Ben Van der Velde is a stand-up comedian, actor, improviser and presenter, who, over the past few years, has spread joy and nonsense to all four corners of the British Isles, as well as Greece, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Norway.
He is a regular host and act for respected British comedy clubs such as The Stand, Komedia, The Backyard, Covent Garden Comedy Club, Outside the Box, the Frog & Bucket, Comedy Club 4 Kids, Off the Kerb and The Comedy Café, as well as hosting stages for Bestival, Festival No.6 and Sunday Papers Live. He also has experience of performing at RAF Bases, large corporate events, hosting comedy workshops and doing audience warm-up for Deal Or No Deal. On top of that, he has taken commissions to perform a voodoo re-marriage ceremony, founded the Church of the Holy Kazoo with comedy legend Mark Thomas, walked the entire London Underground network to raise money for The Refugee Council and even took part in experiments at The Royal Society that revealed him to have the most infectious laugh of any human, rat or monkey.
Ben is a regular performer at the Edinburgh Festival, where he has performed three critically-acclaimed shows: Chain Letter, Strudelhead, Barbarians and Sidekick. In 2016 his most recent show received 5 and 4 star reviews, whilst several of jokes made it into lists of ‘Best Joke at the Fringe’ compiled by The Scotsman, i-News and The Huffington Post.
Ben has amassed a few residencies as an MC; most notably at Really Lovely Comedy and the legendary Free Beer Show, where he has featured alongside acts such as Omid Djalili, Reginald D. Hunter, Sarah Millican, Jim Jefferies and Andrew Maxwell . Ben is currently helmsman of the Chortle Award-winning Good Ship Comedy Club in CamdenTown, where he can be seen spinning webs of nonsense and good humour every Monday from 8pm. (http://www.goodshipcomedy.com)
He is also a skilled actor and has worked with the likes of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Finchley Arts Depot and fronted VISA‘s online campaign for the 2010 World Cup. He is also available for voiceover work.
CRITICAL PRAISE FOR BEN:
“A sharp and crafty gagsmith, with wittily obtuse takes on…an impressively wide range of topics…bringing flair and confidence to them all.” Steve Bennett, Chortle
“Whipsharp…with an air of mischievous mayhem…his hit rate is impressive, while his in-the-moment style creates a buzz of excitement in the room…a life-giving compere.” Steve Bennett, Chortle
“Highly promising…an accomplished comic.” Time Out
“Wonderfully improvised riffs showcasing his impressive spontaneity and sharp tongue.” Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
“He must have one of the highest jokes-per-hour counts in Edinburgh this month.” ***** Reviews Hub
“Turns lazy stereotypes and political messes into biting, personal, satire.” **** Ed Fringe Review
“The perfect comedy club host – he is a master of audience interaction. The audience weren’t just warmed up, but pretty hysterical even before the first act of the night hit the stage.” Huffington Post
“On flights of fancy, he pushes ideas to extremes and displays a crackling, spontaneous energy in which we’re swept up.” Fest
“Exquisite comic timing…wonderfully clownish physical comedy.” British Theatre Guide
“brilliantly funny and well-formed set…a likeably bold comedian.” Gigglebeats
“A stunningly quick wit.” Spoonfed
“Flaunted his razor-sharp wit to hilarious effect leaving the audience bent over double.” Three Weeks