Sarah Millican, Chris Ramsey and Phil Jupitus have all graced the stage at The Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle – and they’re about to be joined on that list by the Foundation’s very own funny man.
On Saturday, September 23, Seymour Mace presents Mr Joe King – AKA Alex Miller – for his first ever sketch in front of a live comedy audience.
Alex, 31, has lived at the Foundation’s adult residence Chipchase House since 2012 and attends Hedleys Able 2 four days a week.
Performing at the Stand will be a dream come true for Alex, who has always had a keen interest in comedy.
“I’ve always watched a lot of comedy on TV and I’ve been lucky enough to see some of my favourite comedians live.
“Have I Got News For You and Mock the Week are two of my favourites and I’ve also seen Harry Hill and Miranda Hart live.”
Although September’s gig will be Alex’s first in front of a live comedy audience he has got another big performance under his belt already.
Alex performed a sketch at Hedleys Got Talent last November to over 200 people at the Assembly Rooms – a performance that earned some rave reviews.
Alex has cerebral palsy and autism but hopes his Stand gig will inspire other disabled people to chase their dreams.
He said: “Comedy is really important because it brings people together from all walks of life, everyone is welcome.
“When I told my mum and dad about the Stand gig they didn’t believe me at first. They thought I was actually Joe-King! I did have to pinch myself when I found out about it.
“I’d like to think that by me doing this I’m proving to other people out there like me that no matter your disability you can achieve in life.
I hope I can make people aware that you can achieve your dreams and there are no barriers to disabled people being able to perform.”
Alex is busy rehearsing his sketch with staff at Hedleys Able 2 at Orion and he has been mentored by Seymour Mace, who performs regularly at the Newcastle venue.
The support Alex has received from staff at Hedleys Able 2 has been invaluable with the team coming up with ideas to help him on the night.
“It will be a big challenge for me because of my memory loss,” Alex explained. “The staff at Able 2 have come up with ways to help me on the night and they’ve been a huge driving force behind my progress.
“I’m a mixture of nerves and excitement for the gig. Performing in front of strangers is never easy as you’re not sure how your jokes will go down but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Alex hopes his performance at the Stand will get him noticed on the comedy circuit and that it will be the first step to fulfilling him long-term goal of performing on television.
Seymour Mace presents…Mr Joe King
Saturday, September 23rd, 4:30-6:30pm
Tickets for Alex’s show are £5 and can be reserved by calling The Stand Box Office on 0191 3009700. Proceeds from the night will go to the Percy Hedley Foundation