“So you have Russell Brand,” I said to Noel Faulkner yesterday.
Noel owns London’s Comedy Cafe Theatre.
“Yes,” he told me. “He’s going to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Comedy Cafe by doing a gig on Wednesday 3rd June for the orphanage in Nepal.”
“This is the charity,” I said, “that you’ve always refused to let me mention in my blog in case it makes you look too amiable?”
“Yes. You can say it’s a Comedy Cafe friendly charity.”
“What is a Comedy Cafe friendly charity?” I asked.
“One that we fuckin’ support,” replied Noel. “Whatever. The show’s also got Trevor Lock, Andrew Maxwell, Jimmy James Jones and Kate Lucas.”
“What’s the orphanage called?” I asked.
“House With a Heart (Ghar Sita Mutu).”
The charity’s website says it provides a home for abandoned children, an education center for impoverished women and children and an outreach program for needy families.
“How long has it been running?” I asked.
“I don’t want to go into all that,” said Noel. “I like people to think I’m a bit of a cunt… Alright, the charity has been going for thirteen years. In Kathmandu, Nepal.”
“Oh bloody hell!” I said. “Is it actually in the city itself? Was it affected by the earthquakes?”
“At the moment, they’re living in tents in the front garden because the building is cracked. We are flying an engineer out from America to look at the building. He’s going out there with the founder of the charity, Beverly Bronson.”
“How many people are living in the garden?” I asked.
“Thirty one plus neighbours,” said Noel. “We’re taking care of neighbours. A lot of poor people live around it.”
“Is 31 the capacity of the orphanage?” I asked.
“Well,” said Noel, “25 kids in the house and 6 adults – there’s a gardener, a maintenance guy, a manager and so on.”
“What age are the kids?”
“From 4 to 22. The 22-year-old is just getting ready to go to college and move into outside accommodation, which we will still… We will see these people right to a career.”
“How do you choose the kids?” I asked.
”There is no way you choose… If you’ve got room and somebody dumps a baby on your doorstep… you take it in. There’s going to be a lot of abandoned kids with this crisis. People can’t feed them, so they dump them on your doorstep. We’ve only had one that was abandoned so far. Well, actually, a few of our kids were abandoned by their parents – neighbours who were very poor were looking after them.”
“How often do you go out to Nepal yourself?”
“I used to go once a year. Beverly goes twice. She lives in New York. She has a little retro antique shop in the Village. She founded the whole thing and the Comedy Cafe just stepped in with a little finance. She keeps an eye out that every kid is being taken care of, has got their needs, got their dental care. Young girls turning into women go to a doctor and are told how it all works. We have an outreach programme that trains women to sew and we pay them $20 a month and, at the end of six months, they’re qualified and then we buy them a sewing machine and then they can make a few bob.”
“How,” I asked, “did you get Russell Brand for the show?”
“I bumped into him on the street. He reminded me about the time I threw him out of the Comedy Cafe for being a cunt.”
“What,” I asked, “was he doing?”
“He was walking on the tables.”
“When was that?”
“About 23 years ago.”
“Have you seen him since then?”
“No, I just bumped into him this week.”
“What else is happening?”
“I’m working on my Touettte’s song I’m Not On Drugs, I’ve Got Tourette’s.”
“When will that come to fruition?”
“Probably two months.”
Noel Faulkner has Tourette Syndrome.
He is not a cunt.
But don’t tell anyone.
His rap song Comfort Zone with Jimmy James Jones is on YouTube.