Walthamstow producer seeking young comedy fans for exciting new gig

Walthamstow producer Frank Sweeney (credit: JR Inside Out Project)

A Walthamstow producer wants to teach four young people how to put on live comedy shows as part of a six-month work placement

Frank Sweeney, who created the borough’s popular Socially Distant Doorstep Carnival last year, has partnered with Soho Theatre to train new comedy producers.

Young people aged 16-24 will help organise next year’s New Acts of The Year Showcase, which is almost 40 years old and has previously featured comedians like Russell Brand and Catherine Tate.

Frank, a Walthamstow resident in his early 50s, told the Echo he would have jumped at a chance like this in his youth.

He said: “A lot of people might feel a job in the arts isn’t for them, they might think it’s for middle class people who are highly educated and went to public school.

“But actually you can experience all areas of employment within the theatre. You could be in customer services for the theatre, just the same as you could be at Tesco or Lidl.

“This is about arts and business management, as well as technical production, marketing, human resources and customer services. All of these are transferable skills and Soho Theatre is the top comedy venue in the country; if you come out of that you can walk into a job anywhere.

“Everyone has got to have a sense of humour, it definitely helps, but it’s not very good if the accountant is funner than the main act. This is for people who have an interest in comedy.”

He said he was particularly excited to work with Soho Theatre given their plans to open a new 1,000-seat venue in the former EMD cinema next spring.

He added: “I grew up in Leyton, just off Church Road and what was really popular was Saturday morning pictures at the Granada cinema. I’m the youngest of four so I would go along with my siblings from when I was very small.

“Now Soho Theatre is bringing it back to life. To have a thousand-seat theatre space in Waltham Forest is a dream.”

Applications close on 27th September. Find out more information about the available roles and how to apply here: https://sohotheatre.com/about/jobs/

Frank’s favourite one-liner: “What’s blue and square? A fridge-freezer in a jean jacket.”