Comedy Against Living Miserably: EartH hosts three special shows in aid of mental health charity

Nish Kumar headlined the first of three Comedy Against Living Miserably shows last week. Picture: Su

Nish Kumar headlined the first of three Comedy Against Living Miserably shows last week. Picture: Supplied. - Credit: Archant

Nish Kumar hosted the first of three free gigs at Dalston’s EartH last week, as Dave TV and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) join forces to champion the latter’s work. The next two shows, which are also at EartH, are on December 18 and 19.

"I couldn't sleep. I was on the booze. I was having suicidal thoughts for the first time."

When James Acaster chose to speak so candidly about his mental anguish on TalkSport radio earlier this year, there was audible shock from presenters Alan Brazil and Dean Saunders.

In the face of, let's be frank, some insensitive questioning, it felt like Acaster was giving his hosts a lesson. "Mental health is something we all need to look after," he explained, "even if we're not having a meltdown."

Mental health and the world of stand-up comedy have combined once more at EartH, on Stoke Newington Road, where the first of three Comedy Against Living Miserably gigs was held last week (November 21).

It's a partnership from the comedy channel Dave and suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), where the four comedians on the bill - Nish Kumar, Seann Walsh, Darren Harriott and Suzi Ruffell - donated their fee to the charity.

Each of the comics discussed their personal mental health stories before starting their routines, touching upon the pressures of a career that involves making people laugh even when you feel sad.

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Comedy Against Living Miserably returns to Hackney for two further shows in December (18 and 19) where a new group of comedians will also share their stories.

Simon Gunning, the CEO of CALM, said: "We've seen how comedy can be an effective vehicle for conversations around mental health, suicide, and being there for your mates when things get tough.

"This series of events, in collaboration with our friends at Spirit Media and the brilliant comics who are on board, will promise bags of fun with an important message underneath."

This isn't the first time that Dave and CALM have joined forces. Their collaborative 'Be the Mate You'd Want' campaign from last year saw them encourage viewers to pick up their phones during an advert break. However, rather than vacantly drifting between Facebook and Twitter, then Instagram and work emails, the campaign asked viewers to call a friend and check in with them instead.

Although line-ups for the next two gigs haven't yet been confirmed, it'll still be worth your while - tickets are free.

Any funds raised from the three shows will go towards CALM's fight against suicide; the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

Statistics from CALM's Masculinity Audit of 2016 showed that just 55 per cent of men who have experienced depression will tell anyone about it, compared with 67 per cent of women.

CALM's free, anonymous helpline and webchat are open every day between 5pm and midnight. More details are here.

Visit for tickets to the December gigs.