The Comedy Store's savage way of discovering talent.
Gives Joe Public a chance show off their comedy talents by trying their luck with the Comedy Store audience, at the mercy of the Gong. The audience choose a winner, crowned ‘King Gong’ until the next month… A raucous night out, not for the faint hearted – performers or otherwise!
Comedy Store's website
Last Monday of the Month at the London Comedy Store, have a few drinks and be prepared to heckle, heckle, heckle.
The most savage night out in London, it's like a blood sport. Three members of the audience are given red cards and once all are raised the comic or audience member brave enough to take the stage gets gonged off.
If you're lucky enough to last five minutes you'll hear a hallelujah chorus (most don't). Comics try new material, other oddballs turn up every month in a kind of masochism to get shouted at in the most vicious fashion.
It all starts quite tamely but after about half an hour people are calling for fates worse than death. The viciousness in the insults grows, spittle starts flying and the atmosphere gets hotter and hotter.
I know this sounds harsh but it's skilfully managed by the gongmeister, a great night out, beware you'll not have a voice the next day! Shouldn't really be on a school night but well worth the trip.
Steven Camden (Polarbear) is one of the most respected spoken word artists in the UK.
Regularly performing his work internationally since 2007, Camden has graced stages from Kuala Lumpur to California via Glastonbury and The Royal Shakespeare Company. His work has featured extensively on BBC Radio 1, 3 and 6.
A published author, Steven has written two Young Adult novels for HarperCollins, Tape and It's About Love.
Steven has workshops for companies and writers and also performs in schools, I would recommend any teacher to try and find the budget to get him in. Young Peoples mental health is a growing issue and giving children a route to express themselves is really important. Polarbear is able to tap into those feelings and using his experience could also help kids to do the same.
It's not often you find yourself choking back a tear whilst sitting on a bus, I was caught unaware by a poem performed by Polarbear which I always called Compton (but since learnt it's real title is Music is my Medicine).
It might just be because it resonated with things from my past but I found it incredibly moving and still get emotional listening to it now.
One Track Minds
Everyone has a story about the song that changed their lives. One Track Minds invites a handful of guests to get on stage and talk about that song, hear from scientists, actors, musicians and creatives about that song, what and what to means to them.
One Track Mind's website
Wilton's Music Hall
Keep an eye on the website, the performances happen in short bursts throughout the year, but you can download the podcasts to listen whenever.
We all have songs that take us back to a place and time or even a person in time. I know whenever I hear Get Here by Oleta Adams an old flame comes to mind.
Songs have the ability to transfer you to a different place and hearing others tell these tales is sometimes heartbreaking sometimes humorous but alway heartwarming.
One Track Minds allows a window into someone else life but also makes you look into your own window to consider what songs move you and why.
You should also go just to experience Wilton's Music Hall - one of the greatest venues in London.
“Human jukebox” Kirsty is a veteran performer on the musical comedy scene, having toured with award-winning comedians Rich Hall, Mitch Benn, Phil Nichol and many other top performers, but she is also able to play thousands of songs by ear. Now, she’s at your mercy - YOU choose the songs and everyone sings along.
Kirsty and her sister lead the crowd playing instruments and singing songs the audience selects. If you feel brave enough there is a microphone on stage...
Kirsty Newton's website
Poptastic Facebook Page
I would say whenever you can make it, but possibly best on one of those days when you feel like you have had enough of the world and need something heartening to cheer you up.
The singalong is one of my favourite nights out in London. Singing at the top of your voice with others in a crowded bar makes everyone feel happier.
A night out at the Singalong is like taking a thousand happy pills all at once. I have never left the venue feeling anything less than elated.