On Wednesday the 20th of November BFOE hosted its second comedy gig at the Glee Club. We were trying to build on the success of last year where the money raised in our Bee Cause gig helped create 3 bee friendly projects in Birmingham. This year our focus was our Let’s Get Moving campaign encouraging cycling and walking as a way to reduce the dangerous levels of air pollution in our city.

We had enlisted the help of many great comedians with connections to Birmingham. Many hours of planning and negotiations went on behind the scenes to make the gig a success. The night arrived and the volunteers decorated the club, as outside the crowds started to queue patiently on a very cold November evening. Once everyone was seated and encouraged to buy raffle tickets the comedy began.

Our compere for the evening, Barbara Nice, the face of Birmingham, began proceedings. Barbara kicked off with some crowd participation in the form of following her dancing. One of the dances was to the relevant Queen song “Bicycle Race”. We were then introduced to James Cook who was kind enough to return after last year. James is a resident of Kings Heath and a former resident of Moseley and made several jokes about this. He also recalled how he was named after a famous king, just like Burger King. After James had entertained the crowd next up was Joe Sutherland. Joe made the factually correct observation that men earn more money than women and that decided his sexual preferences. Joe also warned us of the perils of reading the Guardian to your children as they might end up like him!

Following the interval where the audience was invited to visit the BFOE stall to find out more about the campaign, our very own Campaign Support Worker, Julien Pritchard, took to the stage. He had clearly listened to the health and safety brief from the Glee Club as he was wearing a Let’s Get Moving high-vis jacket!. Julien performed the productive task of thanking all of those involved in organising the gig, with a special mention to the project manager for the gig Sandie, without who, the gig wouldn’t have happened. Julien also briefly talked about why we were campaigning on air pollution and how cycling and walking could help fix this urgent problem.

Stella Graham a comedian from Coventry, followed. Stella‘s act mainly focused on poking fun at her home town. Another interval followed, where there was further encouragement to buy raffle tickets.

In the final section of the gig we had the wonderful raffle. Last year the fanciest prize was a decorative box (Lush prize), this year there were several hampers amongst other prizes. The penultimate act, Steve Day was fantastic. He is deaf and worked this into his set expertly. For example, informing us that if there are any other deaf comediens he hasn’t heard! Steve spoke about the woes of being a parent and even talked about being a keen cyclist.

In a shocking twist it was revealed that Adam Kay had been involved in a traffic accident and was not able to be at the Glee Club. Fortunately a replacement was found in Andy Robinson. Andy was another resident of Kings Heath and even included our volunteer’s bike into his act. Andy was a great headliner and we were very thankful that he stepped in at the last minute. As the volunteers cleaned up after the gig had finished, we were left to reflect on what was another great night for BFOE. We had raised both awareness and money for our cycling and walking campaign and had many a laugh on the way!

We shouldn’t forget that this Comedy Gig was made possible by our very generous comedians, who gave their time for free to perform for us on the night. So thank you very much to them! Also thank you to the Glee Club for their support in whose support in putting on the gig was invaluable!