Tuesday 3rd April 2012
Attention culture vultures: if you're yet to check out new kid on the comedy block The Laugh Inn, where have you been?
Guest written by Becky Hoose
The Laugh Inn has recently celebrated its first birthday, having opened its doors back in February 2011. And what a year it's been! The venue has already gained itself a reputation for fantastic variety and exceptional comedy acts. Comedy star Jason Manford is now on board as a co-owner, and the venue has played host to a range of talent, such as Sarah Millican, Russell Kane and Jimmy Carr.
An absolute hidden gem, it is located on Station Road in the heart of Chester, meaning that it couldn't be more conveniently situated. It offers a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of comfortable seating. In addition to this, they frequently host live music, theatre and one off events, with private booths and tables available to hire.
I must admit, this was my first visit to The Laugh Inn, but without a doubt it won't be my last. I went to The Laugh Inn on Tuesday night. This mid-week jaunt to a comedy club might seem slightly odd, but every Tuesday night they host 'Fed to the Lions'; an open mic night which allows wannabe comedians their moment in the spotlight. The doors opened at 6.30pm, allowing punters to enjoy a drink in the bar before the 8pm start (this was more like 8.30pm, although everyone seemed happy enough to relax in the laid-back atmosphere until the show began). We were seated in Homers bar; a smaller room which was perfectly suited to this more intimate gig. Their main theatre space, complete with a balcony and two separate bars, can seat up to 450 people. This is presumably reserved for larger events.
The aimable Danny McCloughlin compered the night's entertainment. His self-assured stage presence and warm charm won the audience over straight away. But whilst his material was strong, his ability to interact with the crowd, in a manner that was completely engaging and in no way intimidating, was his standout quality. Danny introduced two comedians from the circuit, who tried out new material. They were followed by a group of amateur comedians for the 'Fed to the Lions' competition. Perhaps the word amateur doesn't do these hopefuls justice, as in some cases, they were every bit as entertaining as the professionals who preceded them.
As part of the competition, three members of the audience were handed large cards with a Caesar-like thumb on; if they didn't like what they were hearing, up went the cards, down went the thumbs, off went the act (top marks for audience participation). Out of the eight acts performing that night, only three were eliminated, proving the high standard of comic talent that was on display. This top-class entertainment was served up alongside brilliant food and drink promotions, running throughout the night, which were well worth taking advantage of.
The Laugh Inn is a real hidden gem, fast establishing itself as one of the top comedy clubs in the Northwest. It's an absolute must for anyone visiting Chester - the entertainment is fantastic, entry is free and if you're feeling bold, you could always take to the stage...
The Laugh Inn
Homer House, Station Road, Chester CH1 3DR
Tel: 0800 612 9714
The next 'Fed to the Lions': Tuesday 10th April 2012 | Free entry