Two comedy acts from Hackney are following in Eddie Izzard’s footsteps and through to next week’s NATY final

PUBLISHED: 22:43 20 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:51 20 January 2013

Stuart Hossack from Haggerston who is through to the final of the New Act of the Year 2013

Stuart Hossack from Haggerston who is through to the final of the New Act of the Year 2013


Two acts from Hackney have made it through to the grand finale of an illustrious comedy competition which has seen the likes of Eddie Izzard, Alan Davies, Matt Lucas and Russell Brand competing in the past.

The New Act of the Year (NATY) competition is now in its 30th year, and showcases the best emerging talent in the comedy world.

Stand ups Tony Marrese, who was born and bred in Stoke Newington and now lives in Haringey and Stuart Hossack who lives in Haggerston Road are both down to the final 16 - picked from 175 contenders.

‘Grumpy Old Man’ Arthur Smith will host the final in the Bloomsbury Theatre as each act performs a five minute routine, from a range of styles which go across the comedy spectrum, from musical, sketch, poetry and novelty to stand-up.

Tony Marrese’s performance is based on his Italian home life whilst growing up in Hackney.

“I blend surreal, character and straight stand-up to tell my tales of inner city life, from rapping to getting a kebab, it’s all in the mix,” he said.

“Stand up is a great way of truly developing oneself as a performer, it’s one of the most raw of all the performing arts. It’s a journey where you can truly find out who you are.

“I’ll be a bit nervous, but not as nervous as I would be if I was going into a gladiatorial battle with lions and gladiators armed with tridents and other spiky stuff, thats what I’ll keep telling myself.”

Meanwhile, Stuart Hossack, whose act will focus on the ‘warped philosophy’ of a motivational speaker, is “walking on sunshine” to be through to the final.

“I think stand up is probably the second most important thing anyone could dedicate their lives to, after footy,” he said.

The final takes place at the Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street next Sunday January 27.

Tickets cost £12.50 or £10 for concessions. Call 020 7388 8822 or see

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hackney Gazette