Kicking the comedy can

Foodbank donations at a Canned Laughter comedy night
Canned Laughter comedy nights ask audience members to bring foodbank donations with them

A charity stand-up night in Walthamstow has announced a string of Edinburgh preview shows, writes Sara Shokra

A taste of the Edinburgh Fringe is coming to Walthamstow with nine acts, including Suzi Ruffell, Sindhu Vee and Gabby Best, gracing the stage at The CentrE17 over four nights in June.

Canned Laughter is a community organisation that has been fighting food poverty through comedy since October 2017. It is the brainchild of three friends – Kenny Tanner, Ali Severs-Ruiz and Helen Taylor – who came up with a simple concept; they invited audiences to pay £5 for a night of stand-up comedy and asked them to bring along five items to donate to the local foodbank.

The show is now run by Kenny, Ali and friends Amelia Vickery, Josh Grant and Ronan Shiels. Kenny, a long-standing comedy fan who works in TV production, said: “People lead busy lives – they want to do good for their community, but not everybody knows where to start, so we like to think that’s where we come in.

“Canned Laughter gives them a chance to help out and watch some great comedy at the same time. With some comedy nights in London charging over £15, our audiences often comment on the quality of the acts for such a small entry fee.”

The team has partnered with Eat or Heat, a local foodbank established in 2011. The charity tackles food poverty, helping families who are forced to regularly make the difficult choice between heating their homes and feeding their families.

Since its inception, Canned Laughter has raised more than £11,500 for Eat or Heat – audience donations stocked the foodbank for 36 weeks last year. Every show has sold out and a host of famous acts including Nick Helm, Aisling Bea, Russell Kane and Josie Long have headlined over the past 18 months.

Kenny adds: “Max and Ruth, the duo behind The CentrE17, have been incredibly supportive of us since day one. We really couldn’t have achieved all this without them.”

As well as the Edinburgh previews, Canned Laughter will continue to run its regular stand-up nights. Their next show is on Friday 24th May and will star Steen Raskopolus and Mawaan Rizwan.

Canned Laughter’s Edinburgh preview shows run on 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st June. Tickets are £5 per show, £8 for two or £14 for all four. For more information:
Visit cannedlaughter.co.uk