Mark AllenCommit No Nuisance

Mark Allen's Quite Good Britain


Quite Good Britain was my debut stand up comedy show, which was first performed at the Edinburgh festival in 2006. I was also invited to perform it at a completely random event in Washington DC, as well as The Brighton Comedy Fringe and the Manchester Comedy festival. On top of all that, on 1st May 2007, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Great Britain, I performed a special version of the show for a sell-out run at The Hen and Chickens Theatre, London.

For more details about the show, including what it's about, details of the 300th anniversary special, when and where was it on and what people said about it, keep reading...

What's it all about?
On 1st May 2007, it was Great Britain’s 300th birthday. Sadly, not many people even knew about it, let alone bothered to send a card. Now in most countries, such a landmark occasion might warrant a public holiday, or a national festival, but not in Britain. No, we planned something else to celebrate. Instead, we released a commemorative £2 coin. Woo.

Was this complete apathy yet another sign of the current British identity crisis? Well if it was, I intended to take a stand. I'd been willing to overlook the fact that our monarchy is German, our national motto is French and our national animal is from Africa – that’s just quirky – but when the people of Great Britain were denied a legitimate excuse for a party, it had gone too far. It was time to review the whole thing and sort out this identity crisis once and for all.

The show was an hour of utterly smashing and surprisingly informative comedy, which aimed to allow the audience to look at evidence and decide for themselves - is Britain indeed still 'Great' or would 'Quite Good' be more appropriate?

The 300th anniversary special
To coincide with the actual 300th anniversary of Great Britain, I performed a special version of Quite Good Britain over four nights at the Hen and Chickens Theatre, Islington. It sold out every night and was very pleasing indeed.

The updated version of the show featured more of the same nonsense that had previously made it a success in Edinburgh, London, Brighton, Manchester and Washington DC, as well as featuring updated details of my correspondence with Tony Blair about the government's plans to celebrate the landmark occasion (unsurpringly, their response was a bit rubbish). There was even some bunting.

The original Quite Good Britain flyer
Have a peep at the flyer here:

  If you want to download a PDF of the whole thing click here.

Press Releases
If you are a press-type person and would like to download a press release for my show, please feel free to do so. The original Edinburgh one is here and the 300th anniversary special one is here.

When and where it was on
The original version of the show was performed on the following dates:

4th July 2006 @ Fireplace Mansion, Washington DC, USA, 8pm (PREVIEW)
17th July 2006 @ The Blue Posts, London W1, 8pm (PREVIEW)
18th July 2006 @ The Queen's Head, London W1, 8pm (PREVIEW)
26th July 2006 @ The Good Ship, Kilburn High Road, London NW6, 8pm (PREVIEW)
5th - 26th August 2006 @ Laughing Horse at Lindsay's, 15 Brunswick Street, Edinburgh
21st - 23rd October 2006 @ Marlborough Theatre, Brighton, BN2, 8pm
28th October 2006 @ Charlies, Harter St, Manchester, M1, 8pm

The Quite Good Britain 300th anniversary special was performed on the following dates:

1st - 4th May 2007 @ The Hen and Chickens, 109 St. Pauls Road, London, N1, 9:30pm
25th October 2007 @ The Marlborough Theatre, Brighton, BN2, 9:30pm

What people said about it
People have said all manner of positive things about my show, though none of them have taken the form of an actual review. Having said that, the comedy editor of Time Out did mention me in his round up of the festival. Having spent a couple of paragraphs slating someone else's show, he advised them to...

"watch Mark Allen’s ‘Quite Good Britain’ at Lindsay’s... it’s a witty and informative disquisition on the history and nature of Great Britain. Unlike their show, it’s not ego-driven... a great example of what the Fringe should be about."

For the full Time Out article, click here.

When I performed the 300th anniversary special of the show, I had some smashing press coverage from the likes of The Guardian, Metro, London Lite, The London Paper, Time Out and BBC radio 4 and BBC radio 5 Live, which was most pleasing. Here's some of what was said:

April 2007 - Metro interview for Quite Good Britain 300th anniversary special - download article
April 2007 - The London Paper interview for Quite Good Britain 300th anniversary special - download article
April 2007 - Time Out interview for Quite Good Britain 300th anniversary special - download article
April 2007 - The Guardian Guide preview for Quite Good Britain 300th anniversary special - download article

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