FEATURE: Grin Up North Spotlight – Si Beckwith | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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BBC Newcastle comedy radio show takes over Newcastle Labour Club on Thursday 28th February. The Grin Up North live show features sketch comedy from the Grin Up North All Stars doing a 30 minute live sketch show and stand-up from Louise Young, Anja Atkinson and Si Beckwith.

Set to be a showcase for some of the North East’s talented comedy writers and performers the show has supported this funny bunch well over the last six months. We caught up with one of those, Si Beckwith to find out a little bit more.

What are you most looking forward to about doing this show?
I missed the last one at The Customs House as I’d already agreed to do a gig in Hartlepool and it sounded unreal. So just actually getting to do sketches with the gang live will be so much fun. I’m doing a bit of stand-up too, so it’ll be nice performing to a packed room (fingers crossed) and actually just sitting back after the sketches and enjoying my pals being funny.

What do you love about gigging in the North East?
The audiences, and the fact I’m always on a bill with some lush people. There’s some amazing acts here, but generally I just love getting to hang out with other idiots and be silly in the green room, and a bit of gossip is always smashing. The audiences are awesome too. I love The Stand, but there’s some amazing other places, and such mixed crowds. Oh, and I’m not sat on a Megabus for ages getting home. Actually, that last one is probably the most important.

Is it different gigging in the North East to anywhere else?
Yes. I’m less filled with trepidation about having to get a Megabus home.

How do you go about writing a set?
I honestly don’t know. I asked Louise (who is also on) the other day how she does it, as I am convinced I’ve been doing it wrong. Generally though, every way I can; look through the notes on my phone, scrawl mind maps and just muck about talking to myself in my room until I make myself laugh.

Who are your comedy influences?
Daniel Kitson, Dave Chappelle, Josie Long are all people I still go back to. Locally, we’re dead lucky to have people like Seymour Mace, Gavin Webster and Mike Milligan too. Harriet Dyer is one of the most effortlessly funny acts I’ve ever seen too. There’s probably loads I’ve forgotten too.

Will you be doing anything different for this show?
Probably do less swearsies than I normally would.

How’s comedy going at the moment?
Lush. Diary is nice and busy, working on some comedy projects to run alongside stand-up too. Doing the sketches with my fellow Grinners has been amazing, and there’s some real talent in that group, so it’s been nice being in a writer’s room environment and just mucking about being daft regularly.

What else do you have coming up?
Moving house. Oh, you mean comedy wise? I’m doing a show at Alphabetti Theatre on Friday 7th June. Come to that please. Or help me move house. I’m happy with either.

The Grin Up North Live Show is at Newcastle Labour Club on Thursday 28th February. A limited amount of free tickets are available via grinupnorth@bbc.co.uk.

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