In the six months since we spoke to regional comedy outfit Felt Nowt, they’ve moved from online live streamers with Felt Fridays to residency-making, hyper connected, uber-comedians. On the eve of opening up the first of a number of local residencies in the North East Damian Robinson caught up with one of the Felt Nowt team, Hal Branson, to find out more.
Hi Hal, amazing to see what came of Felt Fridays, you must be proud of what you achieved?
Absolutely yes, our main goal as an organisation is to try and promote local comedic talent and give them a platform to be heard and seen. Felt Fridays really helped to do that at a time where live, in-person, comedy shows weren’t possible.
And now you’ve got the residency in Whitley Bay about to start?
Yeah, what’s great is that some of the acts who appeared on Felt Fridays are now at a point where they can build out their set and go from doing, say 10 minutes, to doing a 15 minute slot. Small things like that really make a difference in the world of comedy and we’re hoping that Felt Fridays helped to build some of the confidence of a number of really promising comics who can now, potentially, play some in-person shows.
Tell us about the Whitley Bay residency
So we’ve signed to play every weekend, and also run some kids comedy events, from the 23d July until April 2022. Ideally we’ll go on in Whitley Bay for much longer than that, but we’ll be playing in a brand new venue called Laurel’s Theatre which is an amazing venue in the town centre which holds 70 seats.
Amazing, and it opens on the 23rd?
It launches at 7pm on Friday 23rd July with Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy as well as local comedy great Matt Reed, Felt Nowt New Act of the Year Kelly Edgar and host Lee Kyle.
And the plan is to repeat the comedy shows on the Friday and Saturday?
In the main yes, though on the opening weekend Lost Voice Guy is unavailable on the 24th so it’ll be the same line up but with a different headliner; I can’t tell you who it is but it’s a really really special event
Amazing, and then alongside that can you tell us who else will be playing the Whitley Bay venue?
We’ve announced a number of the line-ups, including details about the kids comedy events, on our socials so if people are interested in hearing about who else is playing that’s the best place to head to. As always as out mission is to support local comedy and local comedians, the line ups consist of some really strong local acts.
And aside from the Whitley Bay shows what else is happening with Felt Nowt?
As we’re a local Community Interest Company we try to do as much as possible in the region and to reinvest any profit back in to local comedy, so we’ve got a number of events happening across the region, including working with kids groups and charities and on top of this we’ve got some gigs in different parts of the region and a second residency we’re announcing really soon. What’s really nice about these gigs and these events is that it’s all an opportunity for people to see some really great comedians from the North East and for those comedians to develop their skills and confidence.
The Felt Nowt residency in Whitley Bay starts on July 23rd – you can find details on their soicals.
Felt Nowt Productions CIC