Outdoor comedy shows in Waterlooville and Southsea give comics a chance to practise their sets

COMICS unable to perform during lockdown have been getting back in the swing of things through outdoor gigs ahead of pubs reopening next month.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 6:54 pm
Callum Prior, 27, has been organising outdoor comedy shows to entertain people and get comics practising their sets during lockdown

Weekly performances have been set up on Thursdays at 7pm in Waterlooville precinct by comic Callum Prior, and they are due to expand to an 8pm Saturday performance at Southsea bandstand this weekend.

The 27-year-old wanted to give himself and his fellow performers a chance to shake off the nerves before pubs and clubs start booking acts - and the response has been great.

‘There were two months without us having any gigs and I was going crazy sitting at home every day,’ said part-time comic Callum, who took a speaker down to the town and did an impromptu comedy performance which started the idea.

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He added: ‘A lot of my friends are full-time comics and I have seen what they have been through over the last few months. I just want to take people’s minds off it and have a good laugh again.

‘It’s for the comics to be able to do some gigs again before the pubs open - every comic I know has jumped at the opportunity.’

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Furloughed salesman Callum has been performing as a comic for about a year since his friends encouraged him to book onto his first gig and he really enjoyed the experience.

Callum said: ‘Portsmouth has a really thriving comedy scene which people don’t seem to know about.

‘It’s a very welcoming community, everyone looks out for each other and everyone’s got each other’s backs.’

Organising these displays for large outdoor spaces is one of the ways the comic is trying to keep people safe while enjoying live entertainment during social distancing.

He said: ‘Because I have got a PA system, if people do get close to each other, there is someone with a voice there who can tell them to separate. Every comic brings their own microphone so we aren’t passing them to each other.

‘Even if nobody shows up, I have got enough comics down that we can make each other laugh for an hour.’

The performances will be live streamed on Facebook for those who cannot make it. For more, visit facebook.com/groups/3271516999534656

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