Three budding stand-up stars have made it through to the final of a Bolton shopping centre’s search to find the town’s next big comic talent.
The grand final of Comedy Club, which was launched on April Fool’s Day by Crompton Place shopping centre in partnership with Octagon Theatre, will be judged by multi award winning funny man Dave Spikey.
Dave will be joined on the judging panel by Caroline Jones from the management team at Crompton Place and Elizabeth Newman, Associate Director of Octagon Theatre.
Three fledgling comedians, Adrian Baxter, Cassie Atkinson and Chris Kehoe, won their places in the final, which will be held on Wednesday March 28, at a specially staged heat at Subway in Crompton Place.
The person crowned Bolton’s next King or Queen of Comedy will win a fantastic opportunity to perform their very own stand up live performance during a one-off organised gig at Octagon Theatre in front of a paying audience later this year.
There is also a host of prizes up for grabs from retailers at Crompton Place shopping centre.
Adrian, 35, a caricaturist and prop designer, from Kearsley, said: “I was really excited about doing Comedy Club and while I have been very busy drawing cartoons and what not, I thought what a heck, give it a go, and now I am through to the final.
“I actually did some stand up about 11 year ago when I did about three gigs and that was it. But it felt unfinished and when I saw this opportunity I decided to have another crack.”
Joining him in the final will be Cassie Atkinson, 31, an actress who lives on Chorley New Road and impressed judges with her character based comedy.
Cassie said: “I was so happy to hear I had got through. I feel really chuffed and it is a compliment that people have obviously enjoyed my routine.
“You always have nerves as to whether other people are going to find you funny and that’s what you are doing it for, you just hope you are going to make somebody laugh.”
Also thrilled to make it to the final in front of top comedian Dave Spikey is Chris Kehoe, 34, a father from Smithills who works as an in house lawyer for Lancashire Police and has been doing stand-up at open mic nights in the area for only six months.
Chris said: “It was strange doing stand up in a shopping centre amongst bottles of industrial floor cleaner and in front of a panel of judges instead of an audience of drunk people which is the usual crowd.
“But it was a great experience and I am genuinely delighted to get through to the final because it is giving me the opportunity to perform in different venues, in front of different audiences so it has already been invaluable experience and I have had some useful feedback.”
Malcolm Angus, Crompton Place Manager, said: “We have been bowled over with the standard of entrants to Comedy Club which bodes fantastically well for the final next week.
“The success of the search has been hugely helped by the support of Dave Spikey who will be with us for the final and also our partnership with Octagon Theatre who are stumping up such a fantastic prize.
“The excitement is now mounting and we are heading towards a fantastic finale in the celebration of Bolton’s ability to nurture some of the best comic talents in the world.”
The Octagon Theatre Bolton is one of the North West’s most intimate and exciting theatres and welcomes over 150,000 people a year to performances and its services.
Associate Director of the Octagon Theatre, Elizabeth Newman, said: “I’m thrilled to see the talented people of Bolton stand up and perform their comedy sketch.
“It’s always hard to have to narrow the contestants down to a smaller number, as they’re all unique performers.
“This is such a great opportunity for these individuals to perform their very own stand up live performance at the Octagon. I’d like to wish them all the best for the final!”
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