In the last 12 months, Graham Avent has been locked up in a Kennel, run the Bath Half Marathon and even written a pantomime to help raise much needed funds for the Bath Cats and Dogs Home. But it is his next effort, performing an evening of live comedy at the Ustinov Theatre, which fills him with the most fear.
“Doing comedy is petrifying because there is no ambiguity” explains Graham, “the audience either laugh or they don’t and the feedback is instant. But luckily I’m working with a safe pair of hands so I’m pretty confident we can at least get some giggles”
The ‘safe pair of hands’ is Graham’s old double act partner; Theatre Royal Bath pantomime comic, Jon Monie. The duo formed at school in Bath, originally performing at the Ustinov studio 20 years ago, and went on to win a National Sketch writing competition run by ITV. They supported Greg Proops on tour and played numerous comedy venues across the country including London’s famous Hackney Empire. Jon stayed in the business as a TV presenter, writer and panto stalwart, but family and work commitments meant that Graham dropped out of performing until recently when the pair re-united to win a BBC “Funny in 15 seconds” competition.
They had been toying with the opportunity to get back on stage when they were approached to raise money for the Cats and Dogs Home and the Theatre Royal Bath fundraisers.
“We thought it would be fitting to come back with a show that featured both characters and sketches from back then – with a few new ones to bring it all up to date,” comments Jon. “It’s also great to be raising more money for the Cats and Dogs Home and the Theatre Royal Bath and we’re hoping the show sells out. After all, the more tickets we sell, the more money we raise for worthy local causes. That’s why we are back… for good!”
Avent and Monie – ‘Back for Good’ at the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath, 21st and 22nd June. Box Office 01225 448844 Tickets £13 / Concessions £10 www.theatreroyal.org.uk
For more info and a sneaky peek have a look at their video trailer here: