A NEW stand-up comedy night is to make its début in Colchester next month thanks to the efforts of a pharmacy worker.

Keith Millar, 44, of Clarendon Way, Colchester, had initially signed up for a stand-up comedy crash course with a group of friends to raise money for Cancer Research UK in 2018.

But he felt soon after that Colchester could do with a more vibrant comedy scene, and teamed up with a fellow amateur comic – Darran Hutchinson, 40, of Halstead.

The first gig of the comedy series, which Mr Millar has named Collywood, will take place at The Bull on Thursday, August 5 from 8pm until 11pm and run each week.

It’s an event Mr Millar believes is much needed for the town.

He said: “There just isn’t any comedy happening in Colchester. Every once in a while, we’ll get a big name coming to the Mercury Theatre or the arts centre, but there isn’t local comedy going on in Colchester.

“We ran our own comedy night in 2018 to raise some money for Cancer Research UK and after that I said: ‘You know what, I really enjoyed that. We need to start learning how to do this’.”

Mr Millar, who works at Rowlands Pharmacy, admits he hasn’t had a huge amount of experience performing live gigs because of the hospitality shutdown during the pandemic.

“I’ve only done five or six gigs myself, but you get to know the sort of people who are coming in.

“It’s easy to be funny round your friends when you’re down at the pub, but it’s completely different to going out and writing material.”

But having had some training with a professional comedian Mr Millar has an idea of what kind of material he’s going to put together.

“The art of comedy is telling a story that actually happened but bring it to life. You just greatly exaggerate the story,” he said.

Amateur comedians will be allocated five minutes in which to perform the material, and more experienced comedians being offered 20.