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Comedy club happy to lose money to bring back the laughter

A famous comedy club is determined to bring back the laughter even though its reduced capacity means it will lose money

25 September, 2020 — By by Sam Ferguson

Barry Ferns co-founded The Bill Murray

A FAMOUS comedy club says it is determined to bring back the laughter even though its reduced capacity means it will lose money by putting on shows.

The Bill Murray comedy club in Angel opened its doors last weekend for the first time since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

Barry Ferns, the co-founder of the venue and the Angel Comedy Club, told the Tribune: “We won’t make money from this, because of social distancing and the amount of people we can get in while abiding by the rules.

“But we’re doing it anyway as a service to the industry and the performers. It’s to help them remember what a live event is like.”

Some of the circuit’s best-loved names have performed at the club since it was launched in 2016, including Nish Kumar, Eddie Izzard and Stewart Lee.

Mr Ferns said they would now keep staging performances as long as Covid legislation allowed.

New restrictions announced this week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson would not prevent upcoming shows because the club has met requirements to have smaller audiences and will stop serving alcohol at 10pm.

“We’re looking at doing these shows as a collaboration and a celebration in terms of winning against the pandemic,” said Mr Ferns.

“Performers are really struggling. They are like carpenters, and they need work to work with or they will lose that muscle memory.

“It’s about keeping the memory of live shows alive so the audiences and performers come back stronger than ever when things hopefully get back to normal.”

He added: “One of the hardest things over the last six month has been that loss of the sense of community. Building that sense is very hard on Zoom. Coming together in the same space is important for the human spirit, and everyone could use a laugh these days.

“It has been very hard planning anything with the changing rules. I think, like everyone, we all wish that they would just pick some rules and stick to them.

“Then at least everyone would know where we stand. “At the moment we’re having to rewrite our whole business plan time and time again.”

For more information of show times a visit the Angel Comedy Club website.

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