Stand up Spotlight: Charming the Audience with Connor Armitstead

With his quiet confidence and the ability to win over an audience with the first punchline, it’s hard to believe that Portsmouth-based comic Connor Armitstead only started stand up last September. In fact in the last ten months Connor has already performed fifty gigs, including one in Cannes, France and runs his own stand up nights in Gosport  under the 50Fifty Entertainment 
banner – “we have an Open Mic new act/new material night, and 18+ showcase and a 12a rated show where comics can come do clean sets to broaden their skill set.”  It’s safe to say that he’s serious about making people laugh.
Connor has always been interested in the entertainment industry and
even auditioned for the X Factor in 2009. But it’s on the stage telling jokes where he really hits the right notes.However, stand up was something he got into by chance:
 “One evening I went to a local comedy show in Portsmouth and managed to convince myself that I could do that. I asked the promoter (Michael Frankland) to put me on his next show and he said no – BUT offered to take
 me to an Open Mic night in Brighton. I had my first gig for Kayo Opebiyi at Junkyard Dogs – and told no one it was my first time. I loved the rush of getting my first laugh and have stuck with it ever since.”
Whether he’s  cracking cracker style jokes or making himself the butt of the joke  ( “I’ve inherited quite a few things from my mum, the main one being her tits”), Connor’s cheerful and down to earth persona has the audience warming to him instantly. It doesn’t matter if he’s got a proper stage or a corner in a noisy pub to perform in, Armitstead stands his ground and makes the most of his performances by making the audience feel like supportive, if not at times verbally abusive friends. And whilst many fledgling comedians dread heckles, Connor is as unphased as a seasoned professional and even thrives on the audience participation. In fact, he uses it to his advantage and incorporates it into his act as much as possible, by getting the audience to randomly select one liners to end on and even helping them out with their love life. When Connor is on stage it doesn’t feel like it’s a case of audience and performer, but rather a conversation between old friends. 

It’s fair to say that Connor has come a long way in his first year. As his confidence on stage grows and his routine tightens, I can only imagine that his second year in stand up will be his biggest and funniest yet.

Catch Connor on  28th August at Kingfisher Caravan Park at Lee-on-the-Solent, or go alone to his comedy nights at The Seahorse Pub in Gosport on  9th August (Open Mic) and 12th August (showcase night). Or find him on YouTube at  Connor Armitstead .

 

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