Sunderland Comedy Project launches at city centre pub

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A new comedy club is set to Mackem laugh when it brings a host of top entertainers to Sunderland.

Comedian Steffen Peddie, who starred in BBC2 sitcom Hebburn, has teamed up with city businessman Gavin Brown for the Sunderland Comedy Project which promises to bring big names to Wearside, while also providing a platform for emerging local talent.

Comedian Steffen Peddie  at The Peacock.

Comedian Steffen Peddie at The Peacock.

It will be held monthly at the function room above The Peacock pub in Keel Square and Steffen says Sunderland audiences can look forward to something different.

“It always amazes me that a city of this size doesn’t have a comedy club, you have to go to either Newcastle or Teesside for that,” he said. “People have tried comedy clubs here in the past and it’s started well, but tapered off, maybe because it’s been in the wrong venue. As a result, it’s become a bit of a comedy black hole, which is a real shame.”

He added: “There’s a wealth of comedy talent from Sunderland and the North East, such as Sarah Millican, Kai Humphries, Andy Fury and Lee Kyle, many of whom started at comedy clubs like this. We used to run one in Hexham, which is where Sarah had one of her first gigs in a room full of 60 people.”

The line-up for the first night, on September 6, will feature Danny Deegan, Dan Nightingale and Stuart Edwards from County Durham, who Steffen says is one to watch.

Steffen Peddie and Gavin Brown

Steffen Peddie and Gavin Brown

Steffen, who will MC the night, says he’s planning to bring established comics to the night, such as Hebburn co-creator Jason Cook, while also shining a light on stars of the future.

He said: “We want people to come along to this club, see some great acts, and say ‘we saw them here first’”

Speaking about the club’s location at The Peacock, Gavin said: “There’s so much happening in this part of the city entertainment-wise, as well as with new bars and restaurants, and a comedy club fits in perfectly with that.”

Steffen added: “We’ll be staging the club on the first Thursday of every month and the idea is that people can come and see some great comedy and then go for a meal and some drinks. We want the weekend to start here.”

Tickets will be priced at £7 for early bird tickets, rising to £10 for a regular ticket and £36 for a group of four, which will be available by searching for the club on the Eventbrite website.

If the club takes off, plans are in place to run it once a fortnight.