A sitting room full of stand-ups rolls into York

20 Nov 2012 @ 3.18 pm
| Entertainment

Described as “one of the sharpest comedic minds on the circuit” Lloyd Langford headlines The Sitting Room in York

York’s newest comedy club opens its doors on Thursday (November 22). The Sitting Room is already flourishing in Harrogate (a prosperous spa town north of Leeds), and now it has alighted at the Monkbar Hotel with Lloyd Langford topping the bill.

We have master of ceremonies Tom Taylor (pictured below right) to thank for injecting the light of laughter into our darkening northern nights. So what’s it all about Tom?

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in the delightful town of Harrogate so sadly I don’t have much of an X-Factor sob story. I have my health, parents, tear ducts and my CV includes a critically acclaimed performance of Aeneas in the opera Dido and Aeneas; X-Factor would never look at me. At the moment I am in my final undergraduate year at the University of York, studying music.


What got you into comedy?

I’ve had an interest in stand-up comedy since I developed an interest in stand-up comedy. It wasn’t a passion passed down from my father. Or mother. Or any relative. I probably became interested in it after seeing a stand-up comedian. In fact, the comedian was Mark Maier at the London Comedy Store.

It wasn’t one of those things where I thought it looked easy, I thought it looked ruddy bloody difficult, but with a background in (musical) performance and a love of comedy I wanted to give stand-up a go. Subsequently I wanted others to have the opportunity to enjoy comedy (and comedians they won’t have seen on TV) so I had a crack at promotion.


Do you do stand up yourself?

Yes, I MC all the Sitting Room gigs and perform my own brand of musical comedy at various clubs across the north of England. Stylistically, I describe myself as low energy musical whimsy.


Who or what makes you laugh your socks off?

Many many people. There are so many funny men and women out there at the moment, it’s both excellent and sickening. In terms of musical comedians, Tim Minchin and Bill Bailey are astounding. I also really enjoy Victoria Wood’s songs. I regularly revisit A Bit Of Fry and Laurie – their use of language is masterful and the sketches never age. Tony Law (who was recently a guest on Have I Got News for You) is one of my favourite stand-ups at the moment, brilliantly surreal and self-reverential.

People falling over is also very funny.

How did the Sitting Room come about?

It was a combination of two things I suppose; a desire to bring more quality comedy to North Yorkshire and a lot of spare time on my degree. I reinvested the hours I could have spent playing computer games into Sitting Room and the whole experience has been far more enjoyable than shooting badly rendered zombies.


What have been your most memorable gigs so far (good and bad)?

Good – a pub in deepest, darkest Middlesbrough. It was their first ever comedy night and the MC and opening act had struggled, badly. Against all the odds, they really went for a boy in an appalling jumper playing comedy songs on a tiny children’s keyboard.
Bad – Halifax.


Why bring it to York – and what can we expect from the new shows?

York is a city with a thriving arts and culture scene but the opportunities to see a mixed bill stand-up comedy night are limited. The Monkbar Hotel is a lovely setting and is just a bit different to a theatre or, indeed, the backroom of a pub with the football on in the corner and a few men shouting things at a reproduced image Wayne Rooney.

Sitting Room York (as with Harrogate) is also putting on quality bills. The show on Thursday is headlined by Lloyd Langford (permanent panellist on Ask Rhod Gilbert) with support from Dana Alexander and Stephen Carlin, both circuit headliners in their own right.

Top of the bill: Lloyd Langford

Are you looking for sponsors?

In a word, yes. As a brand Sitting Room is expanding, we now run shows in Harrogate and York, have a monthly night in Halifax pencilled in for 2013 and have a few other venues lined up. That all adds up to a lot of flyers. Flyers which could include your name and website…


Name your favourite: comedian; comedy film; comedy on TV; comedy writer.

Comedian – Tony Law
Comedy film – Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Comedy on TV – Green Wing
Comedy writer – P.G. Wodehouse


What are your ambitions for Sitting Room?

Well, I finish my degree dangerously soon, at which point I’m going to have a crack at making Sitting Room a fully functioning and viable business. The goals are to make more York and Harrogate residents aware of their local Sitting Room as well as expanding into new venues. Putting on comedy is such a rewarding experience it would be lovely to make a career of it!

  • The Sitting Room comedy night in York, featuring Dana Alexander, Stephen Carlin and Lloyd Langford, takes place on Thursday, November 22 at Monkbar Hotel on St Maurice’s Road, York, YO31 7JA
  • Tickets are £10 in advance and £12 on the door (students £8 and £10 respectively). They are available on the Sitting Room website
  • The Sitting Room’s Facebook page is here or follow on Twitter here