We partnered with well-known comedy initiative Belly Laughs to bring two consecutive comedy nights to our food surplus warehouse in St Phillips on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th November, raising in excess of £5000.
On two wintery November evenings, over 300 members of the public turned out to attend comedy gigs set in our warehouse. The volunteer team cleared the warehouse, usually stacked with pallets of food, to allow for chairs and a ‘pallet stage’ to go up.
On the Monday night, TV famous comedian Jon Richardson headlined, trialling new material on the audience in a 45-minute set, whilst a group of local comedians provided ‘belly-laugh’ worthy support.
The Tuesday event saw a show of female solidarity as an all-female line up of comedians, headlined by Radio 4 regular Angela Barnes, took to the stage delivering tummy-achingly funny jokes to a packed audience. Money raised for this event was split between us and our friends at One25, a charity that supports women trapped in, or vulnerable to, street sex work.
Belly Laughs’ Founder, and comedian, Mark Olver said: “When the team at FareShare South West and I first started chatting about the possibility of doing a fundraising event, I don’t think either of us imagined we’d sell out two gigs set in a warehouse. I’ve certainly never performed in a warehouse and I’m not sure Jon or Angela had either! It was rough around the edges and far from polished as gigs go, but the comedy was top notch and the people of Bristol seemed to love it. Usually Belly Laughs comedy events only take place in January in independent restaurants, so this has been a diversion from the norm, but it’s been a hit so watch this space!”
CEO of FareShare South West, Julian Mines, says: “Seeing our warehouse full of paying guests in theatre style seating ready to see brilliant comedians perform was a little surreal to be honest. I think Jon Richardson probably wondered where he’d come when he was greeted with a pallet for a stage and a slightly dodgy mic stand, but his performance was great – as were all the other acts we saw across the two days. I’d like to thank all the comedians who performed without payment, Bosh Bristol – the caterers who came in and cooked for everyone, as well as Lost and Grounded Brewers who supplied the bar, donating 50% of the proceeds.”
For more information about future Belly Laughs events visit: www.facebook.com/bellylaughsbristol/
For more information about the charity One25, visit: https://one25.org.uk/