Barry Ferns

Barry Ferns

Nominated for best compere at the Chortle Awards in 2014 for his work with the Angel Comedy Club in London, Barry Ferns first started as stand-up in 1995, aged 17. But then he quit stand-up to make Edinburgh Fringe sketch shows, including The Leisure Virus in 2000, Doreen the following year and This Sketch Show Belongs to Lionel Richie, which began in 2007 and became better known for its marketing ideas than its content – including Ferns legally changing his name to Lionel Richie. In August 2008, Ferns started stand-up again and in 2012 got to the final of the Leicester Square Comedian Of The Year competition.
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Angel gets its wings

Comedy club hits its £20k target in ten days

London’s Angel Comedy Club has raised the £20,000 it needed to refit a new dedicated venue in just ten days.

Almost 500 fans pledged to the crowdfunding campaign, whose total now stands at £20,963 – with another 49 days to go.

Promoter and regular compere Barry Ferns, pictured with the new venue,  said: ‘We are absolutely delighted, astounded and humbled’, at the news.

One backer said they would put up £1,500 to name the main entrance, and another £1,000 to name the garden. Scores of others have paid £3 just to show support.

The club has been operating in a small room above the Camden Head pub in Islington for the past six years, building up to a seven-night-a-week operation.

But now they have secured the lease on an old Victorian pub nearby, formerly known as The Mucky Pup, which they will use as a second home.

The club, which bills itself as ‘London’s friendliest comedy club’, charges no entry fee, instead collecting contributions at the end, and has built up a loyal fan base.

Ferns said of hitting the target: ‘The support from Angel Comedy audiences and comedians and the comedy community has been really overwhelming. This money means that we can exist in the world as a comedy club. We can dare to dream! 

‘Our wider hopes of bringing comedy into the community and being a venue that supports comedians consistently can now maybe become a real thing in the world.’

Angel Comedy will continue to operate in the the Camden Head pub, but the new venture, set to open later this year, will offer scope for more shows, bigger shows, and security for the future.

The money pledged on Kickstarter will go towards fixing a leaking roof, sorting out the plumbing and building a proper stage with lights and sound, installing air-conditioning, and buying the 150 seats the new room will accommodate.

Any money raised over the target will be used for resources for comedians and community projects planned by Angel Comedy.

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Published: 2 Jun 2016

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