A comedy show designed specifically for parents and their babies came to the Landmark Art Centre in Teddington last week.
The Bring Your Own Baby comedy show offers a baby-friendly environment where parents can enjoy a relaxed, laughter-filled day out without having to worry about childcare.
The shows include around three different comedians’ sets in a baby-proof environment where food and drink are available to purchase.
Co-founders and best friends Carly Smallman and Alyssa Kyria decided to combine what they most loved, to create a show that parents can indulge in with their babies.
Kyria said: “We wanted to combine comedy and parenthood and do something that was for the parents and not just about the babies.
“It’s rare to get something just for you as a parent and we want to make them feel special.”
Smallman and Kyria came up with the idea whilst at the pub for the first time since Kyria had become a mother.
Smallman said: “Alyssa was so happy to be out of the house and we thought how can we replicate this?”
Kyria’s daughter Lola was a year old when the shows began in 2016.
They estimate that they have done around 800 shows since then, with most selling out rapidly.
There is an age limit of 15 months for the shows as like other late night comedy shows, they contain explicit language.
Babies are catered for with soft play mats in front of the parents’ seats where they can socialise and play with toys provided.
A bubble machine is also used throughout intervals to keep them entertained.
There are baby changing facilities in the performance room so that nothing is missed, but parents are also free to change their babies on the mats in front of them.
Before creating Bring Your Own Baby Comedy, Smallman had been in the industry for seven years and Kyria slightly longer.
They met when Kyria booked Smallman to perform at her cabaret show, where she performed as her alter-ego – a footballer’s wag.
They have been friends since and both understand the hardship of parenthood.
Kyria said: “Parents have been stuck at home doing all of their baby groups on zoom which can be depressing, now at our shows they can meet friends, have a prosecco and have a laugh.”
Kyrias daughter Lola is now six, and Smallman is a hands-on aunty with her sister being a single mum.
Smallman also has her dog Indie who she says is like her child as well.
They ensure shows are an hour or two long in order to finish before the school run.
The pair imagined they would struggle to get an audience back after COVID as most of their regular parents’ babies had exceeded the age limit of 15 months.
Yet they have found themselves just as busy with an influx of new parents, some of whom travelling to attend shows in different locations.
The pair are looking to expand to more venues in South West London after successes in Teddington, Wimbledon and Clapham.
Smallman said: “South East London is where it started so it became the epicentre, but we want to expand and offer shows to as many new parents as possible.”
Their next show in South West London will be at Clapham Picturehouse on 10 November.
For more info visit https://byobcomedy.com/