Edinburgh 2013: Chain Letter

Venue: Underbelly, Bristo Square – Clover
Time: 4:10PM
Dates: 31st Jul – 25th Aug (not 12th)

bvdv chain letter poster - cropped

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Ben Van Der Velde debuts his hour show at this year’s Edinburgh Festival with a show titled ‘Chain Letter’ at the Underbelly’s Bristo Square Clover Room. Overwhelmed by the quick-fire world of texting and social media, Ben decided to re-discover the lost art of letter writing and start his own chain letter, but not one of those annoying passive-aggressive ones. This letter was five foot six, had curly hair and called Ben. Four letters were dispatched to long lost friends and Ben followed their trails. Find out what happened next… (P&P Not included)

As one of the UK circuit’s most promising acts, Ben Van der Velde seamlessly engages with every audience, creating an enthused energy with his absurd takes on everyday life. Playful and quick-witted, he delivers his collection of ridiculous tales from Goth fishing to waxing Stuart Little, there is no subject too daft for Ben’s radar! Mixing his invention with trademark off-the-cuff interaction, ‘Chain Letter’ showcases Ben’s talent for blending storytelling and well-researched anecdotes in the vein of Dave Gorman and Chris Addison.

Ben’s first foray into comedy was back in the warm-hearted, frozen-toed wastelands of Newcastle, showing off his skills as a character actor in his primary school’s production of Snow White and the Seventeen Dwarves, playing dwarves 12-16 (Grumpy, Clumsy, Yuppy and Woozy.) Twenty years on he still struggles to shake off at least two of those titles. He first came to the Edinburgh Festival as a founder member of the acclaimed Oxford Imps, spinning nonsense yarns with other Imp alumni such as Robin & Partridge and Rachel Parris. In 2008 Ben graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama, leading him to work with the likes of the West Yorkshire Playhouse and exciting new company Parrot {in the} Tank, as well as starring in a short film which was a finalist in the Straight 8 film competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2011 Ben was named Comedy Cafe New Act of the Year and subsequently garnered coveted hosting roles in 2012 that included the Big Value Comedy Showcase shows at the Edinburgh Festival and the comedy tents at both Bestival and Festival No.6.  

Ben is a regular circuit MC having also delivered his skilful wit for Really Lovely Comedy and the Free Beer Show where he has compered for top acts such as Omid Djalili, Reginal.D.Hunter, Sarah Millican, Tom Stade, Brendon Burns, Jim Jefferies and Andrew Maxwell, making him one of the most sought after hosts on the circuit.

“…Highly promising” TIME OUT

“…a sharp and crafty gagsmith, with wittily obtuse takes on an impressively wide range of topics bringing flair and confidence to them all.” CHORTLE

“…exquisite comic timing…wonderfully clownish physical comedy.” BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE

“a stunningly quick wit.” SPOONFED