The other day I had the opportunity to photograph the comedian Russell Howard live in front of a particularly tiny audience. He’s currently preparing for his next major tour, Wonderbox, and has been testing out new material at small, informal gigs here in his home town of Bristol. It’s slightly different when an established and famous comedian tells you you may not find what he has to say next funny (but he’ll give it a go), or when he’s heckled by his own brother from the audience as he tells a story about him, but the atmosphere was fantastic and it was great to be given a glimpse into the creative process of entertaining and making people laugh!
As you can see the venue was small. Barely 160 in the audience – a far cry from the thousands Russell more normally performs to these days.
The gig was organised and compered by the excellent Mark Olver who, as well as gigging all over the country in his own right, runs regular events here in Bristol.
Mark always likes to ask who his audience are; boys, girls, students, non-students, single or taken – but on this occasion he had a particularly crowning moment – asking the audience if there were any deaf people in!
Finally in the supporting slot was Steve Hall, long time collaborator with Russell. Less animated than the other two – but beautifully unpolitically correct. Definitely an act I’m going to be looking out for the next time he comes to Bristol!