On Thursday 30 July, we hosted a pilot stand-up comedy event with Just The Tonic, as Russell Howard, Ed Byrne, Daisy Earle, Scott Bennett and Quincy took to the stage.
This week, we were able to open Metronome’s doors to customers for the first time in months. As the UK slowly comes out of lockdown, stand-up comedy could be the next type of entertainment that will be open to the public once again. Our event was held with the backing of the Government and was a partnership with our comedy regulars Just The Tonic, who brought a stellar line-up of comedians with them.
We’ve been working hard to make Metronome a safe place, with improved ventilation, temperature checks upon entry, and social distancing measures in place, as well as numerous hand sanitiser stations. Thursday night, we put all of these new safety measures to good use.
All customers had a smooth, staggered entry into the auditorium as they found their seats and waited for the show to start. During the show, the audience kept their face coverings on and the comedians wore visors.
The show began with Quincy, who acted as the compere for the night. His first comment was made about the joy of being in front of a crowd, which was met by cheers from an audience feeling the same excitement to be able to watch stand-up comedy in person. He expressed how much he missed performing to a live audience, in a chat before the show.
“I’ve missed the interaction and energy from the audience. I miss telling a joke and the audience telling me it’s not working. Right now it feels like everyone is tense, but getting that laughter eases tension.”
Scott Bennett was next on stage, and he was able to get the crowd involved in his set straight away. His hilarious and relatable set predominantly focused on the pandemic, from Zoom call quizzes to an empty diary, to taking the bins out during the NHS weekly clap. After his set, he talked about the difficulties and excitement of performing in this new-normal.
“I’d love to do my set again, shall we do it again? I’ve never done a gig with a visor on, so that was a new one. As well as the non-contact Britney Spears-type mic, so I didn’t know what to do with my hands. You can only see the audience’s eyes so it’s hard to determine if they’re happy eyes or angry eyes. It was a great audience though, with a great energy in the room. Comedy is prime-positioned to help people while we are all feeling fatigued.”
Daisy Earle was the final act before the break, and she offered a refreshingly funny take on how to not make friends among a hilarious set. She didn’t use much material from the pandemic which proved to be great escapism for the audience.
The first headliner of the night, Ed Byrne, took to the stage after the break. His active, physical comedy proved impossible to take your eyes off, as the roof was lifted with the audience laughter. He was clearly very excited to be back on stage, and spoke about it after his set.
“It felt wonderful to be back on stage. I have been doing some other gigs, but people have been in their cars and people honking their horns at you is just not the same as people laughing. It’s great just to be in a room with people and being able to see a portion of their faces, but being able to hear the laughter and being able to talk to somebody directly and ask them a question and muck about with them. You realise how much you miss it.”
Russell Howard was the second headliner, and final act of the night. It was instantly clear how much he’s missed being on stage, and even claimed stand-up is his addiction. He offered a set full of new material, but what we’ve come to know him for in recent years. He covered current events from the pandemic, to the Black Lives Matter movement, and more. The set was due to last twenty minutes, but he and the audience were having so much fun he didn’t leave the stage for forty.
Overall, the night was a huge success. The comedians were excited to be back on stage, and the audience was thrilled to be back in an entertainment venue watching a live show again. Claire, an audience member from Nottingham told us how she felt about the event at the end of the night.
“It’s the first time we’ve been to Metronome, it was amazing and it’s felt really safe – we’d definitely come back again if it was a similar format.”
We’re hoping to put more shows on soon, so keep an eye on our website.
Photo credit Tom Morley
If you’d like to discover something unique at Metronome, we’re planning lots more events, so take a look at what’s been rescheduled and announced.