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Comedy comes to Kasbah: what’s it all about?

If one makes the decision to frequent the website of the notorious drinking establishment Kasbah (dare I say, the most notorious drinking establishment in all of Warwickshire) then you would find a stand-up comedy event listed for June 8. This launch night, according to Kasbah’s website, seems to be part of the club’s new initiative to provide “the best stand-up comedy in Coventry [which is] not to be missed!”

With names like James Dowdswell, Jack Campbell and Carl Jones, our friendly, neighbourhood club has decided not to pull any punches when introducing this brand of entertainment. The real question is why has Kasbah decided to implement stand-up events alongside their usual assortment of bands and DJs? And, more importantly, what does this mean for Warwick students?

I hope the owners of the venue see fit to take advantage of untapped student talent

Let’s tackle the latter question first. My initial reaction to the news that Kasbah was taking the bold plunge into stand-up comedy was that I hope the owners of the venue see fit to take advantage of untapped student talent. Of course, from a financial standpoint I understand that the headliners – the established comedians such as those listed above – will always take priority. Yet, with this Coventry club being surrounded by so much young talent, it would be a shame to exclusively feature comedians that have already made a career for themselves. In fact, it could be an equally bad business venture to shun student talent rather than using it to pull crowds in.

Mixing students and professionals would have a variety of positives, at least in my admittedly unprofessional opinion. It keeps the professionals on their toes, to remind them of the raw and untapped talent that they are in perpetual competition with – which surely can’t hurt. Secondly, it would give future comedy events a more relatable touch. Instead of seeing celebrity comics up on stage, the audience would get to see people their own age, people who perhaps have very little experience performing in front of an audience, and this will keep them engaged. Everyone loves an underdog.

Stand-up comedy is becoming more mainstream

So, why has Kasbah taken this new direction in entertainment? While I think it would be inaccurate to say that the state of comedy is better than it has ever been, it is clear to most people that stand-up comedy is becoming more mainstream. You only have to look at the popularity of shows such as The Degenerates on Netflix, and the rise of left-wing comedy shows promoted by the BBC and Sky. With this increased reception of the mainstream media to stand-up comics, there has followed an increase in potential audiences. People who might not have been massive fans of live comedy are now more likely to go.

Whether or not that is the case, I wish Kasbah the best of fortune in their venture. The same goes for any stand-up comedians, amateur or otherwise, whatever point of their careers that they are in. Who knows? Perhaps one day Kasbah will host stand-up comics from our very own Comedy Society, and perhaps that day will come sooner than you think.

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