Last week our first ever AKU comedy night took place in Cambridge. This week’s blog talks about the big night and how such events are helping us to expand our community fundraising.

Last Thursday, the AKU team were busy preparing for our first ever charity comedy night. Taking place at the Portland Arms pub in Cambridge, the venue provided the perfect location to raise money and awareness of AKU and have a good old laugh!

The fabulous Pam Ford hosted the big night. Some of you may remember Pam from her hilarious ‘Move it or Lose it’ session at our patient workshop at London Zoo last year. Pam was shocked to discover the debilitating effects of AKU and was keen to help us out in putting on a comedy night. Her connections in the comedy circuit helped her to secure 3 fantastic acts and our fundraising officer, Lydia, managed to bag two special guest appearances from the infamous Cambridge footlights.

ome 8pm, the stage was set, the drinks were flowing and the room was packed full, with over 80 people eagerly waiting for the first act to perform. Some brave audience members took their seats on the front row blissfully unaware of what they were letting themselves in for!

Host Pam kicked off proceedings by introducing our CEO, Oliver who told the crowd a little bit about AKU, the symptoms and why we are hosting our first ever comedy night – to raise money and awareness to support AKU patients.

After a brief introduction, it was back to proceedings with Pam, who kept everyone in order with her strong Aussie accent and hilarious anecdotes. She was the perfect host, with her outrageous stories, great one-liners and eagerness to engage with the crowd.

Pam introduced the first act, comedian Rob Coleman from Leicester. Rob was very enthusiastic about his hair style, believing the wild style made him particularly popular with the ladies, much to the crowd’s amusement. We also heard from Glaswegian comedian, Brian Higgins, who recalled some hysterical stories about the games he would play as a child in the pre-digital world, back when a cardboard box and a brick could bring a great deal of amusement.

The audience were excited to be treated to 2 amusing performances from representatives from the Cambridge Footlights. Cambridge University Footlights is a theatrical club run by students of Cambridge University, renowned for its world famous comedy, with former footlights members including John Cleese, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and David Mitchell. The two young students Haydn and Orlando bought a new dynamic and energy to the night.

Finally we were introduced to our headline act John Mann, whose hilarious material had the room in stitches. We ended the night on a massive high and John finished his set by reminding everyone why we are here. Donation boxes’ were passed around and the crowd gave generously after a fantastic evening of live comedy.

The night was a massive success and we would like to thank all of the acts for giving up their time and giving us plenty of laughs while standing up and raising awareness of AKU! We are delighted to announce that we raised a massive £556.15.

We had great feedback from those who attended:

‘Thanks for last night! Awesomely fun evening, very funny comedians and exceptionally well organised’ 

‘Just wanted to say thank you for a great night.  My friends and I had a great laugh and the whole event seemed very successful.  Massive well done!’

‘Just wanted to say a huge well done for last night’s comedy. It was absolutely fantastic. Everybody loved it!’

The night was such a success that we plan to put on more comedy nights in the future. This is part of our wider fundraising strategy to increase our community fundraising, host a variety of different events and continue to raise awareness and money for AKU.

Got an idea for a fundraising event? Keen to get involved in our community fundraising? We are always looking for new and exciting ways to fundraise. Why not get in contact with our fundraising officer, Lydia and share your ideas!