Si Beckworth. 30.1.21

Continuously updating their approach to North Eastern comedy, local Community Interest Company (CIC) Felt Nowt, continue to shine a light on local talent through their iterative approach to helping comedy reach new places.  Driven by a number of live productions, including Felt Nowt Fridays, their aim is not only to make us laugh, but also to give back.  Damian Robinson caught up with Felt Nowt member, and local comic, Si Beckworth to find out more.

Hi Si, can you tell us what Felt Nowt is all about?

Essentially it’s a number of local comedians trying to do our best to raise the profile of both local North Eastern Comedians and local shows.  We’ve recently become a CIC which means what we’re also doing is to place all of our profits back into the local community through outreach projects and events to benefit the North East.

Wow, that sounds amazing

Thanks.  In the team there’s a lot of us with a love for the punk and DIY attitude so we wanted to try and work out ways to find gigs for comedy, as well as to showcase new talent from the region and to take comedy to places it’s maybe never been in the region.  We want to create work for comedians across the region and our manifesto is to give back, especially to those areas and groups most hit by the impact of COVID, so we want to help all of the North East scene to be great. 

And part of this is the live show ‘Felt Nowt Fridays’?

That’s right.  I think most people are probably a bit sick of zoom live shows, and I think it’s really hard for comedians to know what’s working when they use zoom, so we’re working with the Alphabetti theatre to run some really great live shows where every other Friday there’s going to be 4 top acts and a compare, so it’ll be a complete show with truly live sets.  The way we’ve set up the theatre is that the show can have audience interaction which means it’s a better experience for the comedian and the audience and as close to the real thing as possible.  Some people prefer this format as it’s live and it means they don’t need to feel anxious about getting called out or spoken to by the comedian.

That sounds great, so it’s quiet technical?

Yeah, a little, it’s certainly not a standard Zoom show, as we can see some of the audience, so it looks and feels like a live comedy show.  We’ve had a number of people buying repeat tickets in this format so the set-up seems to really be working.

And you’re continuing your live shows as well?

I am, there’s a number of events Felt Nowt are running, so there’s some collective shows, like Felt Nowt Fridays, and there’s some special one offs in between with some of the team.  There’s also going to be a chance to try to get some less well-known comedians into the shows so that they can start to learn more and raise their profile.

I know it’s hard to guess at the minute, but what’s the longer-term plans for Felt Nowt?

It’s hard to say but we want to get back to live, audience, shows as soon as we can and get into places in the region hardest hit by Covid.  In addition we want to give an audience to new talent and really push the arts in the region forward.

For more information about Felt Nowt, including it’s upcoming schedule click here