Indoor comedy gig NEXT WEEK

Liverpool's Hot Water club stages a test show with an audience of 300

Liverpool’s Hot Water Comedy Club is to stage an indoor gig next week, as a trial for when lockdown lifts.

It is one of several live events, including sporting fixtures, club nights and business conferences, being put on so researchers can monitor and study crowds.

Some events - but not the Hot Water night - will require a Covid certificate, with anyone attending having to show they have been vaccinated, have antibodies from a previous infection, or have had a recent negative test for the virus.

That would be the first step towards the introduction of controversial vaccine passports to allow resumption of social activities - but only if you have the right papers.

Boris Johnson will move to head off a Commons backlash over the plans saying the passport would not be needed for pubs and restaurants, The Sun on Sunday reports. But he will announce tomorrow that it would be needed for theatres, nightclubs, concert venues and cinemas as well as overseas travel. It has not been stated which category comedy clubs would fall into.

However, groundwork for the passport is not going as smoothly as supporters hope, with the Sunday Telegraph reporting that a mobile app would not be ready until the autumn.

Writing in the paper, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove also said  there is ‘a host of practical and ethical questions we have to answer before we can consider a wider rollout’.

Across the board, venues will not be open for indoor performances until May 17 at the earliest according to the Government’s roadmap back to normality.

But on Friday week, April 16, comics Paul Smith, Adam Rowe, Jamie Sutherland and Mick Ferry will perform in front of 300 punters at The Auditorium within the M&S Arena complex.

The venue normally has a capacity of between 850 and 1,350, depending on its layout.

The gig will have no social distancing, but punters will be tested before and afterwards as part of the research.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden hailed the gig as making the return of proper crowds, saying this and other trials were not ‘not the socially-distanced kind of event with no atmosphere, but real occasions with large audiences’.

Researchers will report back to Ministers via senior scientific advisers at the end of May.

Towards the end of the first lockdown the Frog and Bucket comedy club in Manchester staged a similar dry run - although Chortle understands no official from the Department for Culture Media and Sport actually attended to see how it worked. Nottingham’s Just The Tonic also staged a similar test run before restrictions were eased.

Other events in the new vaccine passport trials include the FA Cup final at Wembley, World Snooker Championships in Sheffield and an open-air cinema gig with an audience of up to 1,000 on the banks of the Mersey, again in Liverpool.

Tickets for the Liverpool comedy gig go on sale tomorrow from the Hot Water Comedy.

The club is also running Friday-night outdoor gigs in the city’s Roscoe Gardens, by Grand Central Hall, from April 23.

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Published: 4 Apr 2021


Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2004

Big Value Comedy Show Late

Edinburgh Fringe 2009

Mick Ferry: The Comedy Final

Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Mick Ferry: Sod It!

Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Mick Ferry: Has Been Found Wanting


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