We caught up with comedian and promoter Dean Moore for a chat on all things comedy. As the brains behind Middlesbrough’s super successful Halfpenny Comedy Club, he’s pulled in some of the comedy circuit’s top acts for incredible (usually sell-out) shows. As a comic, he was singled out by Neil Jollie of Hilarity Bites in an interview we did with him (check it out here) as his engaging, storytelling style sees him gracing stages all over. Dean was kind enough to tell us his comedy highlights so far, so over to you Dean…
I’ll start with the top headliners that we’ve had had Halfpenny so far. Patrick Monahan, Seymour Mace Gavin Webster, Daliso Chaponda, Danny Pensive, John Scott and we had local comedian Fran Garrity do his solo show which was pretty spectacular to say the least.
Our MC Sam Harland isn’t a local act but he’s one of the best MC’s around he wonderfully charming and you instantly like him. We’ve had some superb openers and middle spots perform too including Si Beckwith and Deage Paxton who are both very original and great to watch. Michael Holford and Mark Kennedy have always done extremely well and Rivka Utley was outstanding in a difficult room.
One of the funniest people I’ve met whilst doing comedy is a promoter called Steve Walker who runs TFI in Scunthorpe. He doesn’t perform but if you just sit and listen to him away from a comedy room in a relaxed environment he just leaves you in tears every time.
I’ve managed to rack up 84 gigs myself; now, I’m not prolific but in that time I’ve met some amazing people some of whom have become good friends of mine. We are lucky In the North East as we have some wonderful supportive clubs for new acts like the Stand which is incredible and some supportive promoters who go out of their way to give newer acts valuable stage time.
Special mention must go to Neil Jollie (of Hilarity Bites) who always put on nice nights and gives you regular stage time. Peter Vincent runs some of the best gigs in the land and his gong show at the ARC does offer great progression, even if you don’t win if you’re good enough you’ll get a spot at one of his many nights.
I’ve gone on far too long now and work calls, but first and foremost, I’m a huge comedy fan and run my own small independent night in Middlesbrough called Halfpenny Comedy Club. I’m an open spot who does get the occasional paid 15 and has played some wonderful biker gigs. It’s probably a mid life crisis if I’m honest, it was either comedy or peruse the screwfix catalogue and dye my hair.
As a fan I love people like Dave Allen, Mickey Flanagan, James Acaster, Daniel Kitson and even after naming some incredible comedians my favourite act by a long way comes from the North East; he goes by the name of Jason Cook.
Finally I would like to thank the following people for advice and help along the way. Rick Hulse, Sam Harland, Patrick Monahan, Fran Garrity, Steve Walker, John Scott, Neil Jollie, oh and Rachel my girlfriend.