Comedy night sails into the Royal Victoria Dock

Comedian Mark Dolan promises lots of laughs and fresh material for his performance at The Crystal

Comedian Mark Dolan promises lots of laughs and fresh material for his performance at The Crystal - Credit: Mark Dolan

Comedian Mark Dolan, known for hosting Channel 4 comedy show Balls of Steel, will headline a night of live laughs on Thursday.

The funnyman, also known as the presenter of Channel 4 documentary series The World’s...and me, has promised fresh material in intimate surroundings at The Crystal in Royal Victoria Dock.

He’ll be joined on the night by Peter Brush, master of the one-liners, and 6ft 7in comic Colin Cole. The show is the latest Comedy Club London gig and Mark, who said he is looking forward to a “lively” audience in the state-of-the-art venue.

“It’s a nice big space so we’re hoping to pack them in, the more the merrier,” he said.

“London has more comedy clubs than any other country in the world but not all the facilities are well set up. There is a real alchemy to getting it right with lighting and seating.”

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“The joy of comedy is that all you really need to work is a microphone.

“I pride myself on being able to do my best in any conditions. Comedy has to be intimate, it’s got to have an intimacy to work.”

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As for what to expect on the night the funny man is clear that while he may be heading to the Edinburgh Festival in August this is no warm up gig ahead of the big event.

“I never do a show where there is not something fresh, otherwise the audience can tell,” he said. “As comedians will tell you I am always working on new material.”

And it’s writing that new material which Mark says is probably the hardest part of the job for any comedian.

“The bit of the job where comedians really earn their corn is Monday morning, staring at the page and trying to get some funny things down,” he said. “It’s a bit like when you’re at school and in exams you’re trying to remember the answers, but it was the revision that would decide how you performed.”

Mark’s material is informed by his everyday life - with a little twist.

“At the heart of good joke is a kernal of truth. If it’s personal it’s got to have a grain of truth.

“If all we said as comedians is what happens in our life it would be a bit boring. I take things that have happened and exaggerate them for comedic effect.

“That’s why my wife is not allowed to come to my gigs,” he joked. “ No, she is really,” he added quickly. “And she is very supportive.”

As for nerves ahead of the gig, Mark says being on stage is the best part of the job and where he feels most comfortable.

“I’ve spent so much time on stage it’s like a second home,” he said.

“I find it’s a great privilege to do my job when most of the population are off duty. Everyone is wanting to have a great time, it’s mainly a great atmosphere.

“People arrive wanting to have a good time, sometimes I just feel like I’m their host.”

Mark Dolan performs at The Crystal, Royal Victoria Dock, on April 7. Tickets cost from £15 in advance. Doors open at 6pm. Click here to visit The Comedy Club website to buy tickets or for more information.

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