Mar 05 2012

Stand up and Mackem Laugh at Venue, Sunderland

Tiffany Stevenson

This (the 3rd March) was my first visit to a “Stand up and Mackem Laugh” night in Sunderland. After finding the venue, Venue (!) with a bit of difficulty, its just changed it’s name from Mission/Ku, we arrived at a very interesting small club. If you live in Sunderland you may know of this place already. I just read from the fittings…enough fans to drive a windtunnel for testing the aerodynamics of an A380, that some hardcore clubbing may have taken place here in the past. Drinks are very reasonably priced with bottles of Grolsch at £1..still no excuse to get ratted, comedy is enjoyed best with moderate alcohol consumption. My chauffeur appreciated the soft drinks at 70p a can. Toilets were clean with loo roll shared between cubicles and eventually replaced by kitchen roll. Very absorbent! The black decor meant all attention can be focussed on the talent onstage. Unless you had unwisely chosen  a comedy club for your 21st birthday party…parties are about chatting and having a laugh amongst yourselves, not compatible with comedy clubs, best come another night.

After a short, semi musical,  appearance by Dave Richardson, MC Andrea Whitaker ably took the stage and established some comedy club etiquette and stamped some down to earth mackem woman’s charm on proceedings. This is clearly a woman who loves people and the daft things they say and do, and knows how to present a funny story to an audience. As a compere ( is it comperre?)  she was a mix of mother hen and the slightly slutty middle aged woman down the street. I think she has more to give and I look forward to seeing her again. I would post a picture of her but she’s done a damned good job of keeping her lovely visage off the net!

Carl Gillespie from Middlesborough also shared some regional humour to good effect as the momentum of the evening took off  (no they didn’t switch those fans on, that would have been scary). Apologies if I’ve got the running order a little skew wiff..a lot of comics on that night!

Nick Bank’s was an amiable beardy bloke with a lot to say. Hailing from Hartlepool, that gave him a fair bit of material…our home towns are always fair game. He didn’t just limit himself to parochial humour, but the other stuff must have been good as I went into the “comedy hypnosis” that affects me when someone is on a roll and I’m laughing. Again, worth another go, he apparently has a good turnover of material.

Al McWilliam is an instantly likeable comic from Darlington who I have seen before and enjoyed this time just as much. A good storyteller and observational comic who also blends in his experiences as a bipolar epileptic as well. A very funny bloke with good stage presence.

Al McWilliam

The headliner of the night was of course Tiffany Stevenson, “off the telly”. Tifanny’s been a busy lady since her appearance on “Show Me The Funny”, the search for a comedian reality show. Another participant Dan Mitchell will be playing the club next month. Tiffany runs and co-hosts London’s Old Rope new material night and she, well she does loads of stuff..see her website, clever lass She stood out on the evening as a performer comfortable on the stage and able to carry off a well prepared routine with no worries about a change in direction. She read the audience well.

Stand up and Mackem Laugh promises to bring big name comedy to Sunderland and with Tiffany they certainly brought some quality. Give them your support. They are currently posting all their events on their Facebook page: Also, if you fancy yourself doing a bit of stand up email, there are slots available on 15th March at time of publishing.

 Posters I grabbed at the venue, fair warning for upcoming gigs.