UK’s first permanent LGBTQ+ comedy club to open in contrast to ‘straight and macho’ venues

David Ian performs at The Queer Comedy Club

The UK’s first permanent LGBTQ+ comedy club is set to open in London next month.

The opening of Queer Comedy Club, in Archway, north London, follows a long-running queer comedy night, with the founders – comedians David Ian, Jeremy Topp and Kate Dale – wanting to establish a permanent venue to “signal to the queer community that stand-up is for them too”. 

The club will officially launch on 11 May, with a line-up featuring Dee Allum, Ben Pollard, Kathy Maniura and Josh Jones.

Mondays and Tuesdays will reportedly be reserved for new acts and new material, while Thursday shows will boast established acts, with Jessica Fostekew, Stephen Bailey, Jen Ives and James Barr already booked to perform.

The Queer Comedy Club
James Barr performs at The Queer Comedy Club. (The Queer Comedy Club)

“We were uncomfortable inviting our queer friends to come and watch us perform because we were taking them into what was essentially a very straight and macho environment, with no guarantee about the type of material they’d hear,” Ian said.

“It’s just not the sort of place we’d usually socialise in. It made us realise there was a gap in the market – and our community – for a stand-up comedy club that would feel like their space.” 

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He added that “much of gay culture revolves around bars, clubs and drag”, while a comedy club would provide a different sort of space for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Seeing our own lives and experiences held up for delighted, joyous, celebratory ridicule can be incredibly cathartic, bonding and hilarious.

“We wanted to bring that to the LGBTQ+ community at the same time as giving new and established queer comedians a chance to perform to their own people,” he concluded.