FEATURE: Neil Harris’ Stand Spotlight Bunch Of Fives | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Ahead of the next Stand Spotlight show at The Stand Newcastle, we caught up with comedian Neil Harris to find out his five favourite things about the shows which sees comics performing bespoke sets on a predetermined theme. With all the ticket sales going to charity, these shows have proved a real hit, so over to you Neil on why they mean a lot to you too…

It’s At The Stand.
I could wax lyrical about The Stand for this entire article if I wanted. I don’t think there is another set of comedy venues that are so supportive to new acts, or has such talented warm staff from the people on the tech desk to the bar staff. I have never failed to have an absolute ball at the stand.

It Makes Me Write New Material
As a newer act I find it very hard to force myself away from my normal material that I have honed over the past year or so, as it puts me back in that scary area of not knowing how something will go down, but ultimately this is something I should be doing. and the spotlight gigs are a brilliant way of making me do this. Also when trying to write new material the theme and starting point is often the hardest bit to decide upon and it is very easy to swirl round in an infinite vortex of possibilities for ages coming up with no ideas. So with each of the spotlight nights having a theme this “swirling” is virtually eliminated.

It’s For Charity
Another contributing factor to the overall fab atmosphere of the spotlights nights is that they are for charity. I know that Ellen Asquith, who is the brains behind the spotlight, gives a lot of thought into choosing the charities for these nights, often choosing smaller ones who don’t receive a lot of funding, so my coming along to these nights you are not only supporting live comedy but a great cause too.

It’s A Gig With My Friends
As a budding open-spot comedian most of the gigs I do are with more experienced acts and these are a great opportunity to bask in the brilliance of these comics and act as great motivation to push myself to be a better comic. It’s also nice to be on the bill with comics at the same level as me, it gives the night a real sense of camaraderie and I like seeing how different friends of mine approach the theme of night.  

It’s At The Stand!!
I wasn’t lying when I said I could go on and on about how awesome The Stand is. As I said I have always had an amazing night, and this includes going to watch gigs there years before I even started doing comedy. The atmosphere is always lovely and there’s a sense that everybody in that building is just there to have the nicest time as possible. I can guarantee you will never regret a night spent there.

This next Stand Spotlight will centre on the topic ‘Sex’. Ticket money will be donated to Children North East’s West End Youth Enquiry Service. The show is at The Stand, Newcastle on Tuesday 30th May and features Stuart McPherson, Sammy Dobson, Daniel Triscott, Thomas Rackham, Si Beckwith, Wis Jantarasorn and host Carl Gillespie.

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