I have, in the past, remarked on the lack of a obvious cultural life in Stowmarket. So, you can imagine my surprise when my stepdaughter, Sally, invited us to the inaugural Comedy Club at the Regal, Stowmarket's premier entertainment venue.
Compered by James Redmond, formerly of Hollyoaks and Casualty, comedians Ali Cook, Diane Spencer and Robin Ince had the responsibility of trying to make Stowmarket laugh.
Ali Cook does a comedy magic act, and the magic is pretty good, at least from the perspective of a sceptic like me. Alright, some of the references to obscure(ish) sexual acts might have been a bit cosmopolitan for mid-Suffolk (at least he avoided the obviously tempting sheep gags), but he was good enough.
After the interval (very impressed by the bar prices, I must say), Diane Spencer told jokes about her former career as a drama teacher in Yeovil, her acting career in New Zealand TV adverts and kept the momentum going.
However, the best was saved for last, our headline act, Robin Ince, whose stream of consciousness, delivered at high speed, mixed politics and children, the sadness of those women who moon out of the windows of stretch limos and much, much more.
The Regal is a great venue for a comedy club, just big enough to be economically viable, but small enough to feel fairly intimate and allow the performers to work the audience. The next comedy night will be on 29 August and, if you're in Stowmarket, or even close by, I would recommend it. For more information about films and live shows at the Regal, click here.