So, I managed to do a stand-up slot in the middle of the pandemic in front of a live audience!
I did a relatively topical five minutes with a few reasonably good taste Coronavirus jokes thrown in as well (most thought up on the day of the performance). The Cavendish Arms invested in a lot of hi-tech video equipment to help run remote and socially distanced live-streamed performances and a benefit of this means a very professionally put together video for the performers — with lots of camera angles.
Here it is:
It was a five minute spot on Monday 14th December at the last Comedy Virgins show before the government imposed Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions on London, thus banning all such live entertainment (and pretty much banning all fun and socialising).
This is terrible news for venues like the Cavendish Arms, which (as can be seen on the below video) has gone to great lengths to ensure a socially distanced, Covid-safe environment. All audience members are kept within a household or bubble and are separated by transparent screens.
Capacity is massively reduced (to about a third) and the audience is instructed not to cheer or shout out (unthinkable for stand-up routines in normal times). The government hasn’t quite managed to stop people laughing yet but the small audience and subdued atmosphere means that laughs are rarer than usual in these venues.
Thanks to Jon for being my bringer and if you want to ensure that stand-up comedy venues like the Cav (as the pub is know for short) are around after the pandemic then please support them. Those who aren’t familiar with the London stand-up scene might not realise what an important role that the Cav has played a huge role in nurturing the early careers of some very famous stand-up comedians. It’s often said (although it’s difficult to find confirmation online) that the likes of Rometh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett were regular performers a few years ago. I was on the same bill as Tez Ilyas when I appeared there a year or two ago — and now he’s on the telly too!
I contributed to the Cav’s crowdfunding appeal in the first lockdown and with government support being particularly spiteful towards pubs, they might need to do similar again.