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Tim Reeves - Leicester Comedy Festival Interview

Tim Reeves is a stand-up comedian, performing surreal stories, anxious one-liners, and general nonsense at comedy clubs across London since 2019, as well as in and with shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. Tim is the founder and resident MC at Anorak Comedy, an alt-comedy night in Covent Garden, which has hosted some of the best pro and worst amateur alt-acts on the circuit. A 2023 Bath Comedy New Act of the Year Semi-Finalist, Tim is one to watch, even if he’d prefer you didn’t.

Tim is now making his Leicester Comedy Festival debut bringing two shows to the festival. First he performs his show Ear Trumpet to East Street Lanes on Friday 23rd February at 6pm, he then performs his work in progress show Fish Cake on Sunday 25th February, also at East Street Lanes, at 6.30pm

Described as “Beautifully unhinged, hilarious... an absolute must see" by we caught up with Tim ahead of his Leicester shows. 

where did your comedy journey begin?
I was bored one evening in 2019 so went to an open mic night and managed to get on. I talked about pork pies and it went okay. I did a few gigs but then I wasn’t allowed outside for ages. I started back in about September 2021. Comedy is alright but I wouldn’t recommend it. 
How did you approach a career in comedy?
Like a chaffinch eating a bag of skips. 

How would you describe your comedy style to those who don’t know you?
Scared Victorian child.   
What is the writing process like for you?
I go into the woods at night with a box of cherry tomatoes and a photo of a canoe. After a few hours, I come back and look at my notebook. Sometimes it's full of stories, sometimes there's only a few words, sometimes there's pi written to one digit. I highly recommend this writing technique.
How do you decide the name of your shows?
I named my first show Ear Trumpet because my mum once told me that her grandma used an ear trumpet because she was an actual Victorian person. This made me laugh for approximately 20 minutes. I don’t mention this story in the show for obvious reasons. 
I named my new show Fish Cake because my mum once told me that her grandma ate a Fish Cake because she was an actual Victorian person. This made me laugh for approximately 20 minutes. I mention this story in the show for obvious reasons.

What can you me about your shows?
Ear Trumpet is about why I think my tiny feet help me speak braille and why kissing is a sin. There is also a PowerPoint. The temperature of the room is very important.

Fish Cake is about my pets, my kettle, and a fish cake.

How do you prepare for a show?
I take a few deep breaths and down a pint of milk. I then spend the next 10 minutes trying to persuade the promoter to cancel the show. Sometimes they lock me in a diving bell, which I don’t mind. 

You’re performing a work-in-progress show for Fish Cake, how valuable are these sort of shows for honing your material?
I performed my first work-in-progress show last year at the Brighton Fringe. I was worried that I didn’t have enough material, so I made a PowerPoint with 150 slides. It turns out 150 slides is too many slides, which was a very valuable lesson.

What has been the highlight of your comedy career to date?
The 2023 Edinburgh Fringe, where I performed my debut solo show, Ear Trumpet. Edinburgh can be brutal. One night I had no audience members, zero. It was a shame because I thought that night was my best performance of the run. 

Edinburgh does have its moments of magic though. After one show, an audience member came up to me to tell me they didn’t despise the show, which was nice. Two hours later, the same person threw a ferret at me on the bus. People are complicated. After each show I went swimming, which I really liked. It was nice to spend time away from air.

I also run a show in London called Anorak Comedy. Sometimes really good people have been down and it’s been great. Other times really good people have been down, and it's been terrible, which I don't mind. At one show someone heckled me saying they liked my shoes. It completely derailed my set, but it felt good to get a compliment from a stranger. 

If you could have dinner with 3 fellow comedians who would you invite and why? 
Rick Stein, the chatty woman who goes to a cafĂ© near my flat and Bernard Matthews. Rick’s cooking a turbot, the chatty woman is talking about her holiday in Andalusia, and Bernard Matthews is mumbling about his empire of ham.
If you were a biscuit, what biscuit would you be and why?
Communion wafers. I like the way they stick to the roof of my mouth. 

Where can people see your shows and follow you beyond?
At Leicester Comedy Festival, I'm performing Ear Trumpet on Friday 23rd February, 18:00 and Fish Cake (WIP) on Sunday 25th February, 18:30 - both at East Street Lanes. 

I'm also performing Fish Cake (WIP) at Lancaster Comedy Festivalon 26th April, 19:30, at The Storey, and at Brighton Fringe, on 3rd, 4th, 5th, 26th & 27th May, and 1st June, at Presuming Ed's. 

I’m also usually at Anorak Comedy most Sundays, which is at various venues in London. 

I’m not allowed on social media very often but you can follow @anorakcomedy & @tjhreeves on Instagram if you want.  

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