John-Paul Stephenson

The Stand release charity comedy book

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Image: The Stand’s Kris Holland with The Small Book of Stories

The Stand have released a book of Christmas-themed short stories to support a Newcastle-based addiction charity.

The Small Book of Stories features 15 short stories written by comedians who regularly play at the venue on High Bridge in Newcastle, with all proceeds going towards the North East Council on Addictions (NECA).

Comedians who have contributed to the book include Lost Voice Guy, Viz co-founder Simon Donald, and BBC Newcastle’s Alfie Joey, alongside Sod the Tories regulars John Scott, Katherine Tanney and John Whale.

Contributor Alex Collier, who has produced Mr Drayton’s Dinner Date at The Stand, said: “To be asked to write a story for this book, alongside all of my favourite, vastly talented comedians of the Stand was like having all my Christmasses come along at once.

“It’s great that it’s raising money for such a good cause as well – not only will you have a better Christmas if you get this book, but you’ll also help to make others have a better Christmas too, which really, is what it’s all about at this time of the year.

“Take no notice of those adverts with Dec and Ant in them; it’s the perfect stocking filler for people with feet shaped like books.”

NECA, which was established in 1974 to support those struggling with alcoholism, now operates with the mission statement “to reduce physical, psychological or social harm resulting from alcohol, drug abuse and gambling.”

The book is the brainchild of The Stand’s Kris Holland, who chose to support the charity because some North East comedians have used the NECA’s services.

Holland says that proceeds from the book and one of the venue’s desserts – Seymour’s American peanut pie – will help the charity’s resources.

Seymour Mace, who recently appeared in the BBC sitcom Hebburn, illustrated the book and contributed a short story.

Mace told Giggle Beats: “I think the book is a fantastic idea and a great way to raise awareness for a charity like NECA who’ve helped tons of people, including me, with addiction issues.”

Mace will host a special show at The Stand on 23 December, Twas the Night Before, Before Christmas, during which many of the contributors will read from the book.

The book was designed by Lotti, a designer based in Durham, who runs the website

She said: “When I heard about this book I knew straight away that it was something I’d love to be involved with and pestered The Stand until they gave in and let me design the cover and the book.

“Doubly rewarding too as I’m now satisfied I’ve done my bit for charity and so can now go to the high street shopping for a party dress which has probably been made somewhere in Bangladesh by an orphan.”

The Small Book of Stories, priced £5, is available online, or in person at The Stand, Newcastle. The live show, Twas the Night Before, Before Christmas,  is also at The Stand on 23 December (7pm), with tickets available online.