FEATURE: Shoe Cake Comedy – A Look Back on 2020 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Over the past twelve months, our magazine and website have been brimming with super-talented, creative souls. We’ve asked a few of them to tell us about their 2020 and offer a few tips about great stuff they’ve seen, watched and read.

Here, North East comedy legends Shoe Cake Comedy Club tell us about their 2020…

Sum up 2020 in three words


What skills did you learn in lockdown?

I found that while gigs couldn’t go ahead in venues I could still entertain page followers with online events. We ran charity comedy quiz shows, live Q&As with comedians, Lip Sync Battles, movie panel shows, and general ad hoc live streams. A couple of the events were ticketed raising money for local Covid support and a local food bank. It was great to turn something like that into a worthwhile fundraising event. 

Your favourite song of the year?

There are two songs which stick in mind this year, the first one is Dance Monkey because my 2 year old son insisted I played it all summer and made me dance to it with him, and then Blinding Lights by The Weeknd. I feel very young and hip liking that song. 

Favourite TV show of the year?

It’s between Stath Lets Flats and People Just Do Nothing, both are just excellent, well written, and extremely funny. 

Your favourite film?

Jojo Rabbit. Just brilliant. It pulls on every emotion and is very funny. I ended up watching it on the off chance. I’m so glad I did, it’s a masterpiece of a movie. 

Best book you read?

Bigger Than Hitler Better Than Christ by Rik Mayall. It’s just so pompous and self appreciating but in a very clever tongue in cheek way. Rik is my idol and it was an absolute pleasure to read. He even insisted that the book wasn’t proof read or edited, it had to be fresh from the typewriter and it’s full of mistakes, full of ace photos, actual scripts and some very funny true stories. 

Venue you are looking forward to performing at next year?

Our comedy club home at The Georgian Theatre in Stockton. We were teased back for one show when lockdown was eased and then had to lockdown again. The venue is superb and the team behind it are just wonderful. I can’t wait to invite comedians back on stage there again. 

What was your favourite gig/live stream event?

It’s one I hosted called Ted Hanky’s Proper class Quiz Night. It was raising money for the NHS Covid Support Trust and I managed to wangle video questions from a load of celebs such as Steph McGovern, Chris Kamara, Vaun Earl Norman, Kay Murray, Steve Cram, Alison Curbishley, Stavros Flatley, Neil Maddison, Dean Windass, Danny Posthill, and many more. It was superb fun and so many people got behind the quiz, the online views were really high too. 

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2021?

Apart from local Teesside misfit Ted Hanky I would have to say keep an eye out for a young comedian from Yorkshire called Joe Kent-Walters. Joe is in the final of the Chortle Student Comedian of the Year, he’s very good, reminds me a lot of a young Rik Mayall and I think he will go far. Joe opened one of my Shoe Cake shows at The Georgian Theatre at the end of 2019 and he blew the roof off.

Predictions for 2021?

A slow start to the year in terms of gigs and gigging…even if things are relaxed I think there will still be significant restrictions that affect capacities, times, socialising, drink/food/dancing etc… but I think we will see a huge boom in the second half of the year in terms of people desperate to get out, attend gigs, and start enjoying themselves again. I also think there will be a tidal wave of talent about to hit the scene! So many artists, writers, performers will have been planning, creating, writing, recording, collaborating….we are in for a right treat! 

And finally, have you got anything in the pipeline for next year?

Yes, monthly Shoe Cake Comedy Club nights at the Georgian Theatre in Stockon, and The Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds – plus Ted Hanky’s Hanky Panky Comedy Club at Bier & Beer in Middlesbrough plus various other venues across Teesside. I’m also hoping to launch a new Indie Comedy Festival at The Georgian Theatre called The Last Stop to Edinburgh. This will feature a number of Edinburgh fringe preview shows over one full weekend featuring a number of well known TV comedians giving the lovely people of Teesside a sneak preview of their next big festival shows. 

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