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Founded by stand-up comedians David Ian, Jeremy Topp, and Kate Dale, The Queer Comedy Club (QCC) is the UK’s first permanent LGBTQ comedy club. This new space, located halfway between Tufnell Park and Archway tube stations, The Queer Comedy Club provides a unique opportunity for queer audiences and their allies to enjoy stand-up comedy that is relevant, relatable, and, most importantly, rib-ticklingly funny.
The Queer Comedy Club opened in May of this year, and currently features the following nights:
- Big Thursday Show (£10) – a weekly session that features TV regulars and rising stars. Previous names have included Josh Jones, Stephen Bailey and Jessica Fostekew.
- QCC Raw (£free or donation) – every Monday features new acts or new material. This is meant to be a friendly and supportive vibe. While tickets are free, it is worth booking in advance rather than leaving capacity to change on the night.
- Work in Progress (£free – £10) – individual comedians book ad-hoc nights for shows they are getting ready for Edinburgh Fringe, a wider tour, or recording. Typically material will be under development, and the audience feedback helps to refine the show.
- The Big Queer Improv Show (£10) – once a month, The Queer Comedy Club assembles queer improv comedians, so every show will be different.
How did The Queer Comedy Club come about?
“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” says co-founder David Ian. “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.”
“So much of gay culture revolves around bars, clubs and drag – and we love all that – but it’s important to be able to offer something in addition. 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.”
For Kate, performing at QCC nights has played an important role in her coming out. “Talking about your sex life on stage is one way of telling your friends and family,” she says, “but being able to make jokes about all aspects of our lives to an audience you know will understand has helped me process it all. And it’s fun!”
Jeremy completed the trio shortly after a chance meeting. “I love all comedians, however queer performers have a brutal honesty, and life stories I can resonate with. Helping newer acts feel welcomed into the scene has been a passion of mine for years. After meeting Kate and David at a gig, we clicked immediately and discussed the gap we had all felt in the comedy circuit. I immediately knew their goal of establishing a permanent queer comedy space was something I had to be involved with.”
Visit queercomedyclub.co.uk for more information.
The Queer Comedy Club is located at: Downstairs, 114 Junction Road, London, N19 5LB.