The comedy competition offering the audience a prize | £150 to the best punter

The comedy competition offering the audience a prize

£150 to the best punter

They say a comedian is only as good as their audience… and now one stand-up fan could win a cash prize for being the perfect punter.

Organisers of an online new act competition are offering  £150 to the most supportive audience member. And that’s on top of the £250 for the comic who claims this year’s Comedy Virgins Max Turner Prize.

This is the 12th year of the competition, usually staged at The Cavendish Arms pub in Stockwell, South London.

Organisers Dave and Shirley Armitage said: ‘Without small grassroots venues running open mic nights and offering  genuine opportunity and encouragement to all comers, new acts wouldn't have anywhere to start.

‘It’s vital to protect these disappearing spaces for the future of comedy and we will be doing all we can to be here for those comedians when they need us, whatever the future holds. This competition is just one way we can think of to say "hold on and keep working".'

Heats will take place on January 24, 25, 26 and 31, then February 1 and 2, each with up to ten unrepresented comics performing a three-minute remote set on Facebook Live followed by a professional headliner.

As well as the cash prize, the winner of the final, to be held on February 7, also receives a photoshoot with event sponsor Swiss Chocolate Pictures. Potential competitors should contact shirlndave@comedyvirgins.com

The venue is not the first to offer a cash incentive to an audience member. At the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, Stuart Laws offered one punter from his 24-night run a $250 prize, which the chance to double it in keeping with the show’s gambling theme.

Published: 20 Jan 2021

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