10 Minutes (ish) on the sofa with the LOV Directors

Posted by Ben Poole

10 Minutes (ish) on the sofa with the LOV Directors

Who are we? An excellent question. When we aren't preoccupied making fun of each other and making tree puns, we are a creative bunch of individuals who organise a variety of events and workshops in the Grantham area. Although we have mostly been involved in organising music events, we have recently organised a comedy evening at our LOV Directors HQ - The Guildhall Arts Centre - which was met with a fairly positive reception. Our group consists of a mixture of sixth form students, and one special exception who loved Grantham too much to leave - also known as the groups's designated scribe.

Oh, you wish to know more about the dashing individual behind the creative utterings of the group? Well that's a shame, because I have been instructed to talk further about our recent comedy evening with Steve Bugeja, so I'm afraid that will have to wait for another day.

We decided early on that we wanted to branch out from the 'tradition' of LOV events by putting on something a little different. We were rather keen to explore the world of comedy. This was something none of us were particularly good at ourselves, but collectively enjoyed experiencing as a group when we went to see Steve at the Riverhead Theatre in Louth, as well as the Funhouse Comedy Evening at the Guildhall. We decided that Steve would be perfect to stage on the Guildhall stage in the auditorium, and we invited him to perform in our comedy evening.

Once we secured Steve by contacting his agency Avalon, we reached out to the East Midlands comedy circuit group on Facebook, and were reasonably pleased with the response we received considering that our group had little standing in the world of comedy in comparison to, say, Funhouse comedy. From the comedians who reached out to us through Facebook, we decided to get in touch with Stevie Gray and Hannah Silvester to see if they wanted be our support acts - both were very keen - and so, our lineup was complete.

Considering that the event was organised entirely by us, everyone involved with the evening commented on how smoothly the event ran - including Steve, who has had his fair share of comedy events that haven't gone accordingly to plan. Stevie commented on it was better to have a lively, small audience (we had 30 ish in the end) than a large deadpan one. Although it would have been nice to have gathered an audience similar in scale to the ones the Funhouse events attract, as stated, LOV as a comedy brand didn't have any good standing in it's own right - however, the audience were lively and audible and so thankfully the evening never had any awkward moments. Unless you count excessive groaning at tree puns as awkward. Nahhhh.

From the feedback we received, it was apparent that the audience also enjoyed the evening - if this was not already apparent through their reactions during the show, a fair few people positively responded with feedback forms after the show and advised that they would be keen to see more of the same kind of thing.

The highlight of the evening was definitely having such a positive response from all of the comedians, especially Steve, who was brilliant. Stevie was also very impressed by the organisation of the evening and was supportive of the LOV aims and objectives, and very much was in favour of promoting the arts, and comedy, to young people around Lincolnshire.

So, what's next for the LOV Directors? We have an upcoming family fun day on July 2nd, in which we are planning an Alice in Wonderland themed event outside - possibly partnered with Grantham College's art department to create some more wicker/willow structures. It would be very exciting to create a Cheshire cat or a teapot or similar. I'll be honest. I would love to dress up as the Mad Hatter.
Fun fact of the day - Grantham has the largest amount of charity shops in any town in the UK. So we will have a field trip raiding the shops for outfits (although this may be just my dramatic side running away with me - this is strongly opposed by certain members of the group, but their opinions are invalid (-_(-_(-_-)_-)_-) <-- Drama people staring them out because they are wrong. Tamsyn will back me up)

As well as this, we are involved in creating a small part of the Gravity Fields Festival - The Anti-Grav box. Without talking too much about it, essentially this is an empty storage unit with various items of furniture bolted to the ceiling (TBC) and a camera mounted to one of the walls. A monitor outside would show anyone inside the box 'upside down' creating the illusion that families are walking on the ceiling. There will be plenty of room for experimenting with different things here, such as yoyo's, helium and normal balloons, using a stepladder, and trying in vain to recreate OK Go's 'Upside Down and Inside Out.'
We were proud to formally announce this at the official opening of the Gravity Fields Festival 2016 and look forward to exploring this further with the representatives including Simon Hollingworth.

Whilst exams are ongoing for 99% of the group (not sure how strictly accurate that percentage is) the group's bi-weekly Jam Cafe is still ongoing whilst the meetings have been put on hold for a while. This takes place within the Guildhall Arts Centre on the second and fourth Thursday of every month. There's still plenty of Jammy goodness to go round, and we would be excited to see any new acts turn up and play some of their own material or covers - we really aren't fussed! We've previously had covers of Frozen as well as original spoken word pieces: feel free to perform any guilty pleasure songs as well, the choice is yours.
Plus - free jam products. We hope to see you there!

Signing off - Ben Poole