Bring Your Own Baby Comedy at Orchard Theatre, Dartford

by Ed McConnell

Having a baby no longer means missing out on having a good laugh.

Bring Your Own Baby Comedy, which is coming to Dartford's Orchard Theatre next month, allows mums and dads to enjoy some of the best comedians on the circuit without worrying about childcare.

Started in a 30-seater function room above a pub in Beckenham two years ago by best friends and professional comedians Carly Smallman and Alyssa Kyria, BYOB seeks to tackle loneliness and depression, allowing parents to feel like themselves again, get out of the house, and have a much needed laugh.

The comedians performing their usual adult material at BYOB events, which is why there's a 12 month age limit for babies
The comedians performing their usual adult material at BYOB events, which is why there's a 12 month age limit for babies

Its shows now run at 18 venues across the South, with plans to move into Manchester and Liverpool. By the end of the year it is hoped BYOB will play at more than 20 locations.

Alyssa, 38, from Bromley, said: "When I first had Lola, now three, I really noticed how isolated I felt. I was nervous to go out because I didn't know how I'd react if she screamed or whether I could breast feed.

"The great thing about our shows is there's no judgement. Parents can come and feel normal again. We've got play areas and bottle warmers on the bar and everything they need to feel comfortable.

"There's loads of activities for babies, like rhyme events and story time, but very little for parents and we wanted to change that. Don't get me wrong, the babies are treated like kings."

Bring Your Own Baby Comedy with Alyssa Kyria and Carly Smallman is coming to Dartford
Bring Your Own Baby Comedy with Alyssa Kyria and Carly Smallman is coming to Dartford

The events happen during the day, with the theatre providing soft flooring and toys plus buggy parking, baby changing and plenty of helping hands.

BYOB's tag line is 'grown up comedy...babies welcome' and comedians featured cover a wide range of topics from parenting to politics and don't all have children.

Swearing is allowed but there's a strict age limit of under a year.

The show at the Orchard on Monday, June 25, starts at noon, with doors opening at 11.30am, and runs until 1.15pm.

Tickets are £11 in advance or £12 on the door at www.byobcomedy.com/dartford

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