Do you realise that Sunbury has a top comedy club, with regular evenings hosting household names? If not, once you read this you will kick yourself at what you have missed out on! Laughing Chili was founded by local, Stu Turner, who has lived in Ashford and Sunbury all his life.
He himself has been a comedy magician for over 25 years, and performed all over the UK. Highlights include appearing at the London Palladium, and supporting the late Bob Monkhouse at Lakeside Country Club in Surrey.
Stu used to be in a comedy double act years ago, and remembers appearing at the Sunbury Working Man’s Club, and almost setting himself alight during a comedy fire juggling routine! Last time we saw Stu on stage he was attempting to cut Mr C’s hand off (see photo).
Stu realised there were no good comedy nights in the local area so to rectify matters he set up Laughing Chili himself in November 2014. Looking around at venues he came across the Riverside Arts Centre, which was perfect. With its smaller studio space as well as the main theatre style hall, the venue was ideal to stage a variety of comedy and cabaret nights in Sunbury, both larger and smaller.
Having its own bar and fantastic facilities, right in the middle of the village, the RAC is a hidden gem which even many locals still don’t know about.
Laughing Chili attracts some top names in comedy: Bobby Davro, Stephen K Amos, Zoe Lyons, Bob Mills, Simon Brodkin, Hal Cruttenden and the ever hilarious Raymond and Mr Timpkin. These stars and their top quality acts come to little Sunbury to entertain you (are you still wondering how you could ever have missed it?!). This past summer you could see previews to acts heading up to the Edinburgh Fringe for only £10 for the whole evening.
The format of an evening is a top comedy compere who introduces 3-4 acts. Needless to say, unless you want to be in the limelight, avoid the front row. Although on the only occasion we arrived too late and found ourselves in the spotlight, it was the funniest evening I have spent for a long time.
So November 2019 will be Laughing Chili’s 5th birthday and Stu has plans to celebrate with a few special events. As well as an anniversary special, he is looking at widening the styles of entertainment he puts on, after encouraging comments from audience regulars about how much they enjoy the events he stages.
With Halloween approaching, Stu is appearing in a comedy spook magic show in London on Oct 31st, and will be bringing a special preview of this brand new show to Sunbury on Friday 18th October.
Not for the faint hearted, ‘Jitters’ mixes morbid magic and ghoulish giggles for a frightful night of entertainment.
Friday 6th December will be the Christmas Quiz, with a few extra special ingredients thrown in.
Hosted by Stu and comedy impressionist Steve Owen, this high tech quiz promises a mix of music, madness, and more traditional rounds, for what promises to be the craziest quiz you’ve been to.
Then another first for Sunbury is the Laughing Chili Christmas Party. Friday 20th December will see a comedy show, followed by a silent disco until late. With headphones, playing two styles of music you can switch between styles, from 60’s to current day. This will appeal to all ages, and will be a real fun night leading up to Christmas. What could be better for an office party outing?
Already on Facebook and Twitter, Laughing Chili has just joined Trip Advisor, and in no time at all has been gathering some lovely 5 star reviews.
The night regularly attracts a great mix of supportive regular locals, as well as new faces to the Riverside Arts Centre, who come to enjoy a real variety of acts from the UK comedy circuit.
The people of Sunbury are always a lovely and warm audience and hopefully Laughing Chili can continue to entertain them for years to come.
So if you have yet to discover Sunbury’s amazing comedy, what are you waiting for?