Glee is much more than a cheesy American sitcom where people sporadically don’t stop believing and burst into song, because when does that really happen? The Glee Club’s are iconic stand up venues in the comedy circles and have been springboards for such side splitting comedians as Sarah Millican, Jack Dee and Lee Evans, the quality of the acts means that you could be witness to a future Michael Mcintyre.
My home town of Stoke on Trent isn’t really the epicentre of comedy (unless you enjoy watching Jeremy Kyle for LOLZ) so imagine my surprise when more or less over night a Glee Club opened up practically on my doorstep for monthly evenings of shits and giggles (more giggles, hopefully).
Usually saved for the likes of Birmingham, Cardiff and Nottingham, the Glee brand, which opened 20 years ago in Birmingham, branched out into another Midlands based club to bring live comedy to the stage. In fact, this new venue is the first Glee Club to open in five years.
Now you may not believe me but I’ve never attended a stand up comedy night before. Despite being tempted in by the strategic flyering in city centres, the nearest I’ve come is a comedians tour stop. I always feared for some reason that attending an evening of stand up from comedians I’ve never heard of would leave me with dead pan face amidst a bar of comedy tumbleweeds.
How wrong I was?
On the last Saturday of each month, four comedians (made up of both headline comics and emerging talents) take to the stage of the former Theatre Royal Hanley on Pall Mall, where comedy greats such as Laurel and Hardy have walked the boards. and an audience waiting to be well and truly entertained. I took the lovely Lilly along for a girls night in Stoke as we both lost our stand up virginity in the safe hands of Glee.
The Glee Club Stoke has an air of secret society about it as you enter through a cloaked entrance, are greeted by a suited and booted host and are show to your seats the Virgin Airlines-eque red dress wearing usherettes who are on hand to keep you fed and watered throughout the evening.
For June’s evening of stand up (only the second evening in history of Glee Hanley) we were treated to the comedic stylings of Andrew Bird as compere, Tom Wrigglesworth, Bethany Black, and Michael Legge, each with very different act which offered a diverse evening of entertainment and laughs. The one thing they had in common? The ability to make me laugh until I felt like I’d earned myself a Britney-esque stomach.
A highlight of the evening for me was the larger than life Bethany Black, whose routine was at times downright vulgar and left the well to do couple in front of us polishing their spectacles and trying not to look offended as she lamented on her oral technique. While Michael Legge’s tales honest and frank tribulations of parenthood had the audience in uproar.
This month sees the likes of Saturday sees the likes of Dave Twentyman, Andy Askins, Jamali Maddix and Bobby
Mair taking to the stage. So for for an evening of stomach crunchingly funny comedy for a date night with the significant other* or with a group of friends, make sure you get yourself down to The Glee Comedy Club on Saturday 25th June for the chance to sample some seriously talented up and coming talented.
Pre pay day and feeling the pennies and pounds pinch? No problem! I have a pair of tickets for Saturday nights show! Head over to my Facebook page to find out how to enter!
*probably don’t take someone along for a first date. Spitting cider through your nose or choking with laughter on a piece of popcorn is NOT a good look