Award-winning comic Dave Rothnie has got them rolling in the aisles in Colwyn Bay after setting up a regular comedy night at a venue dedicated to Monty Python star Terry Jones.
Dave, who has performed alongside Peter Kay and the late Caroline Aherne, established Stand-Up @ The Seaside to attract top comedians to the North Wales coastal town.
The event, at the Station Pub in Colwyn Bay, is proving a hit with comedy lovers who are now looking forward to a series of appearances by comedians due to appear at the Edinburgh Festival.
The next event, on Saturday May 27, sees performances by two rising stars from the South Wales comedy scene Dan Thomas, and Sarah Breese, along with acclaimed performer Tony Cowards
From June 19, the venue will host a week-long run of Edinburgh fringe preview shows, featuring special sets from top comedians including Tony Burgess, Tudur Owen and Kiri-Pritchard Mclean.
On June 24 Allyson June-Smith and Keith Platt will take the stage, while on July 29 Steve Gribbin and Andrew McBurney perform.
Dave, who grew up in Kent, first started in stand-up as a student at Salford University and tried his hand at comedy alongside Dave Gorman, Peter Kay and Caroline Aherne at the renowned Band on the Wall venue in Manchester.
He went on to bag the title of the North West Comedian of the Year – an honour also won by Steve Coogan and Peter Kay – before deciding on a career in the media.
He worked for the prestigious Dow Jones Index and Wall Street Journal in London before settling in North Wales with his partner Gill, who is from the area, and their children Benjy, six, Lucy, eight and Oliver, ten.
The 47-year-old draws much of his comic material from the absurdities of everyday life, including being freelance, working at home with three young children and doing the school run.
He said: “As a comedy lover, I regularly travel to Liverpool, Manchester and further afield to see comedians and I thought it would be terrific to set up a venue in North Wales.
“I have a lot of contacts in the industry and thought it would be a great idea and a complete contrast to my day job as a financial journalist.”
Dave, who counts Billy Connolly, Jack Dee and Steve Coogan among his influences, said: “I initially started running the comedy nights at Great Orme Brewery and, as its popularity grew, I found a great venue in the Terry Jones suite at the Station Pub, in Colwyn Bay.
“It’s very fitting as it was named in honour of Monty Python member Terry Jones – who was born in Colwyn Bay.”
The comedy nights take place on the last Saturday of every month, with David hoping to increase their frequency in the future.
“The comedy nights are proving so popular that I’m sure we’ll add extra nights as time goes on,” he said. “Our comedy events are a great night out as we also take jokes from the crowd and everyone votes on the best ones which is really good fun. There is also music so it’s a great night out for people of all ages.”
Stand-Up @ The Seaside is being supported by Colwyn Business Improvement District (BID), which is aiming to revitalise the area.
Anna Openshaw, project manager of Colwyn BID said: “The comedy evenings organised by Dave are terrific and are proving really popular, not only with people in Colwyn Bay, but surrounding areas.
“The events are great fun and the calibre of comedians is terrific. We’re sure the event will go from strength to strength and will provide a welcome boost to the region.”
The non-for-profit social enterprise is aiming to revitalise the business communities across the Bay of Colwyn and to attract more visitors, investment and shoppers to the area.
*Stand Up @The Seaside, The Station, Colwyn Bay. May 27. Tickets £12.50 from the venue 01492 532818 or from Dave Rothnie at firstname.lastname@example.org