Award-winning comic Dave Rothnie has got them rolling in the aisles after setting up a regular comedy night at a venue dedicated to Monty Python star Terry Jones.
Dave, who picked up the North West Comedian of the Year award while still a student in Salford, has performed alongside Peter Kay and Caroline Aherne.
A financial writer by day, Dave is now working with stand-ups from the UK comedy circuit with his new comedy club Stand-Up @ The Seaside in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.
The monthly shows, at the coastal town’s popular Station Pub, are already proving a hit with comedy lovers eager to have a fun night out.
The next event, on Saturday May 27, sees performances by two rising stars from the South Wales comedy scene – Dan Thomas and Sarah Breese along with acclaimed performer Tony Cowards
From June 19, the venue will host a week-long run of Edinburgh fringe preview shows, featuring special sets from top comedians. They include City Life comedian of the year Tony Burgess who starred alongside Jonny Vegas in BBC3’s Ideal, came runner up in So You Think You’re Funny and was nominated for best stand up and writer at the North West Comedy Awards.
Also testing out shows for Edinburgh will be S4C’s favourite comedy star Tudur Owen and Anglesey performer Kiri-Pritchard Mclean, who has appeared alongside comedians Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt.
On June 24 Canadian Comedy Award nominee Allyson June-Smith and “professional Yorkshireman” Keith Platt will take the stage, while July 29 features Steve Gribbin, who has regularly appeared in BBC Radio 4’s comedy slots and is a permanent member of The Cutting Edge, the highly acclaimed weekly topical show at The Comedy Store in London. Also performing is Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist Andrew McBurney.
The event goes on its own holidays in August, returning on September 30 with Danny McLoughlin, fresh from his own Edinburgh show and who has performed with Sean Lock, Micky Flanagan, Sarah Millican and Doc Brown, plus Phil Chapman, who is a familiar face at comedy clubs in London and around the UK.
Dave, who grew up in Kent, first started in stand-up as a student at Salford University and tried his hand at comedy alongside Dave Gorman, Peter Kay and Caroline Aherne at the renowned Band on the Wall venue in Manchester.
He went on to bag the title of the North West Comedian of the Year – an honour also won by Steve Coogan and Peter Kay – before deciding on a career in the media.
He worked for the prestigious Dow Jones Index and Wall Street Journal in London before settling in North Wales with his partner Gill, who is from the area, and their children Benjy, six, Lucy, eight and Oliver, ten.
The 47-year-old draws much of his comic material from the absurdities of everyday life, including being freelance, working at home with three young children and doing the school run.
He said: “As a comedy lover, I regularly travel to Liverpool, Manchester and further afield to see comedians and I thought it would be terrific to set up a venue in North Wales.
“I have a lot of contacts in the industry and thought it would be a great idea and a complete contrast to my day job as a financial journalist.”
Dave, who counts Billy Connolly, Jack Dee and Steve Coogan among his influences, said: “I initially started running the comedy nights at Great Orme Brewery and, as its popularity grew, I found a great venue in the Terry Jones suite at the Station Pub, in Colwyn Bay.
“It’s very fitting as it was named in honour of Monty Python member Terry Jones – who was born in Colwyn Bay.”
The comedy nights take place on the last Saturday of every month, with David hoping to increase their frequency in the future.
“The comedy nights are proving so popular that I’m sure we’ll add extra nights as time goes on,” he said. “Our comedy events are a great night out as we also take jokes from the crowd and everyone votes on the best ones which is really good fun. There is also music so it’s a great night out for people of all ages.”
Stand-Up @ The Seaside is being supported by Colwyn Business Improvement District (BID), which is aiming to revitalise the area.
Anna Openshaw, project manager of Colwyn BID said: “The comedy evenings organised by Dave are terrific and are proving really popular, not only with people in Colwyn Bay, but surrounding areas.
“The events are great fun and the calibre of comedians is terrific. We’re sure the event will go from strength to strength and will provide a welcome boost to the region.”
The non-for-profit social enterprise is aiming to revitalise the business communities across the Bay of Colwyn and to attract more visitors, investment and shoppers to the area.
*Stand Up @The Seaside, The Station, Colwyn Bay. May 27. Tickets £12.50 from the venue 01492 532818 or from Dave Rothnie at firstname.lastname@example.org