The sound of laughter filled the air outside Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art from the 3rd till the 12th of June. Some of the country’s top comedians graced the stage inside Jesterval‘s pop-up comedy club and it was chance to see hotly tipped newcomers too.
It was the fourth year for the North East comedy festival but my first ever experience of it. I skipped across the Gateshead Millennium Bridge after a few pre-show drinks in the newly revamped Pitcher & Piano and I was looking forward to a good old giggle with my other half.
We arrived at Baltic Square a little early but that was fine because there was a makeshift bar in custom airstream and a beer garden with wonderful views down the Tyne.
Doors opened at 9pm for the show with Larry Dean, an award winning Scottish stand up who was debuting his Edinburgh Fringe Show and launching the start of Newcastle Pride.
It was disappointing to see that the marque was only about a quarter full for Larry’s performance, especially as tickets were only a fiver. Perhaps Geordie comedy lovers had already had their funny fix thanks to all the free shows that Jesterval had offered earlier in the week? Still, it was a shame and meant the atmosphere was a little bit subdued.
Fair play to Larry though, he still got plenty of belly laughs out of the tiny audience and made us feel like we’d known him for years. His stories about life, love and living with his mum were very relatable and I think many of us wanted to give him a big hug by the end of the show… or, maybe take him for a night out in Toon’s Pink Triangle to look for a new fella!
Keep an eye out for Jesterval’s 5th Birthday next year and let’s make sure that comedy tent is packed to the rafters in 2017!