Tom Taylor’s Room for a Laugh column

Seymour Mace
Seymour Mace
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The world of Tom Taylor, promoter of Harrogate’s Sitting Room comedy club and finalist in Nando’s New Comedian Of The Year 2014 at Edinburgh Fringe

Much to my chagrin, my aforementioned fever has exposed itself as a lung infection and, as such, I have no tales of excitement and adventure to relate back to you this week as it’s been pretty quiet in my bedroom.

So, please forgive me. I do, however, have a Sitting Room show coming up next week so I will tell you about that.

Fresh from featuring in The Independent and The Guardian as one of the country’s top comedy nights, Sitting Room Comedy Club returns to the St George Hotel, Harrogate next Wednesday.

With a fast-growing reputation as the comedy capital of the north, October is Harrogate’s busy month on the comedy calendar as the sixth Harrogate Comedy Festival launches next Monday alongside Sitting Room’s regular programme.

As a comedy fan you’re really spoilt for choice.

The theatre have made some great bookings so I felt a bit of pressure to put together a top drawer line-up for Sitting Room. After a lot of hard work and phone calls I’m incredibly excited about the show we’ve got coming up next week.

Closing the show is former City Life Comedian of the Year Seymour Mace.

I gigged with Seymour a couple of months ago and he blew me away. He crackles with childish energy, getting caught in flights of fancy and going off on strange tangents but never losing sight of the gag. Every routine ended with an enormous laugh and a punchline that nobody predicted.

As a City Life Comedian of Year he shares a title with Peter Kay, Alan Carr, Chris Addison, John Bishop and Jason Manford, impressive pedigree and confirmation of just how good a comedian Seymour is.

He appeared on Johnny Vegas’ episode of Dave’s One Night Stand but he’s instantly recognisable to anyone who watched BBC’s Ideal where he starred alongside Vegas as the identical twins Craig and Steve.

October’s show also sees the return of two Sitting Room favourites, Junior Simpson and Stephen Carlin. Both Junior and Stephen are highly sought after headline acts.

With his infectious energy and huge stage presence Junior is a circuit favourite. He has a boundless joy and exuberance that has audiences hooked with hilarity.

He performed at our first birthday show back in July 2012 and was simply brilliant, a perfect blend of observations, finding rich pickings in the humdrum of everyday life, and mischievous ad-libs. I’m delighted he’s back in Harrogate.

And in the middle we have one of my favourite comedians, ever. Stephen Carlin has become a permanent fixture at the big clubs, supporting Stewart Lee and Stephen Merchant on tour and appearing in Stewart Lee’s 10 Best Stand-ups in the World Ever.

A prolific writer for radio, Stephen also puts together a new Edinburgh show every year.

I’ve seen his last three and they’ve all been superbly funny. He’s currently Sitting Room’s most capped comedian having played my York gig twice and Harrogate twice, too. He’s stolen every show he’s done, too.

Last but not least, the loveable and frenetic Phil Ellis returns as compère. Phil has been MCing Sitting Room for a year now and our audiences love him. In August he won the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Prize. It’s a great bill, good enough, certainly, to rouse me from my sick bed.

Tickets for the Wednesday, October 8 show at the St George Hotel, Harrogate at 8pm are available in advance at www.sittingroomcomedy.com or the St George reception.

Online tickets are also available for Sitting Room on Wednesday, November 12 featuring BAFTA award winning comedian Jim Tavaré who also played the role of Tom, the owner of the Leaky Cauldron, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.