Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket’s Playground of comedy



PHUKET: Utterly uproarious and mind-bendingly brilliant is the usual hilarious result when a group of talented comedians improvise a sketch based on a random scenario pieced together by a willing audience.

Phuket has its willing audience and this month the Punchline Comedy Club provides the comedic talent when they present their biggest show yet – the live stage show of the original British TV hit, Whose Line is it Anyway? starring four of the shows stars: Andy Smart, Stephen Frost, Steve Steen and Ian Coppinger.

Having already staged this show in Hong Kong to sell out crowds, John Moorhead, the Punchline Comedy Club creator, is certain fans of comedy in Phuket will roll up in the same fashion when the show arrives here in February.

The show Whose Line is it Anyway? was a massive hit in the UK for over a decade and now enjoys the same success in the USA after Channel 4 sold the show to NBC. For strangers to the program, five performers pit their wits against the audience by playing out scenarios in a style and setting of their choice. The whole show is totally improvised from the Shakespearean scenes to the Broadway musicals. The only difference is the audience decides what the performers say and sing about.

A selection of reviews range from, “They are all pure geniuses,” by The South China Morning Post to “Pure talent, better than the TV show,” said The Times. “Performed with a spectacular flair that can only be described as magical,” opined The Daily Telegraph.

Each of the visiting personalities is an established star of comedy in a wide range of fields from acting to writing.

The following is a brief background to each, but from next week the Gazette will publish an exclusive interview with each of the performers in the lead up to next month’s exciting event.

Stephen Frost is an English comedian and is well known for his work in the 1980s with Mark Arden as part of their double act, The Oblivion Boys as seen on Saturday Live. Veterans of the alternative comedy scene, he and Arden appeared in The Young Ones and later had their own TV series Lazarus and Dingwall on BBC2.

The duo also appeared in a series of British TV advertisements ending with the catchphrase “I bet he drinks Carling Black Label”.

In addition to playing two small roles in the acclaimed Blackadder series, and a cameo in Mr Bean Rides Again, Frost has appeared on Radio 4’s Just a Minute, and Whose Line Is It Anyway?. He has appeared on three episodes of Have I Got News for You and on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Andy Smart, born in Southsea, birthplace of Peter Sellers, spent his childhood overseeing the Pontoon and Poker Card School, at Farnborough Grammar, and running bets for his grandmother who had been a seven card stud dealer.

After working on several productions as a writer/actor, Andy’s introduction to street entertainment found foothold in the Spanish town of Pamplona, where he has returned every year since to join the renowned spectacle the Running of the Bulls.

On retuning to England, Andy performed at Covent Garden. Then in 1983 he met Angelo Abela and together they formed the popular Vicious Boys a successful comedy duo that lasted 17 years. They apparently split up due to sophistic differences. A new career in comedy including stints at the Edinburgh Festival and a tour with the Iranian football ball team has led Andy on a path of many laughs and now has been performing as a guest with the Comedy Store Players for 13 years and has been a permanent member since 1995.

As a member of the “Steve Frost Impro All Stars”, he has performed in 28 consecutive Edinburgh Festivals, as well as in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and USA.

Andy was also part of the all comedian version of “The Twelve Angry Men” which went on to tour in Australia and New Zealand. He has also performed in Edinburgh with “Paul Merton’s Impro Chums”. This year he will be organizing the First Annual Poker Tournament for comics at the Gilded Balloon.

Steve Steen began his career at the Oval House Theatre Club in 1972 with his lifelong friend and working partner Jim Sweeney, basically doing shows that sent up all the other shows they had seen that year, a cheap stunt that paid dividends later.

He performed as one of the Baron’s minions in a show called A Feast of Fools, with such luminaries as Pierce Brosnan and John Ratzenberger, better known as Cliff the postman in the hit TV show Cheers. This transferred to the Roundhouse for a successful London run.

Steve continued his work at the Oval House theater, squeezing in a couple of Shakespeare productions with the likes of Tim Roth.

A spell in prison beckoned when in 1979 he was banged up in Porridge, the film spin-off from the TV series. Upon his release he went on to co-present the acclaimed children’s show CBTV for Thames TV from 1981-1984.

Steve and Jim starred in Channel 4’s first home-grown comedy series Little Armadillos, directed by Bob Spiers. Rory Bremner grabbed him for his debut series on BBC 2 and three years of mimicry followed.

Throw into that melting pot with The Kenny Everett Show, Carrott Confidential, Saturday Night Live, Wogan, Blackadder the Third, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Red Dwarf, Spitting Image, and you get the idea – you name it he’s done it.

Ian Coppinger returns to Phuket from his stand-up performance here in October. One of Ireland’s busiest comedians, Ian has performed to packed houses on four continents, including yearly appearances at the famous Kilkenny “Cat Laughs” comedy festival in Ireland, the Edinburgh Festival, the Adelaide Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Ian has improvised with the popular Second City from Chicago, Whose Line Is It Anyway, The Comedy Store Players and Theatresports. He also shares two hit radio shows on RTE with The Comedy Improv Radio Show.

Among his plaudits are “a very funny man…the next Irish comedian to make it on the international circuit,” by fellow comedian Rich Hall, “a sophisticated Billy Connolly,” by The Irish Times and “pound for pound the funniest human being to have existed anywhere ever,” by Hot Press Magazine.

Show Details
When: Wednesday Feb 29
Doors: 8pm
Show: 8:30pm
Where: Holiday Inn Resort, Patong Beach, Phuket
Tickets: 1,200 baht / Special Price – 960 baht until February 22.

Ticket Outlets:

  • Chalong: Woody’s Sandwich Shoppe.
  • Koh Kaew: RPM Health Club.
  • Patong: Woody’s Sandwich Shoppe.
  • Patong: Shakers Restaurant
  • Cherng Talay: Gitano restaurant.
  • Pa Khlok: Gitano restaurant.

Visit for a full list of outlets, or call 089-646 9278.

— Neil Quail


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok12 hours ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

World12 hours ago

China not cod-ing about its zero Covid policy as it tests fish

Travel12 hours ago

Affordable but stylish hotels in Koh Samui for your next holiday

Thailand13 hours ago

Female soldier seeks help after being abused by senator’s wife

Crime13 hours ago

2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime14 hours ago

Man stabs wife’s secret lover to death in rice paddy in central Thailand

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime15 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video16 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

World16 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand17 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand18 hours ago

2 men on a motorcycle rob a gas station in Chon Buri

Thailand18 hours ago

PM Prayut suggests studying Buddhism to cope with rising electricity bills in Thailand

Thailand18 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11