After a two-year hiatus, Middlesex Theatre students returned to Crouch End’s historic comedy club Downstairs at the King’s Head. This prestigious venue has hosted third-year Stand-Up Comedy assessments for many years, but throughout the COVID lockdowns this annual event had to take place online instead.
Downstairs at The King’s Head is a typical London comedy club: unassuming, intimate and covered with pictures of past comedy royalty who have performed there, including Jo Brand, Michael McIntyre, and the late Sean Lock. Middlesex students have been cutting their comedy teeth amongst this prestigious company for over twenty years.
Middlesex graduate Jacob Hawley (recently featured on Russell Howard’s Good News and host of BBC Sounds' Jacob Hawley: On Drugs) expertly compered the evening, creating a supportive real-world atmosphere for the students to perform in. This public event has traditionally acted as the acid test of the trainee comics’ writing and delivery, and can be daunting – but each rose to the challenge, with rapturous applause and laughter underscoring the entire evening.
Established comedian Steve Best assisted module leader, Sam Beale, in assessing the student’s work, as well as delivering feedback and workshop sessions throughout the module.
“Everyone already has a distinct comic voice,” says Sam, “and what our students are learning are the most effective ways to articulate this voice and share with an audience their unique perspective on their life, society and culture.”