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New Variety Lives

Directors of NATYS: New Acts of the Year Showcase and the Ludgershall Comedy Club and custodians of the CAST New Variety archive, hold a long track record of commitment to promoting innovative live comedy; having created a London-wide circuit in the 80’s, saved and programmed the Hackney Empire Theatre for 20 years and established the NATYS as the most important stepping stone for emerging comedic talent.


New Variety Lives believes a variety of acts on any given comedy show provides for the most successful entertainment. The format of ‘a bill of acts and a compere’, which introduces a diverse range of comic ideas, presentation styles and original content, makes for the best experience and offers a wide range of audiences a well rounded variety evening.


NATYS: New Acts of the Year Showcase


‘... the most important new talent showcase in the country’ The Guardian 


The long running annual search for the next generation of comedy acts to freshen up and challenge the comedy scene 

From a run of public audition shows, a bill of 12 acts are booked to perform the NATYS Showcase. From stand up to speciality, sketch to musical comedy and poetry to magic, they present, in their own unique way, five minutes of a comedy piece, which has the potential to become a bookable, twenty minute routine, and displays the act’s commitment to original comedy performance.  


‘Always one of the most fun (and often most bizarre)...’ Time Out 

On their quest into the world of live popular entertainment, they follow in the footsteps of a Wikipedia of previous NATYS generations, including:  Linda Smith, Nina Conti, Russell Brand, Micky Flanagan, Stewart Lee, Gina Yashere, Men in Coats, Francesca Martinez, President Obonjo, Imran Yusuf, Njambi McGrath and Spencer Jones

‘...a reputation for providing the most eclectic final...’ Chortle 


‘...most important show of the year for new comedy & variety talent’ - The Stage

CAST New Variety Archive


60 years of CAST (Cartoon Archetypical Slogan Theatre) inspired alternative theatre has served as catalysts to many constructive ideas and contributions to popular culture . 


CAST locates its roots at Camden’s pioneering Unity Theatre, a not for profit that enabled a new movement of independent working class artists to inspire a whole new generation. Unity Theatre is an important link to the tradition of non commercial alternative and popular theatre. They pioneered Brecht, O Casey, Paul Robson and the first generation of working class actors, as well as reviving the tradition of Music Hall. They inspired CAST to expand its outreach and engagement with various communities and popular movements, and to realise the cultural and social relevancy of its artistic work’s reflection on contemporary issues.


Joint Artistic Directors, Roland & Claire Muldoon are the continuum through CAST’s historical cultural journey, from the CAST Theatre left-wing troupe, to CAST New Variety pioneer producers and promoters of alternative comedy to groundbreaking game changers at the Hackney Empire

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