Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation launches fourth comedy fundraiser in Liverpool
1 month ago
It was no real surprise when research found Liverpool to be the funniest city in the UK. Regularly topping the laughter polls, it seems comedy is in our blood… or at least in our water, with some of comic greats hailing from our city.
And now local charity, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has teamed up with The Comedy Trust to put this to the test by seeking out 10 wannabe comedians to take part in its latest comedy fundraiser, Beyond a Joke, and raise money to support those living with lung cancer.
Taking place at the Royal Court Theatre on 18th April, budding comics will take centre stage in front of an audience of their family and friends. But don’t panic – those taking part will first receive 10 hours of training with professionals from the comedy circuit, giving them plenty of time and expert support to hone their act.
Ricky Williams is one of 10 people who took part in the Beyond a Joke last year. He loved the experience.
“I wouldn’t say I had this burning desire to stand on a stage and try and make people laugh,” recalls Ricky, “but when I heard about this challenge, there was something in me that wanted to give it a go.
“Of course, on the night, I was absolutely terrified! But then the adrenalin kicked in, I was off and I enjoyed every second of it. I think someone even laughed in the right places (thanks Mum!).
“But it goes beyond just telling jokes. Taking part in Beyond a Joke made me more confident. I used to feel incredibly nervous if I ever had to stand up and deliver a presentation in work. Now that my mum and dad have heard me talk about my mum’s ‘post birth experience’ a PowerPoint doesn’t seem so daunting!”
Now celebrating its fourth event, there’s no doubt the Beyond a Joke comedy gala is a night filled with fun and laughter. But it’s also important to remember that the event is here to help fund the vital work of one of the city’s most beloved charities.
In 2022, figures revealed lung cancer incidence in Liverpool was 82% higher than expected when compared to overall figures for England. Fortunately, people at highest risk of the disease now have access to lung cancer screening – a life-saving initiative spearheaded by Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation decades ago.
“I know how important the work of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is,” continues Ricky, who has now worked at the charity for over 7 years having lost his grandad to the disease.
“I get to see its impact every day and hear from the people we’re helping. The progress we’ve made from when I started to now is immense – none more so than last year when a national screening programme for lung cancer was announced.
“That’s why, as frightening as it was to stand on that stage, it was completely worth it – and why I encourage anyone considering signing up to do it!”
People can now sign up to be part of the Beyond a Joke comedy gala for £25, with a £400 fundraising pledge.
The comedy workshops will run every Thursday from 14th March until 11th April 6-8pm at the Cotton Exchange Building on Old Hall Street.