If you fancy giving your funny bone a workout, you won’t want to miss the next comedy night at Camden Quarter on March 31, which features a variety of upcoming talent and seasoned stand-up acts. We find out how the venue will be bringing laughs aplenty to the town at the end of the month
Tell us the background of Camden Quarter’s comedy nights
There used to be comedy nights here a couple of years ago, when the restaurant was Relish. We refurbished our upstairs function room last year, adding another bar and a small stage, so it seemed like a good time to bring back comedy; it’s a good-sized space that can seat between 70 and 80 people. We did some research online and came across Pulp Comedy. Bobby, who runs the company, has been fantastic and steered us in the right direction. He arranges the PA system and organises all the comedians.
How often do you put the evenings on?
Comedy nights are the last Thursday of every month. The first one was back in September 2015, and the next one will be on March 31, which will be our sixth. So far we’ve sold out on every night!
And how many acts perform on each night?
There are four acts each time. The MC or compère starts the night and introduces the three other acts. There are two intervals during the night, and then the headliner is the last act of the evening. The whole thing takes about two hours. Each month they’re completely different comedians, so you’ll never see the same act twice here.
Are the acts local, or do they come from further afield?
Pulp Comedy is based in London, so most of the comedians appear to be based around London and the South East, but they’re all doing the comedy circuit and travelling around the country touring. We’ve had comedians who’ve been doing this job for 20 years and some who are just starting out, so there’s always an element of surprise.
Is the event ticketed?
It’s £8 a ticket in advance and £10 on the day. To book, either phone the restaurant on 01892 544 522, or pop in and buy your tickets from us. We sell out pretty quickly, so it’s always best to buy in advance, particularly if you don’t want to sit in the front row and be bait for a quick-witted comedian!
Who are some of the acts performing on March 31?
This month we have Stuart Laws, who’s the MC and made his debut at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013. Pierre Novielle was a member of Cambridge Footlights and nominated for Best Newcomer in the 2014 Chortle Awards. He was also a finalist in the 2012 Chortle Student Comedy Awards and won the 2013 Amused Moose Laugh-Off. There’s also George Lewis, winner of the Amused Moose Laugh Off and Comedy Knights Comedian of the Year in 2015, and the headliner David Whitney is an actor/comedian, who was involved in the BAFTA-winning comedy Fonejaker and has performed comedy both in America and the UK.
Do you do special dishes or set menus for the evenings?
Our restaurant is open as normal, where we have our evening menu, which is served from 6pm until 9.45pm. Booking is again advisable if you would like food before you head upstairs at 8.30pm for the comedy. The bars upstairs are open from 7pm if you just fancy a drink.
What are your hopes for the future of the comedy nights at the Camden Quarter?
We’ll continue to run the comedy nights for as long as they’re popular and we continue to get the great acts. The other exciting thing we have is Northern Soul nights, which have come back.
Apart from Comedy, do you have any other evenings we should know about?
The other exciting thing we have is Northern Soul nights, which have come back and booked their dates for the rest of the year. It’s a really fun night for age range of 18 to 80, with some great music and fantastic dancing.
Northern Soul is a music and dance movement that emerged predominantly in the north of England in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. It grew out of the Mod movement, with followers exploring ‘lesser-known’ soul records recorded by American groups/singers who were trying to emulate the Motown/Atlantic/Stax music of the time.
Often, they would’ve just had one shot at trying to record a ‘hit’, so they put everything into that one recording, which can be felt in their records. A typical Northern Soul record mainly consists of a heavy beat and fast tempo, and can range from an early ‘60s R&B record, to a late ‘70s funky disco recording, which encompasses that special Northern Soul beat.
Kim Styles attended nights at the famous Wigan Casino in the ‘70s and has been largely responsible for the success of Northern Soul here in Tunbridge Wells. At our bi-monthly nights, you’ll be guaranteed a fantastic night listening and dancing to fabulous Northern Soul records upstairs at The Camden Quarter.
Here are some comedy dates for your diary at the Camden Quarter…
Thursday April 28 Headliner: Steve Day MC: Ben Van Der Velde Opener: Mark Cram Middle: Phil Lucas
Thursday May 26 Headliner: Kelly Kingham MC: Stephen Bailey Opener: Johnny Pelham Middle: Ian Lane
Thursday June 30 Headliner: Andrew O’Neill MC: Grainne Maguire Opener: Harriet Kemsley Middle: Alexis Wieronieyl