The Comedy Store is expanding its laughter around the UK.
‘The greatest and most influential comedy club on the planet’ -Time Out
The Comedy Store this week announced the opening of several new comedy nights around the country. Soon to be celebrating 40 years in the business, The Comedy Store, in conjunction with promoters Live Nation, will expand to reach monthly audiences, at venues in Maidstone, Chester, Melton Mowbray, Colchester, and Hertford.
In May 1979, Don Ward opened The Comedy Store above a strip club in Soho. Inspired by a trip to see comedy clubs in the states, the aim was to re-create the same success in London.
Adverts were placed in The Stage, Punch and the Evening Standard for ‘would-be comedians’ and anyone who ‘phoned or turned up was allowed to perform on stage – for as long as the audience allowed. Acts were introduced by a compere who, guided by the audience’s reaction, used a gong to let comedians know when it was time for them to step aside and make room for the next act.
At the end of 1982, The Comedy Store moved to – and operated on an ad-hoc basis for two years from – 28 Leicester Square. During this time the new talent that emerged included Clive Anderson, Chris Barrie, Paul Merton and Ben Elton. In 1985 The Comedy Store was able to take over the club at 28 Leicester Square, building on its weekly output of the best comedy on offer. 1985 saw the birth of The Comedy Store Players, The Comedy Store’s own comedy improv group.
In 1993, due to its increased popularity, The Comedy Store was forced to find a new home and moved again to larger premises at our current home 1a Oxendon Street, between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. With seating for 400 people the opening gala night in 1993 saw some of the Store’s favourite performers, including Paul Merton, Jack Dee and Eddie Izzard, usher in a new era.
September 2000 saw the opening of The Comedy Store’s long-awaited second venue, situated on Deansgate Locks in the heart of Manchester. The Grand Charity Gala opening on 14 September saw Simon Bligh, Tim Clark, Rhona Cameron, Julian Clary, Boothby Graffoe, Mike Gunn, Fred MacAulay, Sean Meo, Paul Merton, John Thompson and Paul Zenon celebrating the dawning of a new era and the continuing success of The Comedy Store.
“The Comedy Store team are delighted to be delivering laughs to new audiences in Maidstone, Chester, Melton Mowbray, Colchester and Hertford alongside our existing shows in London, Manchester, Kingston, Durham, Warrington, Epsom, Cleethorpes and London’s Southbank. We are excited to expand our brand across the U.K. and look forward to showcasing the best in UK and International stand-up talent to new venues across the U.K. Renowned as the breeding ground for new talent, the likes of Eddie Izzard, John Bishop, Jimmy Carr, Michael McIntyre and Sarah Millican all began their careers at The Comedy Store and have since gone on to become household names” – Don Ward
Melton Mowbray sees comedy arrive at the Melton Theatre, launching on the 27th of September 2018.
Colchester will have to wait until November 23rd 2018 when comedy comes to the Charter Hall.
Maidstone sees comedy arrive at The Hazlitt Theatre on the 14th of February 2019.
Chester will be able to welcome comedy to The Live Rooms on the 15th of February 2019.
Hertford welcomes comedy to Hertford Theatre on the 1st of March 2019.