Finding the ‘funny’ in a time of coronavirus

Clockwise from top left: Rick Kiesewetter, Tania Edwards, Stephen Carlin and Hatty Ashdown.Pictures:

Clockwise from top left: Rick Kiesewetter, Tania Edwards, Stephen Carlin and Hatty Ashdown.Pictures: the artists - Credit: Archant

With the closure of venues the livelihoods of thousands of artists and entertainers has been affected. Here’s how some familiar faces from the comedy circuit have adapted to lockdown.

Tania Edwards.

Tania Edwards. - Credit: Tania Edwards

Tania Edwards – The Corona Diaries (Islington)

Tania Edwards has been in self-isolation with her family for two weeks. They have all been very ill with suspected Covid-19. Tania publishes her Corona Diaries on Instagram @taniaedwardscomedy.

“I realised when I was sick, and my husband took my hand, that when you see your partner suffer, you feel profound love. Then they recover and it passes.

“I also realised that everyone knows someone in Wuhan now; it’s what makes their medical advice the most accurate.

“My mother has been full of top tips and for the first time in my life not one of them was TCP so I know her new research is new, even if it’s not directly from China. Her killer advice: drink hot water, to lessen the chance of pneumonia. She has texted constantly: ‘Promise I won’t keep saying MORE HOT WATER.’

“She has also been scouring the internet for healthy women killed by Covid, ideally of my age, and preferably with young children like mine; deaths to make me thirsty.”

Stephen Carlin.

Stephen Carlin. - Credit: Image © Karla Gowlett

Stephen Carlin – A Comedian in Training (Kilburn)

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“Just as Olympic athletes, concert pianists and professional con artists have to practise continually just to stay at the top of their game, so too we stand-up comedians need a constant stream of live shows to stay “gig-fit”.

“The closure of all public performances has destroyed my training schedule. If something isn’t done I will emerge, after the crisis, as a flabby, lacklustre comedian.

“So to maintain my stage readiness and stay sharp, I have improvised a daily comedy gig.

“In these straightened times I’ll take whatever audience I can get. Yesterday I performed to a seagull.”

Hatty Ashdown – Streaming With Laughter (Canonbury)

Hatty Ashdown.

Hatty Ashdown. - Credit: Hatty Ashdown

Screaming with Laughter is the original lunchtime comedy Club where babies can come too. Running for over nine years at various venues in London, originally launched and hosted by comedian Lucy Porter, comedian and mum Hatty Ashdown found a happy home for the last three years at the very cool Snooty Fox in Canonbury the second Wednesday of each month, to an always sold-out crowd.

“So in the current climate of venues being closed we wanted to make sure our parents are ok, as being a new parent with a small baby can be in itself be very isolating,” said Hatty.

“So we are attempting to bring some online comedy chat and content with live online Instagram Streaming With Laughter.

“We will be doing two a month at the moment but who knows – we may do more. It will be free, but viewers have the option to make a donation to our comedians.

“See our website or Instagram @screamingwithlaughter to keep up to date on the next show. Open to all viewers but advised to not let the little ones over two years old to watch as comedians may use bad language.”

Rick Kiesewetter – Keep interacting (Highbury)

Rick Kiesewetter.

Rick Kiesewetter. - Credit: Rick Kiesewetter

“I’m a comedian and actor and have lived in Islington for the past 15 years. Comedians are generally solitary people anyway but after the lockdown it didn’t take long to figure out that actually I had a lot of interaction during the day. We’ll all be affected by this damn virus.

“Meanwhile, I try to think on the positive side. Everything from advances in technology for people to interact online and incubating creativity in the form of new plays, films and music. But also a renewed appreciation for live events such stand up. After all, the best stand up comedy has always been a conversation.

“You can see how I cheer myself up on Instagram: @rkiesewetter