New Jesmond comedy/theatre/music venue opens tonight

Jesmond gets a new venue tonight for comedy, theatre and music. The Mixer is a newly refurbished 200-capacity room above the Royal British Legion on West Jesmond Avenue, and entertainment for the launch is being provided by award-winning home-grown improv comedy group the Suggestibles, who will be monthly residents at the Mixer.

“We hope this will become a popular venue for the community here in Jesmond and plan to present the kind of events they want,” says Bev Fox member of the Suggestibles, Jesmond resident and co-founder of the Mixer. “We had brilliant feedback from our fundraising weekend back in July from the local community and Legion members alike. It really seemed to breathe new life into the old 70s building.”

Organisers of the Mixer believe Jesmond, and Newcastle in general need more fringe venues – they say up and coming artists have struggled for a long time to find a platform that’s affordable to play and easy for audiences to find. “It’s not about the lack of funding, it’s about the lack of space,” says Fox.

The Legion and the Mixer organisers struck up a relationship when the Jesmond club hit financial trouble and was threatened with closure earlier in the year. Jon Farthing, a lawyer and Jesmond resident has been masterminding the fightback. “For many of the remaining members, the club is the only social life they have. Closure just wasn’t an option,” says Farthing, who invited the Suggestibles to perform at the Legion – hoping to attract a new audience and much needed bar revenue. Fox suggested a benefit night to raise funds to refurb the function room, and the idea of the Mixer developed from there.

The programme of events until Christmas includes the Ink new writing festival, one-person Shows, fortnightly stand-up nights from Creased Comedy with comics such as Simon Donald (Viz founder and Jesmond lad), and LiveOke – karaoke, but with a live band.  From January there are plans for regular themed nights such as murder mystery dinners, acoustic sessions and the occasional tribute band.

There will also be a Mixer Market, a market being held in the Legion’s massive car park on Sunday 26th September – and then every other month after that.

For more info, visit www.facebook.com/mixerjesmond

Saturday 11th September

The Suggestibles

8.30pm start / Doors 7.30 / Bar till midnight

£9 & £7 concessions (NUS, UB40, Pensioner, Equity and RBL members)

Saturday 25th September

LiveOke

8.30pm start / Doors 7.30 / Bar till midnight

£6 & £4 concessions (NUS, UB40, Pensioner, Equity and RBL members)

Sunday 26th September

Mixer Market

11am till approx 4pm

In the Jesmond Legion Car Park

Creased Comedy stand-up gigs will run fortnightly Fridays from 22nd October

The Suggestibles play second Saturdays of the month

LiveOke play fourth Saturdays of the month

Me & Mr C (a one-man show) – Friday 15th October

Ink New Writing Festival – Thursday 18th and Friday 19th November

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