Unknown North East comedy heritage brought into the limelight
31 March 2022
New podcast event launch 'Jesters: Forgotten Stories of North East Comedy'
A new podcast Jesters: Forgotten Stories of North East Comedy co-produced by trailblazing North East comedy cooperative Felt Nowt and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) launches with an evening of comedy and cavorting at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum on 22 April.
Comedians Gavin Webster, Lee Kyle and John Gibson will perform alongside other guests in the art deco Great Hall; the audience can expect a mix of stand-up, sketches and songs. The performers will also weave the stories explored in the four episode podcast into their acts, sharing unheard snippets of North East comedy heritage.
The evening will close with a panel Q&A, delving into the heritage of North East comedy beyond the four stories explored in the podcast. Tickets cost £4 plus booking fee, and can be bought here.
[Image - black and white photo of Mark Sheridan 1864 - 1918)
"Part of our ethos is to preserve the rich comedy heritage the North East has"
Jesters: Forgotten Stories of North East Comedy will be available on TWAM’s Must-see Stories digital platform here, and all good podcast platforms, from 22 April 2022.
Felt Nowt Director and stand-up comedian Si Beckwith said:
“We’re thrilled to be working with TWAM and we’re excited by seeing comedy working with such great institutions like this.
“Part of our ethos is to preserve the rich comedy heritage the North East has and what better than spotlighting some stories that aren’t championed to the level they should be.
“Through the podcast and the live show we get to shout about these incredible people, and it’s just a taster of so many great stories we’ll be looking to spotlight further in the future.”
“It is fantastic to work with Felt Nowt to explore the lesser known stories"
Digital Producer at TWAM Sarah Younas said:
“It is fantastic to work with Felt Nowt to explore the lesser known stories of a range of North East comedians and performers, who have inspired today’s comedy scene.
“A stand-up and sketch show in a museum isn’t something you see every day and it will be so much fun. We hope lots of people will come along to enjoy the show and will download the podcast.”
Each episode is presented by stalwarts of the regional north east comedy scene
The stories explored in ‘Jesters’ are Mark Sheridan (1864 - 1918) Ian Milne (1922-1949), Leonard Barras (1922-2008) and South Shields’ elusive Wavis O’Shave.
Each episode is presented by stalwarts of the regional North East comedy scene – with Gavin Webster, Si Beckwith, Lee Kyle and John Gibson appearing in each one.
Mark Sheridan was a music hall star from the docks of Hendon, Sunderland who travelled the world as an actor, singer and comedian at the end of the Victorian era; Leonard Barrass was an author, poet, columnist and playwright who spent his working life as a clerk in Newcastle’s Swan Hunters and whose BBC 2 comedy starred Roy Kinnear; Ian Milne, originally a draughtsman at Reyrolles in South Shields had the makings of a very promising career but tragically died young from illness age 26; the enigmatic Wavis O’Shave was a surrealist comic who appeared on cult favourite Channel 4’s The Tube, made in Newcastle in the 1980s, and whose albums were favoured by legendary DJ John Peel.
Felt Nowt is a unique collaboration between over 60 comics from, or performing in the North East
Felt Nowt is a unique collaboration between over 60 comics from, or performing in the North East, and is the first organisation of its kind. The only known comedy company run by comedians for comedy fans, Felt Nowt is dedicated to presenting the best quality stand-up comedy to venues throughout the North East and Cumbria. A Community Interest Company (CIC), Felt Nowt channels all profits back into supporting community outreach and events that benefit their local and regional communities.
Felt Nowt’s most recent production was at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre in early March, with over 800 people attending a comedy night hosted by female comedians like Sammy Dobson to raising almost £7,300 for Rape Crisis Tyneside & Northumberland.
Must-see stories is TWAM’s online editorial platform
Must-see stories is TWAM’s online editorial platform which tells compelling stories inspired by the region’s museum, gallery and archive collections and communities, through film, audio and writing.
Other stories include Heavier! Faster! Louder! a six-part audio documentary series, telling the story of Tyneside’s Heavy Metal scene; Weird Walks, a deep dive into the dark heart of Newcastle; Re-Imagining Pride, a series of six commissions from LGBTQIA+ artists, examining what P/pride means to them through film, audio, poetry, illustration and zines; Exhibitions Unpacked, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at upcoming exhibitions and much more in production.