in November. November! Can you even believe that it’s nearly the end of the year already. Man hasn’t 2017 just flown by, straight into a wind turbine, and slowly been churning since. Hopefully we managed to make it to the end of December before being doused in nuclear fire.

Speaking of fire, of course this sundae marks Guy Fawkes Day, but while it has a lot of historical importance in this country, watching a effigy of Piers Morgan get torched every November 5th does lose it’s appeal. Luckily however, November also holds Black Friday, which is way funnier and better. A holiday created by US corporations and sociopaths who wait outside ASDA at 6 in the morning just to get a good vertical video of two mums slugging it out over a toaster. Although it’s only one day a year, Black Friday fans can be content with the fact that post March 2019 every day will be Black Friday. Hooray!

Anyway, comedy. This is a newsletter about comedy. As the nights get colder and darker. I begin to wonder about the poor punters. Comedy fans so dedicated that they will happily trek miles in the rain and cold just to get an inconvenient seat at the back of a dimly lit pub. They just love comedy that much. We appreciate you guys. Keep it up. And please keep coming to our shows, thanks.

On with the info!

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This Article Is Scary For October: Ethan’s been having a really awful time in Paris. Which is actually kind of impressive in it’s own way if you think about it. I think there’s some comedy talk in there as well.

Committee Shake-up: We held an EGM recently and now some people have left committee positions and some people are in new committee positions and it’s all gone topsy turvy and we don’t really know what’s going on any more.

Loose Cannon: We’ve had it all this past month. Group therapy, fanfiction readings, and a Halloween special with no scares. Be sure to catch up.

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Stand Up Showcase – November ’17 (Sunday 12th November, The Shakespeare, 7:30pm, £3/£2 Members): New venue, same night. Our monthly stand up night may have further in the city centre, but you can still expect 2 jam packed hours of stand up as well crafted and stylistically variant as ever. Come and see the freshest Sheffield student comedy talent before they get too big for their boots and leave for Hollywood.

Looking Sketchy – 8th Birthday Bash (Sunday 26th November, The Shakespeare, 7:30pm, £3/£2 Members): Happy Birthday to us! The Sheffield Revue turns 8 this month, and what better way to celebrate than a conveniently timed sketch show. Expect party hats, birthday cakes and presents, and then be disappointed when those things are either broken or non-existent, then be cheered up by a damn solid sketch show as a consolation.

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REGULAR NIGHTS

Mr Panda’s Comedy Night (Wednesday 1st November, Hagglers Corner, 8pm, Pay What You Want):  Charlie Gascoyne and her panda partner/pal return for a another packed night of comedy. This month features the talents of Edd Crawley, William Thomas Collishaw, Gina Overton, & Paul Mutagejja. Plus sketch comedy from The New Dukes.

Regather Comedy Club (Saturday 11th November, Regather, 7:30pm, £8.50/£6 Student): After a break in october, Sean Morley’s evergreen monthly comedy night returns. This months event is headlined by Lou Sanders. Plus support by Andy Barr & Adele Cliff.

Square Hole Comedy (Sunday 12th November, Red Deer, 7pm, £6 Advance/£8 Door): Rich Milner & co return with a double whammy of McCabe talent. Firstly the acclaimed character comedian Milo McCabe. Then stand up talents from across the atlantic from Kate McCabe. They’re not related, seriously.

Big No No (Thursday 23rd November, Rutland Arms, 8pm, Pay What You Want): Thom Williams brings another alternative comedy showcase to Sheffield. Expect an eclectic night with acts off the beaten track.

Sheffield Improv Jam (Thursday 30th November, DINA, 7:30pm, Pay What Yo,u Want): Another month, another Improv Jam. Have fun playing short form games and get to know Sheffield’s wide reaching improv community.

OTHER SHOWS

John Bishop – Winging It Tour (Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th November, FlyDSA Arena, 8pm, £28-£44.24): John Bishop, comedian, actor, interviewer, household name and probable trillionare, finally returns to Stand Up with his new show. ‘Winging It’. It might be plane themed. I don’t know.

James Acaster – Classic Scrapes Book Tour (Thursday 9th November, Leadmill, 7pm, £16): The five time Endinburgh Comedy Award nominee James Acaster performs material from first ever book, James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes. A collection of self-deprecating anecdotes about scrapes James has gotten himself into over the years, famed from the slot of the same name on Josh Widdicombe’s XFM radio show.

Mark Thomas – A Show That Gambles On The Future (Thursday 9th November, City Hall, 7:45pm, £13.44): The acclaimed comic and activist presents a show where the audience predicts what will happen in the near future, and in today’s climate that may prove an insurmountable task.

Jason Manford – Work In Progress (Thursday 16th November, Leadmill, 6:30pm, £15): Jason Manford, is back with a work in progress show ahead of his national tour in 2018, which promises to feature a wealth of comedy anecdotes, misunderstandings and audience banter delivered with Jason’s likeable charm and teasingly intelligent wit.

Sean Morley – Earned Helplessness (Friday 17th November, Regather, 7:30pm, £5 Advance/P.W.Y.W at Door): The final ever performance of Sean Morley’s genre smashing, award nominated comedy hour. Sean is ready to dazzle you with some of the biggest best jokes, really ready and raring to smash the gig, rase the roof, raze the venue and salt the Earth. Not one to be missed.

Justin Moorhouse (Thursday 23rd November, Leadmill, 7pm, £16): Everyone’s favourite northern charmer is back on the road and better than ever. After touring last year’s show, he’s had a think about people. And feelings. About people Justin knows, their feelings and how he feels about them. And they about him. It’ll be a (very) funny show. Promise.

Katherine Ryan – Glitter Room (Saturday 25th November, Octagon Centre, 8pm, £19.50): What does Canada’s first woman to have a worldwide Netflix special have in common with Britain’s first woman to have a worldwide Netflix special? They are both single mothers with too many pets. And they are both Katherine Ryan.

Jason Byrne: The Man With Three Brains (Sunday 26th November, City Hall, 8pm, £21.84): Jason Byrne has three brains which kick into action when he hits the stage. His left brain scans the audience looking for improv moments, his right brain collates stand-up material and stunts, and his centre brain is Jason’s coach, pushing him to the limit.

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Every month we ask members young & old the important questions of today, in comedy and beyond. Here are their answers for this month.

“Where is comedy going in the future? Where do you see the local comedy circuits in 20 years? Why?”

I feel like for previous generations of comedians the focus has, rightly or wrongly, been getting on TV. You know you’ve made it when your sit-com gets picked up by channel 4, or your sketch show is on BBC2, or you’re invited onto one of the big stand-up vehicles like Live at The Apollo. There are exceptions of course (Stewart Lee being one very successful act with a fairly minor TV career) but mostly you become well-known off the back of being on the telly. Well this isn’t the 90s and TV is dead. Our generation watches TV on streaming services when we can be bothered, the 10 year olds I taught last year don’t watch TV at all – they’re all hooked on youtube. Some people decry the weird online world of endless choice, but in lots of ways it’s good. We’re no longer being told by (mostly straight, white and male) TV execs that these (mostly straight, white and male) comedians are funny. Comedy will spread much more by word of mouth, through social media yes, but also just plain old word of mouth. Word on the playground will no longer be ‘Did you see last night’s mock the week?’, it will be ‘I’ve found this new comedian on youtube…’.

The comedians who survive will be the ones who can build a fan base without the aid of traditional media patrons. The stand-up who’s on fire on twitter, the sketch troupe who can make a great budget web series, and, as *should* eternally been the case, the people who are just really great live. This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to herald in a golden age of what largely left-wing millenial student comedy nerds would think of as ‘great’ comedy (you only have to look to the literary world and the 50 Shades of Grey juggernaut), it might even unfortunately mean the viral spread of things that people find pretty abhorrent, but in a world with more choice there will be more room for everyone and that means a wider variety of progressive voices to balance out the shit.

So to sum up, I reckon the future of comedy is a wider diversity of acts who engage more directly with their audiences, which I reckon is largely a good thing. But I’m also a hopeless optimist.”

“In all honesty, I’d love to be able to say that in 20.years time local comedy in the UK will be as big as it it in the States, and that most major cities will have a scene similar to London or Manchester. But I jsut dont see that happening. Lets take a look at sheffield. The local comedy scene is pretty strong, theres huge connection between stand up nights, Improv groups and sketch troupes. Yet still the comedy scene in Sheffield is almost non existent. Until there are more dedicated comedy venues, and less of a gap between professional and amateur comedy in Sheffield, the scene really isn’t going to take off. Until there are serious changes across the UK in this regard, I’ve got a feeling that Manchester and London will still be the only hubs of comedy.”

 

“The future of comedy begins with the death of stand-up, which I think has started already: aided by the over saturation of panel shows and censored, overly clean and tightly produced stand-up showcases on TV, the over saturation of lame yet expensive open mic nights and incompetent open mic comedians, along with the toxic landscape in many comedy circles that resembles “it’s who you know, not how good you are” which causes line ups to crumble out of politeness to comedians who haven’t progressed after twenty years of repeating the same material, has led to the once stand-up enthusiastic youth to turn to hate stand-up, and thus it dies a slow, pathetic death, with the likes of Peter Kay and Michael McIntyre refusing to let their fevered egos disappear without an extra few million in their bank accounts.

Double acts and sketch troupes take over from the dull and tired one person seriousness that is modern stand-up, as they’re more able to be silly as their egos aren’t over inflated and they aren’t focused on the idea of celebrity, an idea that kills all creativity and originality.

When this happens, the world suddenly becomes obsessed with sketch comedy, which over inflates the egos and over saturates the market, which in turn leads to its death. A constant death cycle induced by capitalism and the idolatry of the human mind turns again, allowing stand-up to return to its former glory, before quickly being ripped to shreds again. It continues in this way for years until someone finally has enough and bans comedy.

In the end, the only thing that audiences crave is the death of the performer, and that is what they always get.”

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Here’s a fun fact about pandas. See you next month.

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