A brand new comedy night is aiming to put Swindon on the map when it comes to laughter.

For the last few months, on the first Wednesday of every month, people have been gathering in a strange room above The Hop Inn pub to see the Old Town Comedy Club - the brainchild of local comic Sam Michael. 

He has created the evening of entertainment with the aim of showcasing up-and-coming talent, giving comedy newcomers a friendly place to test material and allowing established headline acts to preview new shows. 

"I've been doing stand-up and travelling all over the country for just over five years now but I've lived in Swindon pretty much all that time and there's never really been a 'comedy scene' here," said Sam. 

He compared the town to neighbouring places like Bristol, Oxford, Reading, Bath and even Salisbury which he says all boast a very active and thriving comedy scene.

Swindon Advertiser: Mock the Week's Fiona Allen headlining an Old Town Comedy Club showMock the Week's Fiona Allen headlining an Old Town Comedy Club show (Image: Old Town Comedy Club)
"It was recently stated that there were around 300 active up-and-coming comics in Bristol, so I was amazed to move to Swindon to find I was one of... 2! That number has grown however in five years... to 3!"

To fix that, Sam and a friend called Mike Kohlweg set up independent comedy clubs in the town, a pro night at Kioki and a grassroots night at The Hop.

"I wanted that gritty grassroots feel to The Old Town Comedy Club so that it was like nothing else in Swindon," he said. 

"I'm a Swindon lad, this has been my home for a good few years now and ultimately, I want Swindon Old Town Comedy club to help create a scene here that will one day stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Oxford, Reading and even Bristol."

Some of the acts that have performed include Mock the Week and Smack The Pony star Fiona Allen, Jonathan Elston, Britain's Got Talent Finalist Nick Page and BBC New Comedian of the year Award finalist Tom Little. 

Swindon Advertiser: Sam MichaelSam Michael (Image: Sam Michael)

These acts are then supported by new comedians, some doing their first or second-ever shows and many of them from Swindon. 

But, even with well-established comedy names on the card, tickets for the event are always only £5, something that Sam has committed to retaining going forward, even when performing in the Christ Church as part of Old Town's Beer Festival. 

"It's nice to see these comedy nights grow in popularity already, and attract more comedians to Swindon! The big dream is to one day launch a Swindon Comedy Festival, but one step at a time," he added.

For more information visit the club's Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100088331096576