For the first time ever and in honour of mental health awareness, Five Points have curated a stellar lineup of comedians; Pierre Novellie (The Mash Report), Harriet Kemsley (8 Out Of 10 Cats), Bobby Mair (Comedy Central) and Kate Barron (Just For Laughs), in an evening of comedy and charity. ‘Stand Up’ For Mental Health will be taking place on Monday 13th May at The Pembury Tavern, the home of Five Points and will coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.
Mental health awareness is more important now than ever, with one in four people experiencing mental health problems each year, according to charity event partner, Mind. In the UK, this equates to over 16 million people. While much is being done to reduce these figures, there is still a long way to go.
In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, The Five Points Brewing Co. are hosting their first ever comedy night, taking place on Monday 13th May, inviting guests to ‘stand up’ for mental health. In an evening with a difference, the comedians will each tell their own story, using comedy to break down the barriers that frequently prevent us from speaking about our mental health.
Described in the media as a ‘silent epidemic’, mental illness among men continues to lack the appropriate awareness and action required for a crisis of such magnitude.
However, according to research by the Medical Research Council (MRC), sharing a round of drinks with friends in the pub has a positive effect on mental wellbeing, allowing men to open up and talk about their emotions – helping them to look out for each other and lift their spirits.
In recent times, there has been an enormous push for positive change towards men’s mental health, with initiatives like Mind’s (City, Hackney and Waltham Forest) Men’s Pilot Project. The scheme works to raise awareness of men’s mental and physical well-being through a programme of activities, including a bootcamp course, pub quizzes and a weekly space where topic including sex and relationship, money and gambling and managing anger and frustration are covered.
Bringing together 4 top UK comedians in an unprecedented stand-up comedy evening, each comedian will perform a stand-up special as they recount their own personal experiences with mental health throughout the course of their lives.
Kickstarting the lineup is Pierre Novellie, a correspondent on BBC2’s The Mash Report and a multi-award nominated stand-up comedian. His topics range from modern music, right through to teenage depression with an amiably frank way of joking about past mental health issues, and recovering from them.
Switching from acting to stand-up, Harriet Kemsley is a shining light on the comedy circuit, winning a nationwide female comedy competition “Funny’s Funny” within the first six months of her stand-up career. A star of Bobby and Harriet Get Married, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and Live at The Comedy Store, Kemsley’s stand-up style is honest, awkward and oversharing as she mines her very real battles with a debilitating anxiety disorder to make people smile.
On her own experience, Harriet says, “I’ve had my own battles with mental health and so have members of my family. Awareness is getting better but sometimes the lack of knowledge about where to go or what is wrong can be terrifying and makes things so much worse. One of the things that has helped me the most is to be able to share my darkest thoughts and make them funny because then I feel so much less ashamed and alone. The more I can laugh at things the less terrifying and bleakly serious the world feels.”
Elsewhere, Bobby Mair started comedy in 2011 after winning £10,000 in Bite TV’s Stand Up and Bite MeComedy Competition at the Edinburgh Fringe. Originally from Toronto, Mair has become an instantly recognisable face on British television and the UK comedy circuit. His comedy is brutally honest and self-aware as he credits his strained familial relationship as the basis of his comedy success.
Bobby adds, “By confronting topics that people feel afraid to talk about in polite conversation, stand-up is a great forum for discussing things that are taboo.
Originally from Vancouver, Kate Barron is a London-based stand-up comedian, emcee and public speaker. Performing across Canada, Barron has appeared in the SheDot Festival in Toronto and most recently emerged as the winner of the Toronto Comedy Brawl – the first woman to do so. Known best for her energetic story-telling style and performances that appeal to a variety of audiences, Barron’s warmth and sincerity give her a special ability to connect with an audience.
Kate comments, “I believe mental health is part of overall well-being and is unfortunately, often neglected because of the stigmas around it. The more we talk about it openly, the better it will be for us all. We all have ups and downs and moments in our life where we struggle. Having a great support system of family and friends, as well as your own self-care routines is important, particularly in this “always hustling” or “rise and grind” mentality.”
Tickets for the event can be bought from Eventbrite for £10 which includes a pint of Five Points beer on the bar.. A raffle will also be taking place on the night, with all proceeds going to mental health charity, Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest. The comedy night will be taking place in a separate wing of the Pembury Tavern, so the pub will be open as usual.