Comedy fan Sarah Lethbridge talks of her excitement for Comedy Port 2011…


Big time comedy fan and Comedy Port 2010 audience-goer, Sarah Lethbridge reviews last year’s Taxi by Tin Shed Theatre,  in preparation for this year’s Comedy Port. Tin Shed will be involved and performing again at Comedy Port 2011. Deets at the end of the blog.

“Come to this comedy thing in Newport Sar”

“What type of thing?”

 “Like a comedy gig, but in a taxi”

“A taxi?”

“Yeah … a taxi.”

Never one to shy away from the strange, this new type of ‘taxi comedy’ sounded intriguing enough to blindly commit to. Committed to and then quickly forgotten, the humour filled taxi-based ‘experience’ finally arrived one October night. I have to confess that the fact that the comedy TOOK PLACE INSIDE A TAXI didn’t hit me until we were stood outside The Riverfront re-enacting that familiar Friday/Saturday night feeling of shivering in the cold, searching the horizon for reassuring orange lights. In my head, I think I had imagined that the gig would take place in some kind of small, slightly grubby, comedy venue where creative types had diligently converted a stage to look like some kind of scene from Taxi Driver and that the audience would be seated in what we would imagine would be ‘the back’…. but no… the gig was ACTUALLY IN A TAXI. And what’s more, that taxi MOVED. So here we are, me and my two friends, waiting for our ride, terrified about what was about to occur…. would we all fit in the taxi? Where were ‘they’ going to take us? Would we have to provide the humour? Would they… …t t tt talk to us? We were afraid.

As we entered the taxi, we soon realised that we were not alone. We had gate-crashed a cab occupied by an alcohol riddled young man dressed as a lady desperate to talk to the surprisingly mute driver. As we weaved our way around Newport, a story unfolded. Passengers left, new passengers (with chips!) arrived and we were part of something special. Our initial reticence and fear subsided and we now felt privileged to have a window on this strange, yet familiar, pathos ridden tale. It was almost as if we had been granted a cloak of invisibility for the evening and here we were in the middle of something secret and in a weird way, real. I have thought about that 20 minutes spent travelling around Newport with a variety of randoms spilling their guts out quite often since. It regularly reassures me that I’m right to answer strange event invites in the affirmative.

Tin Shed Theatre’s next comedic offering is space themed, so make sure you wear your moon boots… I know I’m going to wear mine.

Tin Shed Theatre at Comedy Port 2011…

Mon 10 October : Tin Shed Theatre Scratch Comedy Night “LAUNCH PAD” in URBAN Empty Shops Project (21-22 John Frost Square) 8.30pm until late. £Donation

A scratch comedy night with plenty of talent that’s a little bit out of the ordinary. The space will be kitted out like the inside of a space ship and they will be giving audience the opportunity to dress up as either astronauts or aliens. Just for a bit of fun.

Tues 11 October : The Life and Times of Albert Lymes (Justin Cliffe from Tin Shed Theatre) in URBAN Empty Shops Project (21-22 John Frost Square) 8pm. £5.

Albert Lymes has lived a less than extraordinary life… until today. Arriving home to find his dog has left him, his wife has been replaced by a coconut and his father’s ashes are in a plastic bag on the porch, he embarks on the adventure of self discovery. Albert tells you his hilariously twisted, profoundly insane and possibly moving story, because sometimes you have to lose your mind to find yourself. Beautiful imagery, inventive staging and a surrealist wit make this one-man show stand out.

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Josh Widdicombe is a-coming to Comedy Port!


“This is one of the most individual, accomplished, hilarious and unforgettable hours I have had this year.” **** The Scotsman

Hot off the heels of the Edinburgh Festival, Star of BBC2’s ‘The Rob Brydon Show’, Channel 4’s ‘Stand Up For The Week’ and ‘8 Out Of 10 Cats’, Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer 2011 nominee, Chortle Best Breakthrough Act nominee 2011 and FHM Stand-Up Hero 2010 (phew!) Josh Widdicombe will be touring his his hotly anticipated debut show all over the country and he’ll be right here in Newport – at Comedy Port!

Josh opens the doors to how his upbringing in a tiny village in rural Devon didn’t prepare him for the realities of life and relationships. From his hankering to move to the bright lights but on the other hand terrified of the rest of the world, to struggling to adapt to his twenties, not knowing whether to embrace being an adult or hold on to his youth. If This Show Saves One Life… is a hilarious insight into the daily foibles of one of comedy’s fastest rising stars with observations and dilemmas we can all relate to.

“Josh Widdicombe has the sort of gentle confidence, low-key charisma and one-for-all-the-family charm which could see him selling out enormous stadiums in a couple of years.” – The Times.

Since his first gig in January 2008 Josh has had a remarkable impact on the comedy circuit. In just three years he has been named FHM Stand Up Hero 2010 (ITV4), Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2010, Chortle Best Breakthrough Act Nominee 2011 and after just a handful of gigs made it to the final of the prestigious ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ final at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008. Now regarded as one of the best up-and-coming acts on the UK circuit Josh is in constant demand at clubs and theatres across Britain. Josh is fast establishing himself on the live circuit regularly supporting huge comic talent such as Alan Carr, Kevin Bridges and Michael McIntyre.

“Josh Widdicombe is shaping up to be the British Seinfeld.” ***** Stars London Is Funny

To book your tickets to see Josh, please click here The Riverfront

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Edinburgh fringe comedy hero on sale next week…


… But we’re going to tease you ever so slightly and we’re not going to tell you who it is! Not just yet anyway…we’re going to let you ‘guess the comedian’ to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets for this much-anticipated gig. All you have to do is guess who it is…(correctly!)

This comedian has been so popular in Edinburgh that the shows sold out way in advance and more shows were added to meet demand. Star of BBC2’s ‘The Rob Brydon Show’, Channel 4’s ‘Stand Up For The Week’ and ‘8 Out Of 10 Cats’, Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer 2011 nominee, Chortle Best Breakthrough Act nominee 2011, will be touring his hotly anticipated debut show all over the country – and he’ll be right here at Comedy Port.

Since his first gig in January 2008, this comedian has had a remarkable impact on the comedy circuit. In just three years he has been nominated for a shed load of awards. Now regarded as one of the best up-and-coming acts on the UK circuit, this comedian, who we will announce on Saturday (27 August), is in constant demand at clubs and theatres across Britain. Tickets to this show will be on sale at 10am on Tuesday 30 August and we’ll announce who it is on Saturday (27 August) – but if you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, just follow these two simple steps to victory –

1) sign upto the mailing list on the home page of this blog and

2) email rachel.kinchin@newport.gov.uk with your “guess the comedian” and we’ll enter you into our super-duper comedy lucky dip.

Break a leg comedy gang, and we’ll announce the winner on Saturday!

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Robin Ince added to line-up


Just added to the line-up and on-sale now is Robin Ince with his Happiness Through Science (Star Corpse Apple Child) show, which will arrive in Newport direct from the Edinburgh Fringe on Thursday 13 October at 7pm. Rachel, one of our Comedy Port team, will be sneaking a peak at the show in Edinburgh, so she’ll be reporting back.

Following on from his sellout national tour of ‘Uncaged Monkeys’, with Professor Brian Cox, and as co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Sony Gold Award winning series ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’, Robin continues his comic exploration of the human condition in his new autumn show and will be stopping off at Comedy Port to perform the full show.

Robin asks, “Can you be happy and rational at the same time?” Join him in a world of Schrodinger cats, multiverses and evolutionary conundrums. Spend an entertaining evening in Robin’s company as he orienteers through the craggy landscape of evolution whilst plumbing the depths of his own murky consciousness, all without the aid of a safety net.

We at Comedy Port are mighty excited about this. More acts to be announced soon!

 Running Time: 90 minutes + interval.

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Comedy Port – on sale dates announced for 2011 festival!


Andy Parsons is 'Gruntled'

Comedy Port 2011 will take place from October 10 – October 16 all over Newport City Centre and we are more than excited to tell you that the on sale date is going to be the 18 July 2011! The first acts to be announced are star of Mock of the Week, Andy Parsons with his new show ‘Gruntled’ and last year’s favourites New Art Club with their new show, ‘Big Bag of Boom’. By the time the shows go on sale, we’ll have more acts announced.

There’ll be comedy for everyone and the programme will include big names, up and coming acts, films, fringe acts, street performance, quizzes, local talent, open mic nights and more! Andy Parsons ‘Gruntled’ Saturday 15 October / Sadwrn 15 Hydref, 8pm Prices: £16 Venue: Theatre Star of BBC’s Mock The Week and Live At The Apollo. This is his third tour of the country – and has some shades of light and dark with several trademark passionate tirades and a little peek behind the showbusiness curtain. Coalition, cuts, comedy and discovering a pair of underpants in a jar of mayonnaise.

New Art Club – Big Bag of Boom Friday 14 October / Gwener 15 Hydref, 7pm Prices: £10, £8 Venue: Studio Back with their latest piece of genre-defining stand-up dance, Roden and Shenton, together one of the truly original forces in comedy, bring together the most explosive moments from a decade of award-winning shows. Relive some of those classic moments. Or, if you’ve never seen New Art Club before, be introduced to their sublimely elegant stupidity. Winner of Edinburgh Spotlight ‘Best Comedy Award’ 2010

Dates to be confirmed – Elis James, Nick Helm, Henry Widdicombe, Dan Mitchell, Mr & Mrs Clark, Helen Arney, Clint Edwards, Gareth Brand, Tin Shed Theatre and much more…All kinds of comedy for all kinds of folk, in Newport, again in 2011.

2011 Schedule so far

Mon 10 October : New release comedy film at The Riverfront, 7.45pm

Tues 11 October : New release comedy film at The Riverfront, 7.45pm

Quiz Night at Kama Lounge 9pm

Wed 12 October : New release comedy film at The Riverfront, 7.45pm

Thurs 13 October : Kama Acoustic night, 9pm

Fri 14 October : Sessions Open Mic Night & Boutique Market Night at The Riverfront, 5pm – 11pm New Art Club – Big Bag of Boom, The Riverfront, 7pm.

Sat 15 October : Andy Parsons, The Riverfront, 8pm

Sun 16 October : Lazy Sunday Kama Comedy at Kama Lounge. Entry for a fiver for Comedy and Food, 5pm.

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Comedy Port Returns for 2011


Here we go again folks! All kinds of comedy for all kinds of folk again in 2011. Comedy Port 2011 will take place from October 10 – October 16 all over Newport City Centre.  There’ll be comedy for everyone and the programme will include big names, up and coming acts, films, fringe acts, street performance, quizzes, local talent, open mic nights and more!

If you’re a comedian, promoter, business or venue and you’d like to be involved with Comedy Port, email rachel.kinchin@newport.gov.uk – we’re also looking for interns and volunteers interested in getting experience in arts and events.

Keep your eyes peeled over the coming weeks and months for acts and programme announcements.

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They think it’s all over…


It is now.

Sadly Comedy Port has come to an end for 2010. 9 days of comedy, fun and laughter have been witnessed by hundreds of people throughout the city.

Newport Comedy Festival (the city’s first!) took over venues including The Riverfront, Le Pub and the Empty Shops Project between 9 and 17 October, and saw established acts performing alongside up and coming local comics, as well as musicians, dancers and filmmakers.

From a full main theatre at The Riverfront for Shappi Khorsandi, to three people in the back of a Newport cab experiencing the uniquely wonderful Taxi, Comedy Port offered all sorts of comedy, for all sorts of folk!

The Festival was part of Newport Festival, and like other events, such as The Big Splash, we need your feedback to make sure that, firstly, there is a Comedy Port 2011, and, secondly, that it is bigger and (even) better than this year! So if you visited any of the events that have taken place in the last 9 days, please take a moment to leave a comment below to let us know what you enjoyed, and what you would like to see next year!

Finally, Comedy Port couldn’t have happened without all the ace people who came along to the shows, so thank you to everyone who came to see all of the brilliant comedians and other performers who visited us this week!

See you next year…

Love the Comedy Port team x

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