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Facilitators of Mirth

'Barbara Nice' joins the Gag Reflex roster

Gag Reflex welcomes Stockport housewife, cleaner to the stars, and keen ‘Take a Break’ reader Barbara Nice, to our roster of acts. Barbara has been delighting live comedy audiences for 25 years with her unbridled enthusiasm, and we are very proud to be working with her.

Barbara performs playful, life-affirming shows for all the family. With the affectionate attitude of a playgroup leader at a wild Iggy Pop concert, she is guaranteed to warm the heart of any audience. She has been compared to Victoria Wood, Mrs. Merton, and Julie Walters. A Barbara Nice show is guaranteed to get you laughing, and come out of the show feeling better than when you went in.

Having supported comedians Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay on tour in the past, Barbara Nice is a circuit headline act in her own right, as well as being one of the most experienced comperes in the country. She has also performed solo shows in Edinburgh, Brighton and Manchester.

"optimistic, enthusiastic, and a little bit naughty.. audience interaction is her biggest strength. Who knew someone so unthreatening could wield so much power? One promise of a soft mint and she has a huge builder pretending to be a squirrel with her on stage. Every seemingly improvised whim of Barbara’s is met with eagerness and completed with aplomb."
– ★★★★ Broadway Baby

 

In a smash hit audition, Barbara wowed the judges with her humour and eccentric style, on ITV's Britain’s Got Talent, in 2019. Tottering onto the stage in a leopard-print dress and with several handbags, Connolly’s loveable antics, bubbling with energy, had the audience cracking up, before she launched herself onto the judge’s table in a mini-crowd surf, that had the judges applauding, and punching the air in delight. The performance carried her to the Semi Finals, which was seen by 8 million people.

You are a comedy whirlwind. Everything was funny. I felt like tonight we watched as a star was born” David Walliams

Created by award-winning comedian and theatre-maker Janice Connolly, Nice is the overenthusiastic housewife alter-ego of Birmingham-based performer Janice, who previously appeared in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, and is well known on the circuit for her lively, upbeat presence.

Janice is also a British actress, comedian, hugely talented writer, and artistic director; she also runs the Midlands-based group Women and Theatre.

Read more here

'Barbara Nice' joins the Gag Reflex roster 'Barbara Nice' joins the Gag Reflex roster

News story posted on 20-06-2019 17:00

Gag Reflex welcomes Ben Hart

Gag Reflex are super excited to announce the inclusion of utterly enchanting, West End Star, magician Ben Hart to the performer Roster.

Ben is a completely unique artist: a teller of tall tales, mad inventor and sleight-of-hand master. His utterly enchanting performances are a dark, beautiful, baffling and wickedly funny treasure trove of impossible mysteries, visual alchemy, outrageous lies and brutal honesty.

"Ben Hart will have you believing in magic " – ★★★★★ Glam Adelaide

 

Ben has starred in numerous UK and International TV series, including his own BBC3 online series "Life Hacks Hoax" was a star of 'Killer Magic' on BBC3 and the hit BBC One show "Now You See It" and has been seen live on "The One Show" on BBC One.

He is a Member of the "Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star" and appeared on this years ITV smash, Britain’s Got Talent. Simon Cowell was left dumbfounded by his early performances, commenting simply: "That was unbelievable". Ben received millions of votes in the final, and came third, an incredible achievement.

BGT increased Ben's profile to a much wider audience, and the dates he had scheduled in sold out within days, with extra dates urgently added. Further dates are hastily being booked, to keep up with demand, and will be announced soon.

"Eye-boggling…his sleight of hand is extraordinary" – Time Out

 

Gag Reflex have been working with Ben for the last four years, producing his shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where his smash hit show “The Nutshell” was a total sell-out in 2018, and taking him to the Adelaide Fringe, in Australia, where in 2019 he became the recipient of the Bank SA weekly “Best Magic Show” award.

"Hart is a charismatic stage presence.. a beautifully put together show" – ★★★★ The Scotsman

 

His performance never fails to gain huge praise from audiences and critics, however this is a multi talented performer. Hart also writes and invents magic. Ben’s role as magic designer has seen him create special effects and impossible illusions for theatre, film and television. His clients include The Old Vic and The Royal Shakespeare Company. He is well-respected as a highly original magic creator and the go-to guy if you need to decapitate, vanish, levitate, transform etc - no task is too unusual or impossible.

Ben is currently touring theatres and performing at private events, with his astonishing close-up magic across the world and has entertained celebrities, billionaires, royalty and heads of state at just about every kind of event imaginable. Ben returns to the Edinburgh Fringe this August.

Learn more about Ben Hart, here

Gag Reflex welcomes Ben Hart Gag Reflex welcomes Ben Hart

News story posted on 18-06-2019 14:00

Adam Kay – NHS Hero

As the Tory party decide on their next Prime Minister, every Tory MP has been sent Adam Kay’s bestseller ‘This Is Going to Hurt’ as a reminder of Jeremy Hunt's record.

Kay is sending a copy of his bestselling memoir about life as a junior doctor, to all 330 Conservative MPs ahead of their vote on the new Tory leader, to remind them of how leading contender Jeremy Hunt “left the NHS in tatters” after his stint as health secretary.

Each copy will include a note from Kay that reads: “I realise you have some big decisions to make, so I thought you could do with some light reading.”

Hunt, who is now foreign secretary, has pitched himself as the “serious leader” the UK needs in the Conservative party leadership race, arguing that he is the best negotiator to deliver Brexit. Kay said he was sending his memoirs to MPs because he “wanted to remind those ‘honourable friends’ with any honour quite what those in the health service actually thought of those ‘negotiation skills’ Mr Hunt has been boasting about".

Speaking on Wednesday, Kay said: “If a week is a long time in politics then the 11 months since Jeremy Hunt left the NHS in tatters must be a generation ago. Much as I don’t want to be complicit in a world where we have prime minister Johnson, I can’t sit back and watch Hunt’s record on health go somehow unmentioned.”

Hunt, who was health secretary between 2012 and 2018, clashed with junior doctors in 2015 and 2016 over a new contract that sought, among other things, to extend doctors’ normal working week hours to include Saturdays and weekday evenings from 7pm until 10pm. The bitter dispute led to strike action across the NHS.

It was his actions – forcing an unfair and unsafe contract on the junior doctors and then leading a misinformation campaign when they fought against it – that led me to dig out my junior doctor diaries and have them published,” said Kay, lambasting Hunt as “the biggest villain of them all” for “hacking back at NHS funding, driving overworked staff to breaking point, leaving us with over 100,000 vacancies, then watching unflinchingly as his actions saw every imaginable waiting time soar, from ambulance call-outs to oncology appointments.

A former junior doctor, Kay left medicine in 2010 and is now a comedian and author. He ends his 2017 memoirs with an open letter to Hunt, challenging him to work a shift alongside junior doctors.

"Palliate a cancer patient; watch a trauma victim have their leg amputated; deliver a dead baby,” Kay writes. "Because I defy any human being, even you, to know what the job really entails and question a single doctor’s motivation. If you knew, you would be applauding them, you’d be proud of them, you’d be humbled by them, and you’d be eternally grateful for everything they do. The way you treat junior doctors demonstrably doesn’t work. I strongly suggest you seek a second opinion.”

After This is Going to Hurt hit the top of book charts, and readers began sending copies to Hunt, the then health secretary invited Kay in for a meeting, at which the pair discussed the junior doctors’ dispute, the number of junior doctors leaving their jobs and the rise in infant mortality. It did not go well.

Read the full article in the Guardian, here

Adam’s book  ‘This Is Going to Hurt’ won the National Book Awards Book of the Year by popular vote, as well as many other awards, and has sold over a million copies in the UK alone, been translated into 33 languages and is being turned into a major BBC series.

It can be found in all good book shops, and is available online. His new book 'Twas the Nightshift before Christmas' is published in October, but is available to pre-order here

Adam Kay – NHS Hero Adam Kay – NHS Hero

News story posted on 13-06-2019 11:00

Jonny Awsum joins the TAPE FACE UK Autumn Tour

Thrilled to announce that comedic whirlwind, Jonny Awum joins Tape Face on his upcoming UK Tour!

Jonny has a very special feel-good brand of musical comedy, he is the gag slinging guitar hero, and cant wait to suppport Tape Face on these Autumnn dates.

Both acts are well known for making hero's of their audience members-  this will certainly be a show you'll leave feeling uplifted!

TAPE FACE returns to the UK this Autumn with a his brand new show - New Jokes, New Props, Same Tape

After storming into America and being seen by 51 million people online, TAPE FACE lands back on UK soil and hits the road. Tape Face is a character with universal appeal. Delightful, wry, many-layered and hilarious, Wills accesses an inner child in us all that must be fed. Through simple, clever and charming humour, aimed at satisfying that hunger, he creates the most accessible and enjoyable shows the world has ever seen.

"I can't wait to hit the road with Tape Face! I have been a big fan of his for years so I am very proud to have landed the job of tour support. I am so excited to be opening for him in theatres all over the UK and playing to his army of fans, but I am also really looking forward to sneaking in at the back every night and watching him blow the roof off. It will be a wonderful, magical month of shows and I urge people to come along and be a part of something truly special. ”
– Jonny Awsum

 

On sale now - Dates run 7th to 28th September

Jonny Awsum joins the TAPE FACE UK Autumn Tour