Comedy Nights

Brighton has always had some good comedy clubs and now there is more than ever. On a weekend you have a choice of three good clubs as well as the major theatres and minor pubs to choose from.

Komedia has the distinction of winning the Chortle South Coast mid-sized comedy venue award for about the last twenty years. This is partly down to the shows it has on and partly down to it being the ONLY mid-sized comedy venue on the south coast. They have multiple regular shows each week with a compare and a couple of acts in the main room. There is also a cabaret bar as well for smaller acts.

It is popular with stag and hen dos so there will be some awkwardness. And as it is comedians doing their “club 20” minute set, if you see someone twice, you may see the same set twice.

Forge Comedy Club Of course for most of those twenty years the Komedia nights were hosted and run by Stephen Grant. A couple of years ago he left and started his new night called the Forge. This is a much more intimate show in a brand-spanking new venue called Ironworks Studios. The lineups are a mixture of new acts and names from Stephen’s 20-year list of contacts. John Bishop, Romesh Ranganathan and Russel Howard have all done shows there.

The Secret Comedy Club used to be in a basement with 20 seats and no air conn. It has moved into the old lanes now and is somewhat bigger. Again they have shows three or four nights a week, sometimes with two sittings a night. You get the odd big name there.

Stomping Ground Comedy is also worth a mention. It takes place once a month in that trendy “hot desking workspace” on the south end of Hove Town Hall. They have a mix of new talent and people who had a guest slot on a show on Dave. So you might see someone you vaguely recall seeing somewhere before.

Treason Show. Ah yes, the grandaddy of Brighton satire. Starting in 2000, they put on a monthly show that does a couple of days in Brighton and then travels the county visiting village halls. It is a sketch show so expect lots of dressing up and songs about whoever is in government at the time. The mastermind behind it is Mark Brailsford who also runs the Brighton Shakespeare Company. It was most notable in the early days for the fact Mark would usually finish the show minus his clothes. Thankfully that is no longer the case.

Caroline of Brunswick is a room above a pub by the Level. It holds about 50 people and has comedy on most weekends. It is mostly local and unknown performers but you do get the odd bigger name playing there. Come July though it gets packed out for a month with some quite big names previewing their Edinburgh Fringe shows. I have seen the likes of James Acaster, Josh Widdicombe and Sarah Pascoe there. Note that it is by a busy road so they tend to keep the air conn off and the curtains drawn. It does get VERY hot in there in the summer.

Then there are The Dome and the Theatre Royal. These are where you are going to see your big-name touring comedians these days.

Laughing Horse I think they used to have regular nights at the Quadrant but now it is just shows in the Brighton Fringe.

And that is not to mention what goes on in Kemptown under the guise of drag.

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