Expected to give Bristol’s thriving stand-up comedy scene a boost is the city’s first New York-style comedy venue set up by two local comedians, promising to ‘take comedy to a new level’. Based in an atmospheric basement in Bristol’s independent heartland of Gloucester Road, Bristol Comedy Den is the brainchild of comedians, Greg Winfield and Burt Williamson.
The Bristol Comedy Den has already hosted a number of sold-out gigs over the past two months, but now the pair are now adding double shows on Friday nights to their weekly offering. The city’s first specialist weekly comedy club can be found downstairs at the Sidney & Eden cocktail bar on Gloucester Road, offering an intimate and up-close night of laughter.
“Bristol Comedy Den is all about putting the best comedians in the country in the best possible environment for comedy, making for an incredibly authentic and unique experience for the audience, ” said Greg Winfield. “Capacity is limited to 55 in the purpose-built basement room, it’s up close and personal and every show is something very special.
“The cellar isn’t just cosy but also has the atmosphere of underground comedy clubs that you find in New York. I’d describe the vibe we’ve created as ‘in your face’, controlled chaos – it’s definitely not a night at the theatre.”
While Bristol boasts an established and vibrant comedy scene, until now it’s lacked a regular and dedicated venue where an independent operator could stage weekly shows with established comics. As well as allowing people to enjoy the finest up-and-coming and established comedians on the circuit, the Bristol Comedy Den also allows guests to order takeaway food to the venue, washed down with cocktails and craft beers served upstairs.
“We’re bringing top quality comedians to the city on a regular basis,” said Burt Williamson. “Locals will be able to see in person highly rated comics like Helen Bauer who recently featured on ‘Live At The Apollo’ and Joe Sutherland, who’s a regular on the Comedy Central’s ‘Roast Battle’.”
The launch of Bristol Comedy Den has also won the enthusiastic support of some well-known stars from the UK’s comedy circuit, including Bristol-based Stu Goldsmith, who has appeared on ‘Live At The Apollo’ and ‘Have I Got News For You’. Goldsmith said: “Bristol’s comedy scene is exploding at the moment, and Bristol Comedy Den is a big part of that. A terrific club with a really welcoming atmosphere.”
Plus, comedian Chloe Petts, as seen on Jonathan Ross’s ‘Comedy Club’ and Dave’s ‘Hypothetical’, said: “The Bristol Comedy Den is the perfect intimate comedy venue; expertly hosted by Greg and Burt. The room was packed and I had an absolute hoot. The crowd were the perfect blend of comedy savvy and really up for it. And we were all spurred on by the amazing craft beers served upstairs.”
Doors open at 7:30pm on Wednesday nights with the show running from 8pm to 10pm and tickets costing £7. Starting from December 3, the Bristol Comedy Den opens on Friday nights with the first show running from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, and the second show from 10pm to midnight, with tickets costing £12.50 for one show.
Bristol Comedy Den, basement of the Sidney & Eden bar, 198 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, BS7 8NU