The Pit to Port tour will be heading to:
Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland 16th nov;
Club Singleton, 17th nov;
Cessnock Supporters Club, 23rd nov;
Muswellbrook workers Club, 24th nov;
Fannys Newcastle, 1st dec.
The Pit to Port Tour – by Tony Allen Gregson
Newcastle, Newie. An industrial town hiding two hours north of Sydney is currently experiencing a comedy revolution. With Newcastle Comedy selling out Lizottes theatre this year, and Newcastle’s own Brendan Knott coordinating the best run room outside the major capital cities at the Oriental Hotel- this eclectic bunch of misfits from Newcastle Comedy have put together a Comedy tour to showcase some of the region’s best talent. The Pit to Port Tour is the brainchild of relative newcomer Gareth Wasik to showcase some of the region’s best locally based talent. With four of the best up and comers on the burgeoning scene and two established comics in Brendon Knott and Jason Starrett, the comics will be following the “coal belt” from Muswellbrook to Newcastle bringing live comedy to crowds that normally have to travel a few hours to see something other than a cold chisel cover band.
The whole idea behind the tour is that I had been speaking to people I know, that have been working and staying in the region from out of the area, and they were saying the highlight of the time spent was the local cattle judging show. I also lived up that way when I was a little skinnier and possibly even taller, and the local guys I knew in Singleton, Maitland, Muswellbrook and Cessnock, all said it was a ripper of an idea. So it just built momentum. Kind of like a coal train out of control. We have had plenty of support from local industry up there, all the local sporting clubs are getting behind it, local press, even the venues are really excited to be holding something on a night which is usually reserved for ordering the no.35 from the Chinese bistro.
“We’re all really pumped, which is weird, because we’re all really laid back and we’ve put a lot of effort in getting up there, meeting the locals, the businesses to make sure it’s a good night.” The comics involved Matty B, Soame Chopra, Ryan Black, Gareth Wasik, Brendan Knott and Jason Starrett, are a good mix, bringing their own styling’s to the stage. Throw in a couple of guest spots by one of the best females on the local circuit, Ness and the Pit to Port tour is a well rounded show.
It’ll be really good to get up there to good crowds and an appreciative audience. Its also a good experience for us, to try out different venues outside of Sydney, and if things go well we will look at doing more regular events in regional NSW. That’s not meant to be a slight on the Sydney scene, there’s some wicked comics from newie, like Rhys Nicolson, killing it in Sydney at the moment. Sydney isn’t for everyone though, especially me, it has a real claustrophobic feel about it. I mean, I can be done from work, showered and with my family by 330 every day. No traffic, no trains. The easy life.
If its anything to go by, enthusiasm alone will make this event a success. Comedy in regional NSW is in safe hands. The entertainment industry often forgets audiences outside capital cities, so Newcastle Comedy has taken on the initiative of bringing the Pit to Port tour to smaller communities. The readers may be thinking at this point –“Yes, but are they funny?” They are so working class up there that Jimmy Barnes changes the lyrics of the song working class man to working class boy. They are so laid back the local council made it compulsory to have 3 lounges in every office to two employees. An overseas trip for most is a 500 metre ferry ride to Stockton, this also doubles as a luxury cruise. Throw in, that Newcastle is probably the only city in the world with a headland named Nobbys and a nightclub named Fanny’s and that pretty much answers the question.