EP71 – JD Henshaw – Founder of Sweets Venues

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EP71 – JD Henshaw – Founder of Sweets Venues


Total run time: 1 hour 28 mins 57 secs.

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About JD Henshaw…

John-David (or JD as he prefers to be called) is the founder and artistic director at the Sweet Venues (@sweetvenues) that currently operate largely at the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringe. But in addition to that he runs a lot of other literary festivals as well as a horror festival. The Sweets recent move into taking on more comedy shows than ever marks an interesting development for them and the Fringe in general. I got him on to talk about why now, and what the future holds for Sweet Venues.

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Here’s a list of questions we covered…

Sweet Venue…

  • Why did you start the Sweet Venues? [0mins 0 secs]
  • How does he program the Fringe? [13 mins 22 secs]
  • What do you think makes you different? [18 mins 10 secs]
  • In my eyes and correct me if I am wrong, you sit somewhere between the Big 4 and the Free Fringe. Or do you see yourself differently? [18 mins 10 secs]
  • What do you look for in a show? [20 mins 40 secs]
  1. Bob Slayers Podcast
  2. Karen Korens Podcast
  3. Darrell Martin Podcast
  • What made you pick a hotel as a venue? [21 mins 30 secs]
  • How many comedy shows do you program? [38 mins]
  1. Karen Korens podcast
  • Do you find promoting comedy hard given your historical roots in theatre? [44 mins 38 secs]
  • When we email in to apply for a slot, should we assume we will not get an offer? What’s the process like at your end? [54 mins]
  • How does he scout for shows? [1 hour 02 mins 53 secs]
  • Why doesn’t he do Free Fringe? [1 hour 10 mins]
  • What has changed since he started doing PYWY? [1 hour 10 mins]

Brighton Fringe and other festivals…

  • What’s their relationship with the Brighton Fringe? [1 hour 02 mins 53 secs]
  • What is the “Writers Festival”? [1 hour 02 mins 53 secs]
  • Why did he start the Women’s / Men’s Festivals? [1 hour 02 mins 53 secs]
  • Why did he start the Horror Festival? [1 hour 08 mins 00 secs]

Other questions…

  • What are the best books on comedy, writing, stand up etc you’ve read? [1 hour 12 mins]
  • Best show you’ve ever seen? [1 hour 12 mins]
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made and how did you get over it? [1 hour 12 mins]
  • Who do you think is the most underrated person in your industry? [1 hour 15 mins 30 secs]
  1. Thomas Ford
  • What do you think is the biggest problem at the Edinburgh Fringe and how would you go about solving it? [1 hour 15 mins 30 secs]
  • Best bit of advice you’ve ever been given? [1 hour 18 mins]
  • Best bit of advice you would give a comedian who wants to make the most of their Edinburgh Fringe experience? [1 hour 18 mins]








Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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