Being a member of ImmerQi’s CSR team can be hard work, but it has its perks, like being invited to a side-splitting comedy show in Beijing to help raise money for charity!

An appreciater of comedy and an ameature stage performer myself, I was very eager to volunteer when Kirsty Armstrong asked which member of the CSR team wanted to attend a charity event organised by an ex-Teach and Travel China program participant. My hand flew straight up in the air.

The ex-intern was James Wright, who participated in ImmerQi’s Teaching program in Summer 2011 (the same intake as me!). After completing the program, James returned to the UK but eventually found himself back in Beijing in 2013 – there’s something quite addictive about life in China!

James approached Kirsty, whom he knew was involved with charities and remembered from his internship, and asked her if she would like ImmerQi to decide which charity would receive the profits from an event he was planning – a comedy show dutifully named:

“Around the World in 80(ish) Minutes”

Kirsty jumped at the opportunity and thanked James for allowing her such an honourable responsibility, and for organising such a large event for charity! Kirsty was very dissapointed that she wouldn’t be able to attend the event as she had a business trip to Malaysia planned, but trusted that I would be able to go on behalf of ImmerQi and the charity.

So, which lucky charity would be receiving a lump sum of money from a comedy event this summer? The CSR team thought long and hard about it, and ultimately decided to donate the cash to one of its newest partner charities, the New Life Centre.

The New Life Centre is a Beijing based home for kids originating from various unfortunate backgrounds, including homeless, abandoned and mentally disabled children. The centre was founded by and operates almost completely thanks to one woman, an expatriate who took it upon herself to do something about the desperation she witnessed on the streets of Beijing. A truly worthy cause, much in need of financial support.

So, the event! Hosted by the wonderfully spacious “Paddy’s” in San Li Tun, the show kicked off at 9.30pm. Several comedians and actors had spent months preparing an 80 minute show, based around the famous story of a bet between Phileas Fogg and his comrades. The show comprised of numerous comedians performing 10 minute sets about various countries including Mexico, England and China. Brief interludes were used between acts to set the scene and keep the story moving.

Every single comedian brought the house down (tears flooded my vision on several occassions) and each was unique, showcasing different styles of comedy. Nigel Tu split sides with his relentless one-liners, Josh Malina had the crowd in stitches with his extremely dry and black humour and Ryan Ha had the audience gasping and chuckling with his raunchy observations.

The place was packed to the brim, a full house, which only served to encourage the comedians in their attempt to serve a unique evening of entertainment in aid of a worthy charity.

‘An outstanding success’ is how I would describe the event (as would every attendee, I’m sure). All together, just over 3000RMB was raised, which will go straight to the New Life Centre. This donation will help to pay for refurbishments, food, clothing and education. Amazing.

Well done guys, you put on a really good show for a really good cause and I’m definitely looking forward to the next event!

Thanks to Erie Entertainment for some awesome photographs!

Reece Ayers

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