Worldwide-touring comedy superstar Reginald D. Hunter, from Georgia, USA, is best known for regular appearances on TV shows Live at the Apollo, 8 out of 10 Cats, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You and Stephen Fry’s BBC flagship show QI – but has found just as much success and recognition for his smash-hit world tours.
Fresh from a sold-out tour of Ireland in June supported by last month’s Punch-Drunk Comedy headliner Glenn Wool - Hunter will headline four gigs across consecutive nights in four neighbouring Northumberland towns, entertaining hundreds and raising money for a host of local causes.
The gigs make up the adults’ offering of what is now a five-day event run for Blyth-based Punch-Drunk Comedy, which consists this month of a Kids Club show on Sunday, June 19 in Blyth (where audiences will see the return of Lee Kyle’s GUNGE Show – a carnival of silliness which pits teams of comedians against each other in a bid to win challenges and avoid being gunged) followed by the Hunter-headlined adults’ shows in Blyth (Mon 20), Bedlington (Tues 21), Ashington (Wed 22) and Cramlington (Thurs 23).
Punch-Drunk comedy was last year named by industry standard CHORTLE as the Best Large Comedy Venue in the North, just five months after opening the doors on its flagship Blyth gig at Newsham Side-Club – in recognition of its uniquely impassioned and fun-loving community audiences who come together every month to socialise, have a laugh and raise money for charitable causes local to each town.
These audiences, affectionately dubbed The Punch-Drunk Army, have since become the talk of the UK comedy industry and have drawn in the very best comedy talent from around the world – with everyone wanting their turn on the Punch-Drunk stage. The fact that this ‘Love and Laughter Movement’ as well as a roll-call of other positive projects are currently finding so much success in this part of Northumberland - including martial arts gym Millennium hosting a 1000-seater internationally-anticipated kickboxing show at Blyth Sports Centre in July - the area’s people are really putting themselves on the map!
The appearances of Reginald D Hunter and the similarly internationally renowned Carey Marx and Jonathan Mayor on June’s Punch-Drunk gigs is set to result in record amounts raised for Princess Ellie’s Trust, Bradley’s Smile Trust, Nathan’s Needs, John Joseph’s Journey and Seb & Olivia’s Den, who are each supported with 10% of profits from their respective hometown gigs.
Punch-Drunk’s Lauren Douglass said that the team have been 'constantly overwhelmed by the support from all four communities for the Love and Laughter Movement which has seen tens of thousands of pounds raised for various charities and resulted in the names of Blyth, Bedlington, Ashington and now Cramlington reaching the ears of people as far afield as the USA and Dubai.'
She added: “Without the best audiences around, we wouldn’t have been able to dream of bringing Reg D. and all of the other incredible acts that we’ve had on these stages so far, to 4 social clubs in South East Northumberland. The community spirit, passion and pro-activity of the people in our area is apparent the minute you find yourself among us and we send each of these acts away raving about the Punch-Drunk Army and telling their friends - who travel the world for a living – that they need to add our homes to their wish-list of places to visit!”
With food served and lots more going on including the Premier Meats raffle and the Punch-Drunk lottery, these events are a carnival – and this month’s is one that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on!
Tickets for all five shows (which are priced at just £10 for the adults shows and £5 for Sunday’s Kids Gunge show) can be reserved by calling or texting 07738663379 with your full name, venue and number of seats required - then just turn up and pay on the day. Or book online now at www.punchdrunkcomedy.co.uk.
Full timing and venue details can be found on Facebook - just search ‘Punch-Drunk Comedy – Blyth’and check out the events!