This March, award-winning comics and new local acts come together to raise funds for Anthony Nolan Trust.
Northampton School for Boys student Emma Burgess has given herself the challenge to raise funds for the stem cell and bone marrow transplant charity. We chatted with her to find out more:
What inspired you to raise funds for Anthony Nolan Trust?
I find the charity really unique, both in its positive energy and relentless determination to help people from every possible angle. Anthony Nolan Trust does amazing work in organising transplants, and then providing support for patients. I also think that they’re incredible at inspiring people. They came to my school last year, and it was the first time that I really felt like I could make a difference. The majority of my year signed up to be donor, and I signed up to their sponsored skydive programme.
Why a comedy night?
I’ve always loved stand-up comedy, and wanted to do something exciting rather than a throwaway fundraiser without any thought behind it. I think it’s always quite powerful to fight a disease as awful as blood cancer with positivity and laughter. I also have some very talented friends, and felt I could bring them together to make something quite special. I hoped that a comedy night would engage people in a different way, and hopefully reflect the positivity that Anthony Nolan stands for.
Is comedy something you’ve always wanted to try your hand at?
Absolutely! I really like to find little nuggets of joy in things to entertain myself and others. I’ve never really had the chance to give it a go, but I’ve always loved making people laugh.
You’ve got a great line of established stand-ups – Ben Briggs, Lou Chawner, Sally Firth and Pete Teckman – how did you get them all on board?
Yeah, I’m actually really happy with how this event has grown. I knew Lou through Duston Player’s Blackadder, so we’d sort of bonded through comedy. He has a fantastic sense of humour with very few boundaries, which I thought would contrast mine quite nicely. He was really supportive and got Ben and Pete involved too. I watched a few of their routines online, and I think they’re material is different enough to create a very interesting dynamic. I saw Sally at the Comedy Crate, and found her hilarious. I messaged her through her website and she agreed to be involved. I think that her sweet persona will contribute to a really great contrast between the stand-ups.
Tell us a bit about the new performers taking part.
I was sceptical about getting new performers on board, as there’s a temptation to slip into a character which is guaranteed to kill your jokes. Michael (Bell) and Sam (Quitua) were really the exceptions to this, as they have wonderful personalities which they aren’t prepared to hide in favour of “trying to be funny.” Sam is a fascinating little oddball with a really infectious sense of joy. Michael has a brilliant and ridiculous sense of humour, which always manages to catch you off guard. It’s been a real joy to hear their ideas and material, as they have such contrasting energies and minds, but can bounce off of each other’s jokes in a really incredible way.
Oliver (Revilo Twist) is a very talented magician who will go far. He kindly offered to do interval entertainment, and has also helped me a lot with organising the night.
The Charity Comedy Night takes place at Foodies.rocks (at their new location – 205 Wellingborough Road NN1 4ED) at 7.30pm on Sat 9 March 2019. Tickets are available online for £5 (plus booking fee) or on the door on the night. All proceeds will go towards fundraising for Anthony Nolan Trust. To find out more about the charity, visit their website