On the final Wednesday of every month, Swansea Grand Theatre hosts its very own Comedy Club. Situated in the theatre’s Art Wing – a cosy, cabaret style room – this monthly event has been running for over a decade and claims to feature “some of the best acts in the circuit”. Last month, I was invited down to check it out, and it’s safe to say that I was not disappointed. As well as telling you a little bit about the night, there will even be an opportunity to win free tickets to April’s event, so stay tuned!
The night consisted of three acts in total: two supports and a headline. First up was Evelyn Mok, a brazen comedian who put an amusing spin on her struggles with body image, female issues and growing up as a Swedish-Chinese woman. She was followed by Priya Hall, whose act centered around hilarious anecdotes about her zany mother. Finally, Phil Nichol, with his Tim Minchin-esque combination of stand-up and musical comedy, made for a fantastic closing performance. Each month there is a new series of acts, and with the quality of performance delivered by this round, I have no doubts that each night is as uniquely funny as the last.
After the show, we caught up with first act of the night, Evelyn, to hear her thoughts on working in the comedy business.
How did you discover your passion for comedy?
I’ve always been a comedy fan, watching a lot of American sitcoms and films as a child. I got into stand-up after uni when I entered a beginners competition in Sweden and went all the way to the finals. Stand-up is the only thing that I’ve kept doing for more than a few months, I’m stuck with it!
How long have you been working as a comedian?
I’ve been surviving on my comedy for about 3 years now.
Where do the ideas for your acts come from?
From anything really, everything from things happening to me, to me wanting to comment on something, or just jokes that I think of.
What is your personal favourite bit that you’ve ever performed, and why?
I have a joke about my boobs. It’s a joke that goes quite deeply into how I feel about them, how I think they are perceived in society and how they contribute to my place in the world. It’s one of the most nuanced bits that I’ve written and I really enjoy performing it as well.
Do you have any idols or influences?
Bill Burr is a great comedian, he has managed to find a way to be completely honest on stage about how he feels about the world and what his opinions are, though sometimes challenging he makes them so funny. It’s like watching someone dance across laser beams without touching them once.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I am just about to make some dinner. And then afterwards, pudding.
Comedy Club is, all in all, a thoroughly entertaining evening. But don’t take my word for it, go along and see for yourself! Swansea Grand has kindly offered to give away two free tickets to this month’s Comedy Club, which will take place on the 24th April! If you want to be in with the chance to win, send your best joke to firstname.lastname@example.org. The competition will close on 22nd April, so get brainstorming!
by Kathryn Hayne