This week we attended our member Performing Artistes‘ New Year Speaker Drinks. We were welcomed into the London Marriott on Grosvenor Square, where we made our way through into the main ballroom. The evening began with a drinks reception, where we caught up with old friends and made some new ones all to the tunes of a fantastic string quartet.

We were then invited to sit down, and Director JJ Jackson welcomed us to the evening. He introduced our host for the night, award-winning ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, and his puppet Sam. Zerdin provided a brilliant framework to the night, clever and surprising, and as funny without his puppet as he was with it.

He shared the stage with a lineup of four great acts, kicking off with comedian Abi Carter Simpson. She was witty and warm, riffing off her day job as a music teacher and then whipping out ukulele to perform “a musical ex-boyfriend attack”. Irish comedian Neil Delamere was next, with quick-fire comedy that darts through everything from RyanAir’s infamous delays to intimidating road signs. Ria Linq has just successfully completed her first marriage, and her comedy was sharp and clever. The night ended with Abandoman, who invited three people onto the stage and improvised songs based around their first jobs and a rule they have broken.

It was a really entertaining and impressive evening, and fantastic to see the talent showcasing what they can bring to a room. We hope to see all of them appearing at events in the coming year. Thanks for having us, Performing Artistes!

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