Comedian William Thompson reconnects with the local comedy circuit
It’s been a busy few weeks for the Belfast comedy circuit with acclaimed stand-up Kevin Hart, in town to shoot for Netflix, providing fans with sold-out gigs and surprise appearances.
he focus on the local scene has never been stronger with dozens of names impressing audiences.
One such talent, William Thompson (25) from Dundonald, has just announced his first solo show in three years. Barely Noticeable will take place at The Limelight 2 on July 9th.
He reached the final of the BBC New Act of the Year 2021 and appeared in the SSE Arena in Belfast, of which he said: “A difficult room. I preferred the Waterfront, but to say you played in an arena was insane.
On Hart, he added: “He just swung into Lavery’s; he gave her that look that anyone could drop now. I am certainly inspired. You think you’re good as an actor and then you see someone on his level doing a set and thinking, ‘Wow, I’ve got so far to go’. That’s how good he is.
Thompson co-hosts the Mudblood podcast, which has seen success with music videos circulating on TikTok and YouTube — a new way of reaching audiences that has been embraced by many local actors.
He added: “At the start of Covid we all had the mindset that we would never play again, but weirdly that helped. People had nothing to do but sit at home, so for those of us who were creating content, it gave us a lot more exposure.
“Paddy McDonnell, he had been playing for years. He did a podcast with Shane Todd and now he’s selling the Waterfront, so it’s almost a career move in terms of significance.
“It’s going pretty well for everyone at the minute, it’s a good scene.”
Thompson has cerebral palsy, which he says helps him stand out from the crowd.
“It gives you an extra layer. It’s unique, there aren’t many disabled acts. If anything, I would get more gigs because of it.
“When I was in the BBC final I got a review in a publication [Chortle] — all I got was, “He told some good jokes and he mentions his barely perceptible cerebral palsy.”
“I was annoyed because I didn’t see how it was relevant, but instead of crusading online, I thought it would be funnier to just have that quote on the poster. show is about that, the attitude towards the hidden disability.
When asked what’s next for the local scene, he says there’s a lot going on.
“There are scenes in other cities like Derry. Omagh also has its own kind of scene which is great, there is always room for more comedians,” he said.
“The good thing about Belfast is that we are all very helpful to each other. The biggest bands support it, we all swap songs, that’s what makes it so different and so good.
He thinks Belfast is still a place where anything goes.
“People here can tell your intention. There is no real line, there are individual lines. When you’re on stage and you’ve crossed the line, trust me, you know, because the whole room gets cold.
Barely noticeable. Tickets on sale this Friday at Ticketmaster.ie