Last Wednesday, a constellation of comedy stars performed at the Eventim Apollo’s one off Stand Up in Action benefit to raise money for Action-Aid and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the charities providing aid in response to the global refugee crisis.
The night included routines by Jo Brand (Getting On, GBBO An Extra Slice) , Jack Whitehall (Fresh Meat, Bad Education), Russell Howard (Russell Howard’s Good News), Reginald D Hunter (Reginald D Hunter’s Songs of the South), and Dara O’Briain (Mock the Week) amongst others.
Russell Howard stole the show with political anger and stories about his mum
It’s a testament to the importance of the issue that the organisers were able to put together such a famous line up.
Greg Davies (Man Down, The Inbetweeners) acted as host, regaling the audience with short anecdotes, previously included in his Edinburgh Festival show ‘Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog’audience favourites included ‘The S&M Dog’ and the various tales of ‘Rachel the Slag’ in between acts.
Reusing old material was the common theme, unsurprising since the whole gig was organized in three weeks. Russell Howard stole the show with a set combining righteous political anger with stories about his mum, all delivered with a brilliant comedic timing, mix familiar to fans of Russell Howard’s Good News.
Most of the comics played it safe, perhaps mindful that they were performing to raise money for charity and not to create headlines (and ticket sales) with outrageous view. Reginald D Hunter, no stranger to controversy, seemed not to have got the memo; his jokes seemingly justifying the actions of Bill Cosby deservedly fell flat.
The night is estimated to have made over £100,000 funds both Action Aid and UNHCR desperately need in order to help relieve the suffering of refugees crossing Europe’s borders and remaining in the Middle East.
Action Aid has focused its efforts on Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and is also giving out information to refugees arriving by boat to Lesbos. The UNHCR have deployed emergency personnel to provide safety to refugees travelling through Europe, and has helped over 60 million displaced people across the world.