Tag Archives: Wales

Tin Shed shape-shift shop into space ship for Comedy Port opening night…

Tin Shed Theatre Company got Comedy Port off to a space-age start last night with Launch Pad – a scratch comedy night curated by the theatre company. The Newport University graduates decked out the U.R.B.A.N Empty Shops Project to literally provide lift-off for the second year of Newport’s very own comedy festival.

The company have been heavily involved in the festival since its beginnings last year and performed the highly talked about show, TAXI. This year, the company wanted to curate their own show and so we let them.

Some of the acts that took part in Launch Pad were Elvis Preseli, Dan Rowley, Dangerous Ryan, Francesca Word Salad and more.

You next chance to see the company is tonight with The Life and Times of Albert Lymes. It’s a one-man show from Justin Cliffe from Tin Shed. He took the show to Edinburgh this year, to much acclaim. Come along and support this vital young company who’s sole purpose seems to be to provide Newport with fun, unusual events and happenings!

For tickets to The Life and Times of Albert Lymes click here, call The Riverfront on 01633 656679 or turn up at 21-22 John Frost Square this evening and buy your tickets on the door. They are £5 each and all of the money goes to the company. Let’s do it people. Comedy Port happens but once a year! It’s time to put the port back on the map for the right reasons.



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Comedy Port volunteer Kate shares her pre-Comedy Port excitement…

I’m Kate *waves*

I have just graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London with a degree in English and Drama. I’m originally from Newport, but have spent the last 3 years in Surrey. Moving back to Newport has been a bit of a culture shock for me as I am now used to being surrounded by the arts, something that I didn’t think was the case in Newport.

Prior to a few weeks ago I didn’t realise the variety of events that were organised by The Riverfront or that Newport has a comedy festival. Having performed stand-up at uni during my reign as president of the Royal Holloway society and having performed in a comedy sketch show in Edinburgh (and caught the comedy bug) I am thrilled that Newport has this to offer…and that at a time where the arts are being affected by government cuts and the recession that Newport is still trying hard to improve the local arts scene.

Why am I excited for Newport’s second annual Comedy Festival? It’s simple really; I adore comedy. I live and breathe it. I perform it, I watch it, I write it. Comedy has helped me face my greatest fears and overcome the most difficult of times. That is my hope for Newport. I believe strongly in the cathartic power of a comedic voice. Industrial cities in the UK are crippled by the economic downturn. This case could not be more evident in Newport. I was horrified to return from my student life in Surrey to discover just how much the recession has hit my hometown. You only have to walk through Newport City Centre to see that it has been hit heavily. Newport is a depressed city. We need a Comedy Festival. Comedy gives Newport the opportunity to voice its frustrations and laugh in the face of hard times. To use a well worn cliche: laughter is the best medicine.

It is my hope that with the continuation of Comedy Port that Newport can heal and begin a new chapter. A Comedy Festival in Newport can only benefit the city. Laughter is a unifying tool, as when we laugh collectively, it is because we identify with the same things. A Comedy Festival provides a great opportunity not only for Newport’s economic recovery, but also improving community spirit and providing relief to Newportonians when so many face worry due to the recession. This festival gives Newport something to be proud of, to fight back against the recession and show the rest of the UK that Newport and indeed Wales has a voice. I hope that Comedy Port will make way for a vibrant comedy scene, where we will see Welsh people encouraged to write and perform comedy and a stronger, more positive image of Welsh culture in English media. Newport has always existed as Cardiff’s poor relative. The festival will help promote the arts scene in Newport and prove Newport to be a serious competitor in the field of the arts. It will undoubtedly make Newport a more attractive place to perform and invest. I believe the future to be bright for Newport and am proud to be part of Newport Comedy Festival and Newport’s future.

Kate is volunteering at Comedy Port and we’re hoping to twist her arm and perform at Sessions Open Mic Night.

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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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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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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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Volunteer Iain Peebles is excited about Comedy Port…

Iain Peebles has kindly donated his time to help out at Newport Comedy Festival. Here, he tells us why he wanted to volunteer:

It’s really exciting to be part of Comedy Port 2010 even if it’s only in a small way, as a volunteer. I jumped at the chance to lend a hand when the call went out because I think Wales really needs, and deserves, a great comedy festival. One that can establish itself and become the first thing comedy fans from across Britain mark in their diary each year. Well maybe second, after Edinburgh, let’s not set our sights too high. It’s always puzzled me why Leicester, for example, can have a long running and well respected comedy festival and there not be something similar in Wales.

I think things are looking up though now that Wales has three youthful comedy festivals, that I know of at least, in Cardiff, Machynlleth and now Newport. And there’s no reason why they all can’t be equally essential events for comedy fans as I think they all offer something unique. What makes Comedy Port stand out, I think, is that it offers so much more than just stand up, although there’s plenty of that too. It’s clear that there’s been a real effort to think about comedy in a broader sense and offer something different whether it’s theatre or film, quizzes or clowns…they’re all at Comedy Port 2010 and, for what it’s worth, these are the bits I’m most excited about:

Taxi, from Tin Shed Theatre Co, is a fascinating sounding concept. It follows three characters taking a taxi ride and their conversations with a cabby…in an actual cab. Not an actual cab on a stage, an actual cab driving around Newport with three audience members eavesdropping on the action. This sounds like experimental theatre of the best kind; genuinely pushing boundaries without being difficult or obtuse. Something everyone can enjoy…three people at a time. Please form an orderly queue.

On the film front I am super excited about Skeletons, the debut feature from upcoming British director Nick Whitfield. It won the Michael Powell award for Best New British Film at this year’s Edinburgh Film festival and a whole load of critical acclaim on it’s release earlier this year. It follows the exploits of a pair of “psychic cleaners” (played by stand-up duo Andrew Buckley and Ed Gaughan) who travel the country to clear the skeletons of former misdeeds from the closets of their clients. It’s a comedy but and odd, surreal and dark one. Exactly my cup of tea in other words.

Now I love a good quiz…and Quiz Quest is nothing like a good quiz. It’s a bloody brilliant one is what it is! Comedian Ben Partridge and ‘internet sensation’ Jonny Bull are the brains behind this monthly themed quiz which is festooned with all kinds of multimedia goings on. Video, music, pictures and more all lovingly compiled and presented as part of the quiz which is always great fun, genuinely funny and a real challenge. A tough balancing act but they pull it off month after month. The ever increasing turnout is testament to that.

You might not think it from the above waffling but there is actually some stand-up comedy at Comedy Port. Too much great stuff to mention so I’ll I just tell you what I am most excited about; Tony Law. Expect surreal tales of time travelling in the company of his sausage dog, Cartridge Davison, and other odd asides. It’s the kind of off the wall stuff that might seem a bit too self aware and “zany” in lesser hands but Tony Law has such an enthusiastic and likeable (if a little scary) presence he carries it off with aplomb.

But if any of those don’t tickle your fancy then fear not; with so much packed into Comedy Port’s 9 days there’s bound to be something for everyone. There’s a host of stand-up I’ve not even mentioned, plenty more comedy film and even a good old fashioned clown. So pick up a programme, or just look at the schedule, and dive right in.

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