A MONTHLY comedy club at St John’s aiming to bring some of the biggest comics on the circuit to Woking has had its ambitious plans stalled by the coronavirus outbreak.

Heathcote’s Comedy Club is run by Ben Heathcote, an experienced actor who has appeared in the West End, in TV series and on film.

Ben, who lives in West End, where he and his wife Danielle are house parents at Gordon’s School, acts as compere, sometimes playing guitar and singing comic songs at the club held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Rowbarge pub.

For now, though, he has been left frustrated, with the April gig postponed and the May date in danger of going the same way.

Ben, though, is no stranger to difficult circumstances, having spent 10 days in June last year entertaining the troops in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan was a massive eye-opener. We flew from Brize Norton to Dubai, took a C-17 military cargo plane and then helicopters to the bases,” Ben said.

He received training in how to get out of a vehicle if it was overturned by a roadside bomb and other safety and security briefings.

“We were transported by helicopter, but one day there was a huge storm and it looked like we would have to be driven through Kabul in armoured vehicles. Fortunately, the skies cleared and the helicopters arrived,” Ben said.

He said he enjoyed bringing comedy to the troops and was very happy to be running his own show near his home.

Heathcote’s Comedy Club has featured stand-up stars such as Nathan Caton, Ben Norris, Maff Brown and Rich Wilson. Ben said some of the biggest names make unannounced appearances in between big tours or TV work.

Ben’s stage work has included Dickens Unplugged and The Three Musketeers, Tonight’s The Night, in which he played Stu (Rod Stewart), Mamma Mia! and The Lion King.

 He was in the TV comedy Way to Go as well as Truckers and Peak Practice, and voiced a character in the recent film Mary Poppins Returns.

For the full story get the 26 March edition of the News & Mail