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Comedy club contest seeks out new talent

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: February 05, 2013

Kate Lucas

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THOSE who think they have what it takes to break into the stand-up comedy circuit should have a crack at a competition which rewards only the very best.

Lastminutecomedy Club's New Comedian of the Year heats take place in March ahead of the finals in April, which will be held at a number of venues including Comedy Hall, Tiverton.

Previous finalists have included Carly Smallman, Wouter Meijs, Kate Lucas, Darren Walsh, Jay Foreman, Damian Kingsley and last year's winner, Pete Beckley.

Organiser Paul Edwards said: "This is not a competition for time wasters, brand new acts or people looking for stage time. The winner of the overall competition gets full bookings at all of our gigs during the next year, which amounts to around £1,000 worth of work.

"The two runners up in the overall competition also get half sets at the clubs, the oldest of which has been running for 20 years."

The winner of each heat – which will be held across the country between March 28 and April 7 – will be awarded £100 and a place at the finals, which will be held in Tiverton, Holsworthy, and a venue yet to be confirmed in May.

Paul added: "Each heat is judged by four independent adjudicators. Previous years have been tremendously good but the standard is relatively high and the heats take place in existing comedy clubs that run successfully throughout the year.

"Showing up with unpleasant jokes will not win you any friends. If you win this competition you will be performing 30-minute sets alongside established, and in some cases famous, comedians.

"Entering the competition does not give people the divine right to then pester me for work. The winner of this competition gets bookings. The two runners up get half sets. I'm sorry to have to say this but some of the idiotic demands from people last year were nearly enough to stop me going to the trouble to put this thing on again. I don't like turning anyone down, but if you finish last in your heat and then tell me you ought to be playing my clubs, I will not be polite."

Interested applicants should contact lastminutecomedy@hotmail.co.uk with a promo clip. Previous entrants are welcome to enter again but must do so with a different set from previous years.

If you would like to enter email: lastminute comedy@hotmail.co.uk.

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