“Everyone in Liverpool’s a comedian”, or so says the old cliché.
I’m not sure about that. I’ve met some funny Scousers, sure, but comedians? You’re more likely to get a half-baked conspiracy theory on a taxi-drive home, or a colourful thesis on poor old Roy Hodgson’s unsuitability for the Liverpool FC hot-seat in the chippy than your ribs tickled on a Friday night. Fascinating? Sure. Funny? No, sir.
Thirst for comedy? Well, we’ve got that in spades in Liverpool. Local comic and regular TV panel show contestant John Bishop recently sold out 4 straight nights at the 11,000 capacity Echo Arena. Now that’s one funny Scouser. And he isn’t alone in splitting sides across Merseyside in 2011, either. Liverpool is well catered for by three comedy clubs serving up generous dollops of laughs every weekend.
Across two venues every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night is Laughterhouse Comedy, the city’s most successful comedy club. Laughterhouse calls Fenwick Street’s Slaughter House pub home. Housed in the cavernous basement is a stage that’s been graced by some of stand-up comedy’s brightest stars, including Dara O’Briain, Alan Carr, Justin Moorehouse and Tommy Tiernan, to name a few. Regularly compèred by Peep Show and Phoenix Night’s Neil Fitzmaurice, the shows are fast becoming a Liverpool institution with three international headline acts every Friday and Saturday.
A Thursday night show is new for 2011, offering reduced price tickets with students in mind (£4 with NUS), as well as drink offers aplenty. There really is no better place in Liverpool to watch live comedy than this atmospheric, underground setting.
Laughterhouse 2011 Highlights:
11th and 12th March – Jarred Christmas, Slaughter House and Slug & Lettuce
22nd & 23rd March – Phil Nichol, Slaughter House & Slug & Lettuce
24th March – Tom Stade One Man show, Zeligs restaurant - Liverpool One.
Rawhide opened its doors in 1995 and is Liverpool’s longest-running comedy club. The Rawhide show has historically been held at the Royal Court theatre, but has now moved to an enormous new venue in the Contemporary Urban Centre on Parliament Street, just a brisk 10 minute walk from the city centre. Rawhide also offers meals at the CUC’s Buddleia restaurant so you can really make a night of it.
Rawhide 2011 Highlights:
12th and 13th Feb – Jo Caulfield, CUC
29th and 30th April – Phil Tonkinson, CUC
Baby Blue Bar
Comedy Central is housed at the dockside Baby Blue Bar & Restaurant and offers three stand-up comedians and a compere every weekend. The stage is set before tables and chairs for a cabaret style seating arrangement. Keep an eye out for the Valentine’s Day special – perfect entertainment for an evening with your squeeze.
Baby Blue 2011 Highlight:
14th Feb Valentine’s Day Special with Dave Twentyman, Dan Nightingale, Nik Coppin and Mike Wilkinson.
Written by: Mark Booth