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  • Jon Matthews

Spring Update


The first public performance of the Pillars of Society Comedy Roadshow was a resounding success. The practical and technical elements of the show came together excellently thanks to Christian's handy skills with a pritt-stick and Liz Richards on sound and lighting. The comedy element worked very well, with great feedback received on the cohesive nature of the show and the way the different sections blended together yet also contrasted each other. It has been great fun to work with Eliza and Christian on this project and I'm looking forward to taking it to our next performance in Bath on May 24th.

Meanwhile, between gigging, digging, working and studying, I've recently taken over a comedy open mic night at a local pub: The Oxford in Totterdown. The venue already has an excellent reputation for live music and a music open mic night that is considered to be one of the best in the region and now it wants to add a successful comedy night feather to its hat.

Late last year a series of open mic nights were held by various organisers, with varying success before a lengthy spell off in the new year. At the end of February I took over organising the night which now runs every other Tuesday with a different MC each time. A consistent format helps people know what to expect and allows us to have as many comedians performing a decent sized time slot as possible. This idea was inspired by the Comedy Club China open mic nights I was involved with in Beijing, as was the notion that sign up priority is given to those who did not perform at the previous event.

This night, which I hope will become a staple of the Bristol comedy scene, has picked up considerably and the last few have been well attended and whilst there are some technical issues to be solved (which will be very soon) the night is becoming a success.

As a result of the additional business these activities, I have perhaps been guilty of not writing as much comedy lately as I have in the past. In an effort to correct this, as part of my year of monthly challenges, I am now undertaking 'joke-a-day May'. That name is not a comment on the Prime Minister's competence and is in fact an effort to write a joke every day for the month. Some of them will be good and some of them will be bad and some of them may be completely unrepeatable in public but it will hopefully prove to be a useful exercise.

What else is coming up? After a quiet week this week, May will see me visit Cheltenham (8th) and Bath (24th) as well as a trip to London (18th) to perform at a Trade Union Club, a gig I am very much looking forward to. I will also be performing across Bristol at The Velindra (16th), The Crofters' Rights (20th) and The Oxford (22nd).

Later in the Summer, Pillars of Society Comedy Roadshow will head to Shaftesbury Fringe Festival (June 1st), Glas-Denbury (June 7th) and other locations to be arranged. I will be making an appearance at Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival, Edinburgh Fringe and potentially some other festivals too. It is going to be a busy and fun Summer full of ups and downs; tents and late night buses; sunshine and cider; rain and laughter and hopefully at the end of it there will be plenty of great stories to tell.


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