Based in South London, Si Holland was once a singer who (through singing) became an actor who (through acting) became a comic actor who (through comic acting and singing) became a stand-up comedian. He is also a children’s playwright and a writer/editor of children’s books.
Just to confirm this innate theatricality, he schooled himself as an MC by setting up a comedy club in the basement bar of the South London Theatre Centre, in West Norwood. That was in 2005, and since then the club has become notorious as one of the most cosy, friendly, fun and welcoming clubs on the non-pro circuit.
Si has also set up a second theatre-based club at the Southwark Playhouse in London Bridge. Can you see a pattern forming?
Keen to provide a platform for the emerging talent in London (and beyond), he has focused his energy on promoting gigs on an amateur and semi-professional basis, the idea being that stage time and experience (rather than crass competitions) is the key to developing stand-up as an art form. ‘Originality, he says, stems from experimentation and free expression, rather than the need to comply with commercial (Jongleur-like) expectations.’
Meanwhile, he keeps himself connected to the circuit and plays gigs all over London and its leafy suburbs. In his first two years he has racked up a huge number of tasty gigs, hosting and supporting established comics such Josie Long, Jo Brand, Russell Kane and Simon Munnery.
Preferring to avoid competitions (see above) his only real accolade is that he is ‘well known and well liked’ among the comedians he has met, booked and performed alongside. He pledges to continue in his quest to ‘be successful through being bloody nice’. When asked to say something pithy of himself, his most succinct way of summing it up was to say:
‘I am a small component in a much larger idea.’
Enough said. Drawing from his theatre background, Si’s strength is in punctual, exacting delivery, meticulously analysing what’s around him, what confuses him, and what obsesses him. And boy, is he one obsessed little puppy!
“Intellectual: an urban version of The Archers.” -- Mackenzie Taylor
“A very exciting and original stand-up who calls from his theatrical background to deliver some stunning gags. Very comfortable on stage with an easy-going manner, yet highly pedantic in his hilarious observational deconstructions.” -- www.hecklerscomedy.com