What started as a seemingly impossible idea has become the highly sought-after Never Ending Comedy Train with Darren Maule; boasting sold-out tickets for each of the three trains, and showing no sign of slowing down.
An idea born from an almost impossible suggestion has seen the fruition of The Never Ending Comedy Train with Darren Maule. Having taken a few guests on the Holiday Express in December of 2016, Darren Maule turned to his Manager, Claire Clark, and said very matter-of-factly; “we should do comedy on a train!”.
After many, many meetings and a great deal of planning, the inaugural Never Ending Comedy Train with Darren Maule left the Durban Premier Lounge Platform, Scottburgh bound, on the 29th of April 2017. On board were 400 passengers and 10 comedians. Each comedian, including Darren Maule, performed in each of the 10 carriages, totalling nearly 17 hours of comedy. Once in Scottburgh, when the inaugural Train arrived, an Italian feast awaited the passengers and performers, before they once more boarded the train for the return trip to Durban which included even more comedy and side-splitting laughter.
Since then, the Comedy Train has taken place twice, on the 14th of October 2017 and more recently on the 28th of April 2018, both of these Trains went to the Pietermaritzburg Platform, where the passengers were once again provided with a feast of food and a party on the platform.
The Never Ending Comedy Train is not only Darren Maule’s brainchild, but one of the most unique comedy concepts and experiences in South Africa and quite possibly the world. Using The Holiday Express train as their unusual moving venue, passengers in each of the 10 carriages sit back as the ten comedians (including Darren) make their way through the ten carriages. It’s no wonder that every one of the three Comedy Trains has been a raging success, selling out long before each event and leaving those left behind eagerly marking their calendars for the next one. Despite all the fun and laughter and food, great lengths are taken to ensure the safety not only of the passengers and comedians, but also the entire working team. Therefore, each train has a security team, as well as paramedics on board. The train also has a social media team, photographers, and videographers to capture each moment of the journey.
Feedback from the passengers has been phenomenal. Said one passenger of the recent April Train “We were in the best carriage. Seriously! Our hostess was kind and so attentive to people’s needs. A group of people exchanged numbers. They are all going to book for the July Train and want to make sure they are in the same carriage with their new friends!! The comedians were unbelievable. The layout of the food! Oh my word what a feast, it’s like one surprise after another. Oh and the Christmas in July teaser was super awesome. I’m in love with it already!!!”
Whilst another had this to say: ““To organise something on this scale takes an incredible number of hours of preparation. To organise it to work properly is an amazing feat. To all involved, my wife and I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for an absolutely superb afternoon and evening of entertainment.”
To quote Darren Maule, “The comedians really, really, have to stretch themselves doing 10 gigs in one day on a dynamic, moving stage where the windows are open and they have to deal with the sounds of the train but they do it! It is exhilarating and quite literally the Comrades Marathon for Comedians – and they are AMAZING at it, and the audience just loves it. But it’s the audience we attract on The Never Ending Comedy Train that is the most amazing aspect for me. It is the most diverse and most representative audience in the country. We have white, black, Indian, coloured, male, female, young (but no under 18s), old, and SUPER old. It is unadulterated stand-up comedy as it should be. Uncensored. Unmitigated. Unapologetic. Presented by professionals in a professional environment. This is not a Facebook comment section, this is The Never Ending Comedy Train with Darren Maule”.