It was already a sold out charity show at the Bloomsbury Theatre featuring my all time favourite stand-up, Michael McIntyre. I was so lucky to get a ticket. I had begged for a ticket from anyone that I knew, in any and every charity that could help get me a ticket. Eventually, I heard there were a few standing room only tickets…boom! I was in like Flynn. We had to stand but it was worth it.
Abi Roberts first rose to fame in a series of sketch shows featured both on the London stage and at the Edinburgh Festival; debuting in the satirical comedy Newsrevue, followed by Bleeding Arts and A Touch of Roberts and Roper, the latter co-written with the British stand-up Matt Roper at Jermyn Street Theatre.
An A to Z of comedians will be walking their funny feet along Hadrian’s Wall in an attempt to raise money and awareness for the Children and Young People’s Kidney Fund based at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI). Hartlepool-based Nick Banks and an evergrowing list of stand-up comedians, including the compere for the entire walk, Patrick Monahan, will be making their way along Hadrian’s Wall, taking a well deserved rest each night with six comedy gigs along the way.
We were eager to find out all about Nick’s project and he was more than happy to answer a few question all about it.
What urged you to organize the Ha Ha Hadrian’s Wall Charity Walk and why did you choose to support the Great North Childrens Hospital?
My best friend’s 2 year old son has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, and they are treating him at the Newcastle RVI. They have been great with my mate, little Harry and my mate’s partner Louise, so it’s my way of saying thank you to them.
Who have you got involved in the walk?
I have been overwhelmed by the people that have agreed to take part, with acts such as Pat Monahan, Martin Mor, Sully O’Sullivan, Kai Humphries, Ian Cognito and Seymour Mace.
What entertainment can we expect from them ‘en route’?
We are doing 6 gigs along the route, so we should have 6 fantastic nights of comedy.
A comedy gig each night after many miles walking must be pretty exhausting for everyone. Will they be doing stand-up sat down? Do you think they are all up to the challenge?
I think everybody will be ok. It averages out at about 14 miles a day, and we shall be setting off in the morning, so a few hrs walking followed by a few hours off before the gig for people to sort blisters and stuff. I am sure everyone will be ok.
Did you choose Pat Monahan to compere the gigs or was it something he had always planned to do with you? I know he has been involved in charity walks before.
Pat is a mate of mine, and I couldn’t ask for anyone better to compere. As soon as I mentioned I had this idea he jumped straight on board and said he would love to mc the whole walk.
Will you be performing any charity gigs before the actual walk?
Yes. There will be a gig on September 16th at the Aerodrome club in Thornaby headlined by Pat Monahan. The gig has been put on by a mate of mine, Keith Adams who is running gigs throughout the year to raise money for various charities and he asked if it would be ok to do a gig for the walk and of course I said yes.
Can anyone take part in the walk? Is there any way that they can raise money themselves for the charity by taking part?
If people want to come and join us for the walk they are more than welcome, but there are actually 22 comedians taking part, so if people do want to come and walk they will have to sort there own accomodation etc, but the more people talking about what we are doing and sharing this information with there friends etc, etc, the more money we will hopefully raise.
How can people donate right now if they are unable to take part?
As a final note Nick would like to thank everyone who is going to be involved. He has been truly humbled by everyone who has agreed to play a part, be it big or small, and just hope to raise a great amount of money for the children and young persons kidney fund at the Newcastle RVI, because the team there are doing a fantastic job not just for his friend’s son, but for all the kids that go there with kidney problems.
The Paediatric Nephrology unit at the Great North Children’s Hospital treats in excess of 1800 children per year, with referrals from all over the North East of England as well as Berwick, Cumbria and North Yorkshire. The Children and Young People’s Kidney Fund supports the unit by raising money for new and innovative medical equipment, enhanced staff training, research projects and patient entertainment and activities, including treats for the children at Christmas. The fund is administered by the Newcastle Healthcare Charity (Reg No 502473), one of two official charities supporting the endeavours of Newcastle’s hospitals.
Apart from the website there is also a Facebook page where you can keep up to date with the Charity Walk.
We wish Nich the best of luck with the project and ask you all to dig deep and make whatever donation you can to such a worthy cause.