FITC is delighted to confirm the partnership with the Nottingham Comedy Festival, which this year will mark its 10th Comedy Festival. The event, which is sponsored by Castle Rock Brewery – also FITC’s Community Partner, will run from 2 to 10 November 2018.
The Comedy Festival is directed and organised by Helen Stead who also runs regular comedy nights at the Canalhouse in Nottingham under the sister company, NCF Comedy.
After almost 10 years, Helen and her small team of helpers have organised hundreds of comedy shows, mainly with gigs across the Midlands region but also with some shows in Yorkshire and other parts of the country.
Helen recalls organising the first ever event with no previous experience whatsoever.
She said: “At the time, my friend and I realised there was so much comedy, including improvisation, going on in Nottingham but nobody was there to celebrate it. So even though we didn’t know anything about organising such events, we thought we’d give it a go. Looking at it all now, from where we were at the beginning and where we are now, is just mind-blowing.”
She added: “I think it’s because I’m so passionate about it – I like to give artists a platform to perform where they always didn’t have that opportunity before. In our £1 Comedy Nights that we do throughout the year, I always make sure there’s a spot for a new person. I’m also always on the lookout for more venues and local businesses to get involved so it brings more people into the City.”
In terms of working with FITC, Helen says the Comedy Festival is the main link: “The Festival will be the biggest event in our calendar this year and we hope we can make the most of this opportunity to support the charity and the great work they do, However, we also do other comedy shows, including our twice monthly £1 Comedy Night at Castle Rock’s Canalhouse, so we’re quite flexible with what we can do throughout the year.
“We’re just really eager to do something together. As soon I heard about the charity, I wanted to get involved as I feel all our values are very similar. I love the fact that FITC works with a wide range of people from all different backgrounds. Also in comedy, some people do have mental health issues or anxiety so I know quite a few people who have been touched by some mental health projects that FITC provide.”
FITC’s Partnerships and Events Executive, James Bromley, said: “As a charity we have a fantastic range of community partners from various industries but we have never worked so closely within the comedy world. The opportunity to work with everyone at the Nottingham Comedy Festival is exciting and I hope will help increase the awareness of the work we do as well as raise vital funds for FITC.
James added: “From the first time I sat down with Helen, her drive and enthusiasm for what we do and her will to get involved was evident and I’m really excited to work with the NCF in 2018. The fact that one of our long-standing community partners, Castle Rock Brewery, also sponsor the NCF is a great link between the organisations and a great advert for local businesses coming together to make a real difference in the community”.