Laughter erupted in Barnet and far beyond on Saturday 12th December 2020, when supporters of Cherry Lodge Cancer Care gathered via Zoom for a second great comedy night experience from Collywobblers Comedy Club. As promised, we were treated to acts from a line up of top class comics, all of them working from home, which can’t be easy. Despite the challenges, the audience was given a taste of the magic of a real comedy club experience, reminding us that live comedy is in good shape to return to the stage once the coronavirus is beaten.
Members of the audience, having bought tickets in advance from online Comedy box office JokePit, were sent their secret Zoom link on Saturday, ahead of the 8.30pm start time. As people gathered in the gallery it was clear that we were in for a fun-filled evening. Our very charming and amusing host, Siôn James (see photo 1, below), made everyone feel very welcome while gently poking fun at some of us. It soon became apparent that there were serious contenders in the Best Christmas Jumper competition, organised by Tina to add to the festive feel. The prize of a well stocked Christmas hamper was won by Carole and Barry (see our featured photo – apologies from the photographer for the poor quality of this and other onscreen images of the event!).
First to perform was popular Irish comedian Rory O’Hanlon (photo 2), with his ‘stereotypically sexy’ Irish accent, ginger hair and the ability to tell a tale with consummate ease. Next up was a high-energy, hard-hitting, topical comedy act from big star, surprise guest Russell Kane (photo 3). Instead of an interval, we were entertained by comic musician Tony Ukelele (photo 4), who gave us jolly Christmas tunes, music from Mama Mia and then an extraordinary clucking performance of the James Bond theme music. Up and coming Lebanese-British comedian Esther Manito (photo 5) found humour in being a comedian during lockdown, describing a dire live gig to a masked audience of six and a ‘Shamazon’ corporate event that no one wanted to attend – very different indeed from this Cherry Lodge Christmas Comedy Night! Finally, Brixton-born Stefano Paolini (photo 6) raised many a laugh with his sharp observations, clever mimicry and colourful imagination (notable, for me, being his ‘Clash of the Day’ interview with a gladiator).
Proceedings were brought to a close with recognition by Siôn of all the good work being done by Cherry Lodge during these challenging times. People were also urged to support us by visiting the Cherry Lodge charity shop, which is currently open. Annys, the assistant manager, and Kim, a shop volunteer, were prominent characters in the Comedy Night gallery, and Susan, the shop manager, attended but in a back-seat role.
Cherry Lodge sends huge thanks to Siôn of Collywobbers, to everyone who performed on the night or worked behind the scenes, and to all those who bought tickets to attend this very successful and happy event.
Click on the small images below to see larger, but not very good photos!