A team of new and emerging comedians are working with a brewery to bring a series of stand-up shows throughout 2021, writes Charles Harrison.
Brewery Fourpure are working with comedian Zoe Lyons, known for her stand-up and appearances on panel shows such as Have I Got News For You, to produce Fourpure Presents…Four Funny People, a series of live shows with a group of four up and coming comedians.
The series of shows started with a hilarious debut at The Ivy House, Stuart Road in Peckham on August 5 with the four comedians – Andy Field, Priya Hall, Kuan-Wen Huang and Stephen Buchanan – reducing a fresh-faced post-lockdown crowd to fits of laughter.
“I think of my job as doing and saying funny things on stage, and as long as I’m doing that, I’m happy,” said Mr Field of returning to the stage after lockdown.
“The circuit was on hold, and I don’t think I got less funny during the break, so that’s a plus.
“Before the pandemic I just saw comedy as a hobby,” said Ms Hall. “But I’ve been incredibly lucky with people encouraging me.
“Lockdown affected comedy in a lot of different ways – I think a lot of people will have really doubled down on comedy, while a lot have left because it’s a very precarious job and that’s been really brought into focus.”
Part of the focus of Fourpure Presents… Four Funny People is to provide a year of paid live gigs to the comedians who have been denied them for a full year.
Ms Lyons said: “We all need a laugh right now. Over the past year we’ve had gigs cancelled, there’s been no live audiences.
“The pandemic has taken away what makes live entertainment so important and enjoyable.”
The four comedians chosen had an impressive variety of comedic styles.
Mr Field MC’d the night, maintaining a high energy in the crowd with his mix of oddball, self-aware humour, and some bizarre wordplay.
He said that he had taken the opportunity presented by lockdown to have a several-month sabbatical, stating: “I’m not much of a social media guy – Zoom didn’t strike me as something that I wanted to do.
“I’m a bit of a luddite in that I like to live in a shed and read books and then go do gigs.
“What I love doing is live comedy.”
Ms Hall, meanwhile, performed in a number of Zoom stand-up shows during lockdown.
“They were the bleakest experience of my life,” she said. “I convinced myself that I really liked it, until live shows came back, and I was like oh, wait. This is what I like.”
Watching Ms Hall’s set felt like chatting with your best friend – when your best friend is also the funniest person you know.
She has been described by Bristol 24/7 as “hilariously oversharing”.
Whirlwind of madcap humour and audience interaction Kuan-Wen Huang was next, and the night was closed out by Stephen Buchanan, whose interweaving stories were making the audience cry with laughter before they even knew what hit them.
For details of upcoming shows, follow Fourpure on Instagram.
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