‘Laughing to Deaf’ Comedy Night

Three photos, left is me with John Bishop smiling, John is wearing a black turtleneck jumper. Middle is me on stage with the Comedy Store logo in background and Action on Hearing Loss pull up banner. Right is me with Russell Howard Smiling. Russell is wearing a blue jumoer and me a white tshirt with AOHL logo on

Hello!

Had a major fan-girl moment… I got to meet Russell Howard and John Bishop!

When Action on Hearing Loss announced the line up for their annual Comedy Night; ‘Laughing to Deaf’ with Russell Howard and John Bishop, among other names, I was quick at purchasing tickets!

As a profoundly deaf person, live comedy is something I never thought I’d be able to enjoy as I either need to lipread or have subtitles to understand what’s being said, so I usually watch them on TV with subtitles. When I saw that the evening was accessible including live subtitles and BSL interpreters, it was an offer too good to miss!

On Monday night, the start of Deaf Awareness Week; my boyfriend, Mum and I went along to the Comedy Store in London, and met the Action on Hearing Loss (AOHL) team.

Me smiling wearing white Tshirt with AOHL logo on. In background is comedy store logo and also AOHL banner

After chatting with them, I recognised a familiar face from Twitter, someone who I’d been in touch with since I started writing blogs, it was fellow blogger; Louise Deaf Awareness!

We started chatting for ages, and realised we had so much in common! Of course, we had to snap a photo for AOHL’s #DontBeADonut Be Deaf Aware Campaign!

Me and Louise smiling holding a big cutout of a donut

The comedy evening began with an introduction from Samantha Baines one of AOHL’s ambassadors who announced her hearing loss, and she wears hearing aids which was inspiring! Then followed with Angela Barnes, Eshaan Akbar (both of which have a form of hearing loss), along with Ed Gamble. I sat next to fellow blogger and friend of mine; Liam O’Dell – it was great to catch up!

The sketches were BSL interpreted from two interpreters along with live speech to text subtitles which were displayed on big screens near the stage. The subtitles were admittely a little slow and there were a few spelling mistakes but I do credit them for being able to caption speech that fast!

During the break, Louise and I bumped into another of AOHL’s ambassadors; Scarlette Douglas, she was so lovely! Some impressive sign language skills coming from her too!

Left is me, middle Scarlette and right Louise, all smiling

After the break followed the main headline acts; Russell Howard and John Bishop! Both of them were absolutely incredible! What struck me was John spoke about his teenage son, who has a hearing loss of his own and wears hearing aids!

As the event was a little different to their usual gigs, deafness was on everyone’s mind and it was funny to hear some deaf related jokes as it’s crucial to be able to laugh at ourselves and find humour in everyday situations!

Thanks to my boyfriend (the one who inspired me to start blogging) and Action on Hearing Loss, I had the chance to meet one of my comedy icons… Russell Howard!

(I couldn’t resist giving him a hug!)

He was so sweet, and I’m surprised I could get a word out as I was in awe! He asked what I do… I explained about my blogs and how I aim to inspire deaf young people to be proud of their deafness and hearing aids – and he said my hearing aids were cool! I nearly cried when I came out!

Russell Howard on the left wearing a blue jumper and glasses, on the right is me wearing white AOHL tshirt, both smiling

The best end to the night was chatting to John Bishop about the show, the importance of access for deaf people, and his son’s hearing loss! He was so geniune and lovely! Of course, I had to snap a photo with him!

Me on left wearing white tshirt and John on the right wearing black turtleneck jumper, both smiling

To some, it may just seem like an ordinary night out, but to feel included in a social outing like this, I can’t describe it. I’m so grateful to AOHL for organising it and for the comedians who devoted their time for a great cause. Lets hope there will be more accessible comedy shows in the future!

WHAT A NIGHT! I’ll never forget it!

Don’t forget, #DeafAwarenessWeek has just started, there’s lots going on! Hope you’re all getting involved! You may have seen a sneak peek of what Deaf Girly and I have been working on… if not, keep posted for my next blog!

Love E x

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