QED Comedy Lab (www.qedcomedylab.co.uk) is a comedy collective that began in the US but now produces and runs comedy shows in and around Oxford. Founder Matthew Chadourne first had the idea of creating experimental comedy shows in 2014 when he lived in the US, and the first QED Comedy Lab performance premiered at the Pilot Light in Knoxville on 18th August 2014. Matthew left the US in January 2017 and started producing comedy shows in Oxford with “a whole new group of hilarious comedic minds.”
Matthew explains: “we specialise in creating unique comedy experiences by making shows that provide talented comedians an outlet for new avenues of creative expression.” Each experimental comedy show will have a particular theme or structure that requires the comedians to think quick and use a mixture of performance types including stand-up, improv comedy, and comedy writing, to master the challenge. This means each and every of QED Comedy Lab’s shows are unique and as Matthew puts it: “very fun and interactive for the audiences and performers alike and offer a night out like no other”.
Growing from one monthly show to an entire comedy festival
QED Comedy Lab have managed to successfully grow their comedy performance from just one monthly theme show to multiple shows with different themes and concepts across Oxford, within just over a year. Excitingly, they have organised a comedy festival, the ‘Oxford Festival Fringe Preview Comedy Festival’ in June and July which offers an impressive 30 different comedy shows over 35 days.
Our experimental comedy shows have a theme or structure that the performers have to master or overcome using a combination of stand-up, improv comedy, comedy writing, and other performance types.
This is just the start for the QED Comedy Lab as they begin to showcase comedians not just in Oxford but across the UK, as Matthew explains: “we utilise the talent in Oxford but we are now starting to draw in amazing comedians from all over the UK for our shows”, with QED concepts being seen in multiple comedy clubs and festivals.
Promoting comedy events online
The slick website is used to promote the up and coming comedy shows and performances in one place as well as offering visitors a hub where they can find information on the business and all the different ways they can get involved, from attending an event, to contacting Matthew through an online form, or joining the social media communities.
Matthew sums up what the website offers visitors: “the website is there to promote the brand and provide information about who we are, what we do, upcoming shows, and where to get tickets for those shows.”
Alongside listing all the upcoming events complete with descriptions, imagery, and information or links to ticket details, the website also features a media page which showcases some short video clips demonstrating the witty and quick-thinking comedians who are taking part in some of the fantastic shows, as well as photos of the people involved.
The website works well alongside the Facebook page and is a valuable asset as Matthew explains: “prior to having a website, all our organisation’s information was on Facebook. I think the website makes us look more professional and provides a convenient location for people to get all the information they need about us and our shows.”
Our .co.uk domain helps to convey that we are part of the community here in the UK.
QED Comedy Lab has a presence across multiple social networks, although it uses Facebook the most to promote events. By using Facebook event listings QED Comedy Lab can promote upcoming shows in a format that allows people to register their interest and find all the essential information without leaving the platform. They are also gathering some excellent customer reviews on Facebook and are successfully using the social network to respond to customer queries and messages.
Alongside producing new comedy shows and festivals across Oxfordshire and the UK, Matthew is also aiming to work on the website’s SEO and increasing the amount of valuable content online to drive more attendance to the performances.
Matthew’s advice to other small business about getting online? “Be patient when growing your online following, if you just keep doing good work people will eventually find you.”