Stand Up Antwerp
Since I’ve always liked comedy and love to make jokes myself, visiting a Stand Up Antwerp event was a match made in heaven. Eventhough I'm an Antwerp native I had never heard of a comedy cellar in English beneath quality bookstore ‘De Groene Waterman’. Double bonus!
The first thought that crossed my mind while descending in this Fortress of Hilarity was: “I hope they have a toilet here”.But what I encountered down there surprised me in the bestest of ways. A large but super cosy cellar unfolded before my eyes where you could easily fit 100 people .My second thought was ‘If the war starts now, we’ll be safe here’.
Hit Me, Nigel.
The doors were already open for a while so most seats were taken and almost everyone was holding a drink to get in the mood. My friend and I grabbed a seat in the back, but we still had a good view on the stage. We didn’t really look up who was going to entertain us for the night because we just wanted to let it hit us.
And boy it did.Nigel Williams - host and organiser for tonight and big name in the Belgian comedy world - had something in store for us. Three British stand-up comedians of the highest calibre. None less than Jeremy O’Donnell, Stephen Grant and Carey Marx.And added to that, Bert Kruismans, another very popular Belgian comedian, did a short English try-out, for most of his work is in Dutch or French.The performances hit us like a sledgehammer. Being able to see these guys live, in a dusky cellar in our hometown. We were ecstatic.Normally we would have to book tickets for a huge theatre, but if you ask us, comedy is at it’s best in a place like this. A stage, some lights and let creativity do the rest. Wit, timing, jokes, these are things that can make us laugh, and that’s exactly what happened. But what really got the crowd bursting out in tears of laughter was the typical dark polite -or you can state blacker than the blackest black (times infinity)- English humour. Each of the comedians certainly had their own style, which was very entertaining to watch.
Antwerp: a gangster rapper's dream
After the gig we had the chance to talk to the comedians to find out how they felt about Antwerp. Because they all arrived several hours before the show and had to leave the morning after they didn’t have the time to check out all the beautiful stuff that Antwerp has to offer. When we asked for their first thoughts of the city we got some interesting answers though. Let me sum them up for you:
- tobacco is way cheaper than it is in the UK and
- from the station on to the show they didn’t see much more then diamond shops and bars. “A gangsta rappers dream”.
More Stand Up Antwerp?
Every third Wednesday of the month the lovable host Nigel Williams organises a new fresh edition of Stand-Up Antwerp.Check out their facebook page for more information or take a look on Nigel's website:
Every third Wednesday of the month
Wolstraat 7 :: 2000 Antwerp
Text by Lennert Borgmans
Pics by Marcello Guerinoni