Photo of David McGuinness

My name is David McGuinness. I promote and host a weekly, free night of standup at the White Hart in Stoke Newington, every Thursday from 7pm to 9pm. I'm also a comedian, open mic level but doing all I can to hone the minutes I have so that I can "graduate" to clubs and to supporting bigger comedians, down the line.

As White Hart Comedy is an early show, this gives some acts the chance to do our show and then go and do a show elsewhere, thus getting twice the amount of stage time each night than they otherwise would have gotten.

Our nights are currently unpaid, but we offer half the bucket collection split to our performers, with our 20 minute closing acts getting 20% of the collection once we have taken our half. The rest of the acts then get, generally, about 10% of the remaining funds. It doesn't often amount to much, but we want to support comedy and comedians as much as possible so even if we're only covering a comedian's travel expenses with the bucket collection, that means the act has gained more stage time and experience and aren't themselves out of pocket.

We also have an ongoing relationship with the charity Noah's Ark Children's hospice. Each week, a portion of our bucket collection goes to the charity. This comes out of our half of the weekly bucket collection and acts are welcome, if they so choose, to also donate their split from the bucket to the charity, as well. But they are by no means obligated to do so and should not feel guilty if they'd rather not.

We've tried to make our venue as good for standup as we can, but at its heart it is just a room above a pub and does have limitations. Despite this, we feel the night is a decent show for comedians to come and do time. And anyway, we're brand new - week to week, we will make changes where changes need to be made and there will be ongoing improvement. We are currently fully booked for comedians through to the end of June, but can now take bookings from comedians who want 5, 10 or 15 minute spots in July.

As a comedian myself, I am just returning to the scene after not having performed for a few years. In that respect, I am essentially a newbie. So, I'm looking to book 5 minute spots wherever I can get them!