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COOK’S AMBITIOUS DOUBLE
Jason Cook’s Comedy Club
South Shields Customs House &
Newcastle Wylam Brewery
Saturday 1st April 2017
Comedian and writer Jason Cook’s Comedy Clubs have gone from strength to strength since his very first night, just 18 months ago, but now he embarks on his most ambitious
venture - running two shows in two towns on the same night for nearly 1000 people.
The clubs, the first of which started after Cook had organised a fundraiser for the Customs House in South Shields, came out of Jason’s desire to play big venues with other top flight comedians.
|Jason Cook at Wylam Brewery|
“I’ve gigged all over the world and I noticed that in the
North East we didn’t have any massive rooms where the bill
is made up of nothing but headliners. There’s loads down
south but I really wanted to get my funniest mates and get us all together and rock a big theatre together.” So, he booked the Customs House for a one off gig to test the water. Since then, over 5,000 happy punters have poured through the doors at Cook’s various venues across the region.
“I wanted the gig to do two things: have a bill of nothing but headline acts, one after another, but also be able to sell enough seats that I could keep the ticket price as low as possible, so it didn’t break the bank for people. I had no idea if it would work at all, it was a big gamble.”
But work it did, the first gig sold out in days and has led to a string of consecutive sell outs at the Customs House, firmly placing the venue as one of the premier comedy venues in the country, and at 440 seats, one of the UK’s largest.
The South Shields venue was followed by a club at Hexham’s Queen’s Hall and a third at the award-winning Wylam Brewery in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park.
“I’ve been approached by lots of venues who want me to open a club but everything has to be perfect, I’ve knocked 95% of them back. The room has to be just right, great stage, lighting, PA, everything. The venue has to be right behind the whole concept and they have to be cool with me offering the tickets out at as cheap a price as possible so we can pack the place out.”
And customers seem to have responded to the personal touch, having the club’s owner be their point of contact with the business. “When people sign up from the mailing list, it’s just me that runs it, and all the emails come from me. Which probably explains why they are few and far between, but I think that’s what people like isn’t it? The odd email every month or so? I can’t abide it when you get bombarded so I like to see it as just sending a message to some mates telling them what’s going on”
But this April fool’s day, Cook has taken on the heady task of running shows at the Wylam Brewery and the Customs House on the same night, and intends to appear at both.
Photo: Andy Hollingworth
“I’ve got Customs House dates locked in for the rest of the year and after the success of our first Wylam Brewery show, they were desperate for us to have another as soon as possible and the only date they could make work was April 1st, which I’d already booked at Customs House.”
And so the plan was hatched to run both shows on the same night, with Cook flitting between the two “Like a little comedy Live-Aid Phil Collins" he adds.
“I’ll do an opening set at the Wylam Brewery and there will be a car waiting for me to take me down to South Shields to host the show down there. And I’m trying to find a way to get back but at the minute, I don’t know anyone with a helicopter so that is, pardon the pun, up in the air at the
Photo: Steve Ullathorne
And the bills at both clubs are nothing to sneeze at: Tom Stade a Live at the Apollo regular, plus John Fothergill, at the Wylam Brewery show as well as Perrier award winning Phil Nichol headlining the South Shields club.
“And I’ve always got a few surprises up my sleeve so we’ll see who else might turn up” says Cook, who has a habit of getting secret, unannounced TV names to pop in at his gigs.
“It’s exciting and terrifying in equal measure but from what I’ve learned doing the shows so far, the people of the North East are crying out for top quality, affordable comedy in beautiful surroundings, so hopefully I won’t be bankrupt after this”, he says.
Age restriction 18+
On The Web:
More details can be found by visiting the comedy club’s website: www.jasonscomedyclub.co.uk
Jason Cook’s Comedy Club comes to the South Shields Customs House on Saturday 1st April 2017 starting at 7:45PM
Details & tickets: https://www.customshouse.co.uk/theatre/jason-cook%27s-comedy-club%3A-april/ or by phone: 0191 454 1234
Jason Cook’s Comedy Club also comes to the Wylam Brewery at the Palace Of Arts, Exhibition Park Newcastle Upon Tyne on Saturday 1st April 2017 with the first act appearing at 7pm – tickets available online at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/268761