Comedy showcase to feature region's top acts
Jesting About returns to Newcastle’s Live Theatre on March 22 and 23.
Now in its fourth series, Jesting About has previously been supported by comedy legends including Bob Mortimer, Ross Noble and Chris Ramsey and this year sees the writer of the BBC Two comedy series Hebburn, Jason Cook, on MC duties for the opening night.
The best performances across both nights will feature in the new series of Jesting About being aired as six 30-minute programmes on BBC Newcastle this summer.
Twenty acts have been selected to perform. They include some of the brightest stand up, sketch, spoken word and musical comedy acts in the region right now with, including Game of Thrones and Pramface star Ben Crompton, former Byker Grove pupil and George Gentley actress Sammy Dobson, and the Mimic Men, made up of Cal Halbert and BBC Radio Newcastle host Alfie Joey, from Durham.
Jesting About producer, Steve Drayton, said: “The North East has a very distinctive comedy voice. Much of our talent has grown away from the spotlight of big money comedy, carving out its own particular niche.
“BBC Newcastle is proud to promote and support these comedy troubadours with their wonderfully skewed logic.”
BBC Newcastle has already been working with the acts and supporting them to make sure their material is suitable for broadcast on live radio.
Steve added: “Many comedians who develop a club set use quite fruity language, it’s the way of the comedy club, they have to grab an audience’s attention. In that scramble, often the nuance can disappear; it’s my job to give those subtleties space to breathe.
“Many comedians find dropping ribald language a challenge – and many have really taken off with the space to breathe afforded by our live events”.
Jason said: “I can’t wait to see what the best emerging talent from across the North East has to offer across both nights. This part of the world has given birth to some comedy greats down the years and Jesting About provides a great platform to get started in the business with all the fun and games of being in front of a live audience, while making sure your material is suitable for broadcast.”
A special showcase event from this year’s Jesting About will also be held at the region’s comedy festival Jesterval later in the year.