Mad About The Boy

The Boy with Tape on his Face will host this year’s Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

We first became aware of the Boy with Tape on his Face in February 2010.  We were in Adelaide enjoying the sun and catching up with long lost and newly aquainted relatives during the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Having no time to plough through their fairly hefty programme we decided to ask around.  What’s the big show this year?  What’s the must have ticket?  What should we see before we head back to Edinburgh?  Every single time, the respondent was emphatic.

“The Boy with Tape on his Face”.

Difficult to describe without demeaning his talent by implicating him with mimes, clowns and street performers, the truth is this: Tape Face Boy is the perfect amalgam of all three disciplines.

Indeed, in the Bosco Tent within the Garden of Unearthly Delights that evening, we were delighted to witness the bringing together of the very best of these genres into a rock solid fifty-five minute show while also winning favour with the new in-laws by getting them a sneak peek of the next big thing.

The. Next. Big. Thing.  Every year at the Edinburgh Fringe this phrase is bandied around like hair colour.  Anyone with a 5 star review can be it.  The next big discovery.  The one to bank on.  The person for whom all other successes will be measured against (in that financial year at least).

Remember last year’s next big thing?  No, we didn’t think so.  But like the gaffer tape across his mouth, this time it stuck.  And good god is it sticky.

Since leaving the Boy with Tape on his Face finishing off his Adelaide run amid a bidding war from Edinburgh’s Big 4 and a barrage of incredible reviews his star has done nothing but rise.

He’s toured the world, enjoyed three massive hit shows in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stole the shows at last year’s Royal Variety Performance and BBC Comedy Prom while bagging himself a BBC3 Pilot as part of the Comedy Kitchen platform, and like Gaga has her Little Monsters and Beiber has Beliebers, the Boy has a growing army of Silent Ones.

And all without uttering a single word.

We are delighted that this year he’ll be hosting the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.  But how will he do it without speaking?  We guess you’ll have to buy a ticket to find out.

For those of you that seen the show last year, you’ll be aware that there is a very real chance that at this point in the evening you may well end up being ‘the show’.  But how does he charm punters onto his stage so easily?  Here he explains to Time Out London:

‘I treat them a wee bit like dolls,’ he says, audience participation at a Tape Face gig is never humiliating. ‘If there’s too much responsibility on an audience member there’s too much pressure for them to fail whereas if you give them the tiniest amount of responsibility, the moment they achieve it and the audience goes crazy, they feel like a star.’ Whether they’re forming a makeshift Jackson 5 or being transformed into a human puppet, this gentle approach comes from years of seeing ‘audience members treated badly’, he says. ‘I want them leave the stage a hero.’

Preparation is currently underway for his show ‘More Tape’ at the Pleasance Courtyard and we were lucky enough to steal him away to answer a few very important questions

What is your actual name?

The Boy with Tape on His Face

And exactly how old are you?

Not sure. Still Boy not Tape Man.

How would you describe your job?

Stand up comedian who doesn’t talk

And what is your involvement going to be at The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support? 

I will be performing comedy antics at the event and introducing guests.

We’re sure you get asked this all the time but who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor? 

Everybody thinks I should like Charlie Chaplin but I prefer Buster Keaton

Well, the Guardian did refer to you as a latterday Buster Keaton.  What’s your favourite comedy moment from the past few years?

I once saw a magician get locked into a mailbag and not get out. Longest yet funniest fifteen minutes of my life.

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh? 

Being the owner of two bald cats and a dachshund

And who is your secret celebrity crush?

The guy from the Go Compare commercials, I would crush him with a shipping container and be given a medal.

In five words, why should people come to (or support) The Big Comedy Gala?

Laughter is the best medicine for everything in Life.

Not five, but a perfect summary of why the Big C exists.

The Big Comedy Gala is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It takes place on Monday 12 August 2013 at 21:30 (2hrs), and tickets are £20 (subject to booking fee)

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.

You can also buy tickets for The Boy with Tape on his Face: More Tape here.

Final Big C line-up announced – see you Monday!

ROY WALKER
GEORGE WENDT
JOSIE LONG
SUSAN CALMAN
NICK HELM
FRISKY & MANNISH
TOM STADE
FASCINATING AIDA
DAN NIGHTINGALE
STEVE SHANYASKI
JOE LYCETT
THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE

We’re thrilled to announce the final line-up for the Big Comedy Gala, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, with George Wendt kicking off the show this coming Monday evening by introducing our fabulous host, Roy Walker.

Wendt, who played Norm in Cheers and who is also known for appearances in The Simpsons and Family Guy, is in Edinburgh for Re-Animator The Musical at Assembly George Square this August.

Roy Walker and George Wendt head up an all star line-up at Venue150@EICC on Monday 13 August, including 2011 Fosters’ Comedy Award Nominee Nick Helm; BBC Radio 4 regular Susan Calman; Tom Stade; Cheap Flights YouTube sensation Fascinating Aida; Josie Long; Fringe favourite The Boy With Tape On His Face; and comedy newcomer Joe Lycett.

Those of you who joined us last August at for the inaugural Big Comedy Gala  – also at Venue150@EICC – will be pleased to hear that we raised £18,433, all of which went directly to Macmillan Cancer Support. This year our goal is to raise £20,000.

You can book tickets now by calling 0131 226 0000 or 0844 847 1639 or buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee).

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

Please share this message with your friends, family and on social media!

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000.

Josie Long joins the Big C line-up

Josie Long joins the Big C line-up

We’re excited to the point of leakage to announce today that the writer of teen TV sensation Skins, Josie Long, will be joining the line-up at the 2012 Big Comedy Gala!

Long has been a Fringe favourite since winning the Comedy Award for Best Newcomer in 2006 and has since enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Beeb, appearing on BBC2 show The Bubble, hosting BBC6’s Saturday Morning show with Andrew Collins, and giving a memorable guest appearance on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

At the age of 17, she won the BBC New Comedy Award and is known to many from her appearances on Channel Four’s 8 out of 10 Cats. As well as writing for Skins, Josie appeared in Series 1 and 2 as the careers advisor.

She will join a star-studded line-up at the Macmillan fundraiser, including: Roy Walker (host), George Wendt (intro), Susan Calman, Nick Helm, Nina Conti, Tom Stade, Fascinating Aida, Joe Lycett, Dan Nightingale, Steve Shanyaski and The Boy with Tape on his Face.

For more information, interview requests or images, please contact Miriam Attwood on 07825 642225 or email press@bigcomedygala.com.

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000. Buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

Q & A with Susan Calman

Susan Calman

Susan Calman

Following on from our announcement last week that Susan Calman has joined our Big Comedy Gala line-up, here’s a wee cheeky Q & A with Susan for your pleasure!

What is your involvement in the Big Comedy Gala?

I’m performing at the Big Gala Comedy.

Who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor?

Difficult to name one but I think Joyce Grenfell would be my pick.

Favourite comedy moment (your own or someone else’s)?

When I saw French and Saunders live in Edinburgh in the early 90’s: I’ve never forgotten how wonderful they were.

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh?

Almost everything. I try to laugh almost all the time.

Who is your secret celebrity crush?

Can’t say. I’m just married; I’d like it to last a year.

In five words, why should people come to (or support) The Big Comedy Gala?

Funny night for wonderful cause.

You heard what the lady said, guys; a funny night for a wonderful cause! So with less than two weeks to go, get your tickets now if you haven’t already bought them!

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000. Buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

BBC Radio 4 regular Susan Calman joins Big Comedy Gala celebrity line-up!

Susan Calman joins the Big C

Susan Calman, the star of Rab C Nesbitt, BBC Three’s Dead Boss, Have I Got News For You, and Channel 4’s Ugly Kid, as well as being a regular on Radio 4 (The News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth, Vote Now) and Radio Scotland (Funny Friends), today announces she’s joining the all-star line-up at the 2012 Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

From Glasgow, Calman gave up a lucrative career in corporate law to become a comedian and has proved herself one of the fastest rising stars in comedy. She reached the semi-finals of the BBC New Comedy Awards and So You Think You’re Funny in 2005, she was also a finalist in Funny Women in 2006.

The feisty Glaswegian went on to become resident compere at Glasgow’s famous comedy club, The Stand, and has been awarded Best New Comedian at the Scottish Variety Awards as well as a Scottish BAFTA.

Calman will join a star-studded line-up at the Macmillan fundraiser, including: Roy Walker (host), George Wendt, Nick Helm, Nina Conti, Tom Stade, Fascinating Aida, Joe Lycett, Dan Nightingale, Steve Shanyaski and The Boy with Tape on his Face.

For more information, interview requests or images, please contact Miriam Attwood on 07825 642225 or email press@bigcomedygala.com.

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000. Buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support is in its second year. The sell-out 2011 event raised £18,433.08 for Macmillan Cancer Support and featured Ed Byrne, Rich Fulcher, Fred MacAulay, Sarah Millican, Danny Bhoy, Frisky & Mannish and Roy Walker.

A chat with… Barry Church-Woods

Laugh out loud funny – Barry (centre) looking uncharacteristically smart. Image courtesy of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society / James Glossop

Full name: Barry Church-Woods

Age: 36

Occupation: Festival and Events Manager

We’ve kind of already covered this, but tell us in your own words; what is your involvement in The Big C?

I set up the Big C with Mhari Hetherington after my big sister Julie died from cancer. I’m mainly responsible for begging the acts to perform on the show, though to be honest, there’s never that much begging involved. We have about a 95% success rate with acts we want if they are in town as it’s such a universal cause. On the rare occasion we’re turned down, it’s because they already have commitments. I’m also the voice behind most of the rude social media out-with August.

Who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor?

I have a million.

I’m really attracted to gobby women. Comedy fag hags like Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho and Chelsea Handler make me laugh out loud on a daily basis. I also think Megan Mullally as Karen Walker is one of the best sitcom characters ever written.

 

I’ve always been a fan of sitcoms. I remember sitting in my bedroom as a 14-year-old watching Cheers on an old black and white TV, with a dial to tune the stations. I’m pretty sure I’m going to make a tit out of myself when I meet George Wendt, as Norm was always one of my favourite characters.

Favourite comedy moment (your own or someone else’s)?

I love gallows humour. When things are so bad that the only thing left to do is laugh. That’s kind of where the Big C was borne from. Mhari and I used to sit around drinking whisky and crying about our dead relatives until we had to take a step back and take the piss out of each other.

There’s something really powerful about making people laugh in times of sadness. I’ll never forget the first episode of Saturday Night Live after the twin towers fell. Reese Witherspoon was presenting and instead of the “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” introduction there was a cold opening with Reese and the cast, firefighters, the police and Rudy Giuliani who was mayor at the time. It was a really beautiful image and it made me tear up a little (because I’m not dead inside). Giuliani then said that despite the terrorist attacks, the show would go on as normal to which Lorne Michaels asked “Can we be funny?” and the mayor responded “Why start now?”

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh?

I married the funniest man I’ve ever met. Every day I giggle like a teenage girl because of something he says or does. Corny I know but it’s the truth.

Who is your secret celebrity crush?

Jesus. And Wendy Liebman.

In five words, why should people come to (or support) The Big Comedy Gala?

Cancer affects all of us.

Let’s get Frisky…and Mannish

If you were smart enough to join us at last year’s Big Comedy Gala, you will have witnessed firsthand the comedy-musical genius that is one of our favourite Fringe acts of recent years – the very funny and talented Frisky and Mannish!

Their unique take on pop may not amount to straightforward stand up, but their comic timing, musical skills and vocal prowess packs a powerful punch if you like your laughs with a side of live music.

Of course, these days – with three massively successful Fringe shows under their sequined belts – they are rather well known, appearing regularly on TV, radio and the Heat Magazine website…yes, they do get around!

But if you’ve not had the good fortune of seeing them live yet, we suggest you seek them out at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe – check their website for gig dates.

In the meantime, here’s a video clip of them, appearing live on Scott Mills’ show on Radio One, performing a couple of our favourite Frisky and Mannish numbers…their nursery rhyme take on Girls Aloud hit Sound of the Underground, as well as a saucy, slow dance version of Whigfield’s Saturday Night. Awesomeness!

 

The Big Comedy Gala is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It takes place on Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs), and tickets are £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.

It’s all about celebrating life…and laughing!

Today, it’s two years exactly since the beautiful Julie Woods passed away.

Her life and death are two of the main driving forces behind The Big C; celebrating the happiness and love that she gave the people in her life, and acknowledging the painful way in which she was taken from them at the mere age of 40.

Julie was first diagnosed with skin cancer (melanoma) in 2009. After what was initially thought to be a successful treatment, the cancer came back and in the spring of 2010, it had spread to her lymph nodes and beyond, meaning it was untreatable and giving Julie just a matter of weeks to live.

In the months that followed her death, Julie’s brother Barry Church-Woods decided he wanted to do something to celebrate Julie’s life and give back to the amazing people who devote themselves to helping others. He got together with his friend Mhari Hetherington, whose parents both died from cancer, and out of their loss, a big and brilliant idea was born.

The idea was the Big Comedy Gala, and in 2011, just a couple of months after the one-year anniversary of Julie’s death, the inaugural Big C took the Fringe by storm, selling out in weeks and raising £18,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Big C is a celebration of the lives of all the people lost to cancer, in support of their families, friends and the vast range of fantastic work that is done to fight cancer and look after those affected by the disease.

This year, we’re hoping to beat last year’s achievement and raise £20,000 or more with an awesome night of comedy, hosted by the legendary Roy Walker, and headlined by George Wendt – aka Norm in Cheers.

All you have to do to help is to get some friends and family together and buy yourselves tickets. If you are unable to attend, you can still support the event by sharing this on Facebook and Twitter, and donating anything you can spare at: www.bigcomedygala.com

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs), £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.

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Opinions are like nipples…

This week on the Big C blog, we’re revisiting an old favourite. We love author David Thorne’s 27b/6 website – if you’ve not checked it out already, set some time aside for it pronto! We’ll be very surprised if you don’t leave the site wanting more.

To illustrate his comic genius, here is an excerpt from one of his articles, based on an email exchange between David and a disgruntled cat lady…this had us crying with laughter – literally:

Opinions are like nipples…

“Dear Ella,

Your efforts to protect both cats and customers should not go unacknowledged. If you have access to a printer and scissors, you could make yourself a little badge.

Anyone can form an opinion but it takes a certain type of person to carry that opinion through to consumer censorship. In a million years, if mankind dies out and cats inherit the earth, they will probably build a statue of you featuring a cat nestled in one arm, a can of petrol in the other, and a pile of my books at your feet. Or one of you cleaning your bum with your tongue.”

Read the full article here.

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs), £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.

The Big C proudly (and giddily) presents…

GEORGE WENDT
NICK HELM
NINA CONTI
TOM STADE
FASCINATING AIDA
JOE LYCETT
THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE

We are delighted to announce that George Wendt, star of Cheers, will be appearing at the Big Comedy Gala 2012. Wendt – Norm from Cheers and also known for appearances in The Simpsons and Family Guy – is in Edinburgh for Re-Animator The Musical at Assembly George Square this August.


Roy Walker and George Wendt kick off an all star line-up, including 2011 Fosters’ Comedy Award Nominee Nick Helm, ventriloquist Nina Conti, Tom Stade, Cheap Flight’s youtube sensation Fascinating Aida, Fringe favourite The Boy With Tape On His Face and comedy newcomer Joe Lycett at Venue150@EICC on Monday 13 August.

Those of you who joined us last August at Venue150@EICC will be pleased to hear that we raised £18,433, all of which went directly to Macmillan Cancer Support.  This year our goal is to raise £20,000.

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs), £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).