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The Debaters offers Victoria audience a fun escape from the day’s news

People have to learn to laugh again, says Steve Patterson, host of May 13 show
Host and comic Steve Patterson, flanked by comics Derek Seguin and Erica Sigurdson, brings the hilarious spontaneity of The Debaters Live on Tour to the Royal Theatre on May 13. (Photos, from left, by Joep Hovens, John Hryniuk and courtesy Erica Sigurdson)

One of the drivers of The Debaters is to find the funny in current events.

Given the past couple of years have been anything but funny, the popular radio show’s host, standup comedy veteran Steve Patterson, said it’s important people have an outlet from the stressors of today’s news and life.

“The whole comedy as a lecture thing is on the back burner for now; not that we don’t want to talk about the important issues, it’s just that they want the relief of laughter,” said Patterson, who brings The Debaters Live on Tour to the Royal Theatre this Friday (May 13).

“We’re having fun, making sure we get good laughs out and making sure it’s a release. People have to learn to laugh again.”

The Victoria stop kicks off the seven shows in eight nights western tour for the group, which onstage also includes acclaimed comics Derek Seguin and Erica Sigurdson.

Patterson recalled the last time The Debaters Live on Tour stopped in Victoria, the previous government was in power and he was given a tour of the legislature. No impending election in B.C. will provide fodder for the group, unlike the upcoming Ontario vote that did on their swing through that province last month.

While both Vancouver-based Sigurdson and Montreal-based Seguin are regulars on The Debaters radio shows, this 2022 tour marks their first time touring live with this format, which features as a bonus their solo standup routines.

Patterson, an accomplished standup comic himself, will also do a solo stint and serves as moderator when Seguin and Sigurdson take the gloves off for the frequently hilarious, improvisational head-to-head debates where the audience picks the winner.

The Royal Theatre also holds memories for Patterson, the host of the program since 2007.

It was the first big venue where a taping of The Debaters took place outside a CBC studio or a regional site such as the lobby of a legislature.

“The people of Victoria really turned out,” he told Black Press Media. “I remember the first big laugh lasted about 60 seconds, so the taping took a long time.”

Ticket prices start at $50.75 and are available online here, at the Royal and McPherson theatre box offices, and are reservable by phone at 250-386-6121.


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