There is a buzz surrounding Balsall Common’s Harvey Hawkins on the UK Comedy circuit thanks to a combination of critical acclaim and award-winning performances, that include winner’s performances at the Birmingham Comedy Festival’s Breaking Talent Award in October 2016 and a National Gong Show Award.
His first prestigious Award at the 2016 Birmingham Comedy Festival was a particularly proud moment for Harvey due to the way contestants were selected into the competition:
“I was chosen to take part by local promoters and established acts” explains Harvey of his experience at the Breaking Talent Award, of an event which proved he has the respect of peers on the comedy circuit.
“On the night I was chosen as the winner by a panel that included comedy legend Jasper Carrott, plus one of Comedy’s biggest insider names, Chortle’s Steve Bennett.”
Harvey also enjoyed success after entering a Gong Show challenge, where comedians face the nerve-wracking challenge of trying to perform for up to a maximum of 5 minutes without getting ‘gonged’-off stage by a panel of judges:
“I was invited back for a Champions Special Gong Show in February 2017 after doing well in the rounds and won that” says Harvey.
Other highlights of Harvey’s comedy career to date have included opportunities to appear on the same rosters as well-known acts whilst performing around the country:
“It’s been great to perform alongside all those acts I’ve seen on TV, on shows like Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and 8 out of 10 Cats, such as Joe Lycett, Tom Stade and Gary Delaney.”
Harvey also spent some time in the Summer of 2017 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
“It’s pretty much the whole of August,” says Harv of the 3 week long Comedy Festival which takes place at many venues across the city:
“The great thing about the Fringe is that it’s possible to just turn up and perform. Some places are little pubs with small audiences, then there’s lots of venues where you have to apply to perform if you want a main slot. I went along and performed with some of my comedian friends who let me do warm-up slots for them.”
Harvey’s ambitions with ‘The Fringe’ reflect his long-term aims as a comedian:
“I’m probably looking at a couple of years before I apply for my own main slot, with a view to going for the Best Newcomer Award. I want to have an hour of material I’m happy with, as you only get one shot at an Award like that, which can be so good for your career.”
So how did it all begin for Harvey?
“I did a comedy course in Manchester in June 2015 at the end of which we had to do a Graduation Show in front of a live audience. It went well so I booked myself some shows straight after that, so that’s where it all started. I was maybe doing a show every month or two in the beginning, but now I’m doing two or three a week and I’m aiming to make a career of it.”
In the meantime, we’ll be watching Harv’s progress with a great deal of interest.
Balsall Common Comedy Club
Harvey Hawkins is on a mission to put something back into his local community. Balsall Common Comedy Club is a project he launched in 2016, to sell-out crowds. The aim of his Club is to bring some of the best comedians from the UK circuit to his hometown at affordable prices.
Discover more about the Balsall Common Comedy Club in our Events feature:
Find and Follow Balsall Common Comedy Club Online
Recent Shows: Friday 18th August 2018
The show in August 2018 went down an absolute storm, with a succession of top-drawer comics keeping everyone in stitches, topped off with a stellar headline performance from the insanely funny Andrew Bird.
2018 Christmas Party Special
The Yuletide crowd enjoyed performances from Rob Rouse and Luk Toulson on Friday 7th December 2018:
Saturday 30th March 2019
The first show of 2019 sees a temporary change of venue, in order to accommodate sought-after Headliner Ivan Brackenbury, a regular on our TV screens who will be taking a time-out from his popular UK Tour to appear in Balsall Common. This one is at St Peter’s Church Hall on Saturday 30th March 2019 (cash-only at the bar for this one).