We Love Comedy: Balham Bowls Club, London, 2013
Twice As Nice Comedy: The Grove, Hammersmith, London, 2013
Old Comedian of the Year: Museum of Comedy, London, 2015
Angel Comedy: Camden Head Pub, Islington, London, 2017
Fred Ferenzci’s Attic of Desolate Fulfilment: The Bill Murray pub, Islington, London, 2018
‘Philfy’ Phil and Friends: Inn of Court, Holborn, London, 2019
Fred Ferenzci’s Attic of Desolate Fulfilment: Sweet @ The Welly, Brighton, 2019
Late Night Jokes On Us: Leicester Comedy Festival, Manhattan 34, Leicester, 2022
Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival 2022: Ye Olde Pump House, Hastings, 2022
Paul Merryck & Fred Ferenczi: This Is What We Find: Angel Comedy at The Bill Murray, The Bill Murray pub, Islington, London, 2023
I have known Peter Purvis for 25 years when, like me, he was a Civil Servant based in London. Pete is a very kind and quiet person with a warped sense of humour. What I found fascinating about Pete is that after he retired from the Civil Service, this shy person seemingly defied all the odds and was determined to become a stand up character comedian. As his alter-ego, Fred Ferenczi has to date I believe performed over 600 comedy shows and is widely known on the circuit. When I first saw him perform as the character I immediately thought amongst my laughter was that of Reg Holdsworth, one of my favourite funny characters from Coronation Street nervously appearing on stage in a blind panic saying anything that comes to mind however bizarre or banal not wanting to be on stage at all but becoming very endearingly funny to an audience as the act goes on building laughs. And plentiful laughs the character gets. In the four times I have seen Fred live, it is a pleasure watching Pete grow in confidence on stage always trying out new material developing a real character instead of a caricature.
I was very pleased to be in the audience to see Ferenczi’s first ever forty-minute show at The Bill Murray pub in London in March 2018. Fred is a character created by my old mate Peter Purvis and as he nervously stood on stage looking confused, he spent almost the entire set fumbling with a microphone lead and was able to provoke laughter from a fifty strong crowd without him saying a word. When he did speak, the distracted patter was full of sarcastic, vain yet amusing commentary and puns. The character was to portray an intriguing interpretation of a depressed comedian.
I saw Fred again in March 2019 supporting ‘Philfy’ Phil at the Inn of Court in Holborn, London and then for his own show at the Brighton Fringe in May 2019. Again, the fumbling gestures and actions were all in place, but the jokes seemed much more assured and worked to warm up the pub audience with what was to come.
It was great to meet up with Pete at the Leicester Comedy Festival in February 2022 where he performed as Fred Ferenczi at the Late Night Jokes On Us showcase. The character made me laugh a lot and I was proud to be mentioned in the set as Fred’s comedy son!
Ferenczi made an impromptu appearance at the Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival in 2022 and again for This Is What We Find at The Bill Murray pub in London in April 2023, where he performed half an hour of old and new material. Slowly building up the laughing, he painted a picture of his bizarre world that was both endearing and very funny.
I am so pleased for Pete, glad to call him a friend and wish him continued success with his comic adventure. Knowing him for so long and watching him develop his act, I believe he shares my view that comedy is a great therapy, as he proves on a regular basis when he appears on stage as Fred.