TV comedian Russell Kane surprises Hampshire pub goers with intimate gig
Comedy fans in a Hampshire village were given a huge surprise when TV star Russell Kane turned up to a pub gig.
About 160 people enjoyed the outdoor show at The Farmer Inn pub in Catherington on Saturday night, with acts including Chris McCausland, Cally Beaton and compare James Alderson.
Organised by Comedy All Stars, the sold-out gig was one of the first events to be held in the county since lockdown was eased, with visitors asked to bring their own chairs and sit two metres apart.
The secret headliner for the night was stand-up comedian and actor Russell Kane, who travelled for more than four hours from Cheshire to be part of the evening.
Although more used to appearing in arenas in front of thousands, the popular entertainer enjoyed the chance of taking part in a more intimate gig.
He said: ‘This is the third open-air gig I have done now and the first one I’ve done with a stage and lights, last night the gig finished at sunset.
‘It’s just amazing to stretch my legs, it's impossible for the promoter to make the sums add up so most of us are taking zero-fee or a very small fee.
‘By the time we have travelled we are not really making much money, which shows you not how poor comedians are but how much we are passionate about our craft and willing to do this for a loss and that is what the theatres are going to have to do as well.
‘They are going to have to open half full and make no profit temporarily just to keep people in the habit of going to the theatre.’
The government has eased lockdown restrictions to allow outdoor performances with audiences, as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
Event organiser James Alderson is used to holding regular events indoors, but has had a good response to outdoor gigs so far.
The compare said: ‘When I decided to do a few gigs I put the word out asking who has a pub with a big field so when I checked this field out, it's enormous so I thought great.
‘We have 160 people and the space is more than adequate, they have festivals here, so even the local residents are used to having these sorts of events in the village. Everyone has an ample two meters around them so have their own space.’
Punter Ian Foden was one of those who enjoyed watching the comedians return to live performances.
He said: ‘I loved it, we saw James at the Spinnaker Tower in March and follow his live streams on Facebook and came to give him some support and it's really funny and the comedians are really good.’
To book tickets for future shows go to comedy-allstars.co.uk.