Preview: Upfront Comedy Club, West Yorkshire Playhouse

By October 19, 2015


Image courtesy of West Yorkshire Playhouse

Image courtesy of West Yorkshire Playhouse

A Cuban, a Jamaican and a Brummie walked into a bar… he had a great night. Slight variation on an amusing story from Bernard Right-on but nevertheless, it sums up perfectly what UpFront Comedy are about, the gag referring to the collective origins of its producer and host John Simmit.

After a half decade away, UpFront returns to the West Yorkshire Playhouse pulling out all the stops for the slightly prematurely named ‘Comedy Winterfest’ on 17th October. Nevertheless there is a stellar line-up for the event’s re-launch, following almost two decades of previous sterling service at the venue.

Canada's DHX Media (TSX:DHX) today acquired Teletubbies, In the Night Garden and 10 other children's series with the purchase of the UK's Ragdoll Worldwide Ltd. for approximately $28.4-million CAD. Teletubbies characters shown: Dipsy (green), Tinky Winky (purple), Laa-Laa (yellow), and Po (red) (CNW Group/DHX MEDIA LTD.)

Trivia buffs will also know that Simmit was one of the Teletubbies, presumably all those hours dressed up in Dipsy’s sweltering outfit providing excellent training for the hot lights of the stand-up comedy stage. Not sure how Dipsy’s special dance would go down, though.

As a Brummie in exile, I’m delighted to see fellow Second City comedienne Shazia Mirza on the bill.  Mirza most famously used to start her stand-up act with “My name is Shazia Mirza. At least, that’s what it says on my pilot’s licence”. TV appearances include Have I Got News For You, Oprah, and The Wright Stuff.

Curtis Walker is a veteran of the circuit, boasting none other than Bill Hicks as one of his former comedy colleagues. His numerous TV appearances include Channel 4’s Youngers and the film Bullet Boy but Walker still remains true to his stand-up roots and will no doubt have the WYP crowd wrapped around his little finger in no time.

If you thought no-one could be more Madchester than Terry Christian, former Corrie star Trevor Dwyer-Lynch gives him a run for his money, although Trevor’s partisan Redness may stoke the Roses passions of the Leeds audience; expect the sparks to fly.

Fifteen quid for that lot, less if you qualify for a concession sounds like a proper bargain; prepare to laugh thy backside off.

To find out more, visit the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s website.