21st September 2013 – Jan Jack’s Laughter House played host to the Barrel O’ Laughs comedy night and it was clear from the outset that it was going to be a pretty special night as the room was rammed full! Ali and Jan who run the Laughter House comedy night at the Red Lion Hotel, Basingstoke were kind enough to let us have the room. Ali also ran the night, with his technical wizardry and mad lighting skills it all passed off without a single hitch. Janet Alkema (Life Coach extrordinaire) ran the raffle and did a lot of behind the scenes stuff to make the evening a smoothly run affair.
So with all the organisation in place the lights went on and we began. Firstly the MC was introduced, Stuart Morrison laid out how the night would run and then introduced a personal message from Ian himself. It was moving to hear the very person we were all there to help, and we could hear the emotion in Ian’s voice as he outlined the prognosis and treatment. He then ended by telling a joke and setting the scene for the rest of the evening!
Stuart bounded back on stage, warmed up the audience and got them in the mood for the first comic on the line up, Steve Thomson. Steve is now a well respected trainer who came out of comedy retirement to do a 10 minute set and comedy is like a bike you never forget how to do it once you’ve learned. He was charming, funny and the audience laughed at his wry observations about relationships and supermarket car parks (and sex therein!).
Second comic of the night was Daniel Kielty, an ex boxer who was used to coming second he was probably used to a more aggressive arena! However he was charming and the audience loved him, be doing stand up less than a year but his pace and timing were flawless definitely one to watch out for.
Short break for raffle tickets and toilet, top up the drinks and back.
Again Stuart warmed up the audience and then went into a laminating demo / presentation. An initially sceptical audience warmed to the absurdity of the whole thing, especially once he had an audience member join him on stage and don ad-hoc safety equipment. It went down a storm and was a perfect warm up for Jan Jack herself.
It was clear from the outset that Jan was comfortable in the room and she wasted no time in fanning the comedy flame and getting the audience in hysterics. She was perfectly at home and delivered a wonderfully funny set that the mixed crowd seemed to find hilarious. Describing comedy the critic is always left with nothing but superlatives to get across how the comic did but Jan really did a fab job and the audience went into the second break high on the anticipation of the headliner.
Short break and it was back for the final act of the night, and Stuart wasted no time in introducing him to the audience and Steve Day was there! He is a lovely chap, and you cannot help like him from the outset, he’s charming, engaging and best of all FUNNY, handy for a stand up. He did a 20 minute or so set and wasted no time in taking the roof off. THANKS STEVE YOU WAS ACES ON TOAST!
And then, it was over, Stuart introduced Jenni, who expressed her thanks, we ran quickly through the raffle and before we knew it, the night had gone and the audience trailed away into the night and home.
It was a truly special evening raising over £3500, charity “gigs” can be a little awkward, forced even but this evening was memorable because it was brilliant, human, warm and fun. All the acts were perfectly pitched, the MC did a great job of keeping the evening moving along and informing us of what was happening. It was brilliant, and I wish we could do it all over again.
If you missed it then you missed out, there is a chance to donmate and get yourself a bargain to boot by going to our silent auction here www.32auctions.com/savemydad.
To everyone involved, from acts to audience THANK YOU< THANK YOU THANK YOU.