Komedia: We've secured our future

...as Djalili announces benefit shows

Directors of Brighton’s Komedia venue say the venue’s future has been secured after a meeting with creditors.

The news comes after Omid Djalili announced that he will play two benefit gigs for the award-winning club, which has run up debts of more than £300,000.

Following a crisis meeting today, companies owed money by the venue gave their backing to a rescue plan put forward by the club’s directors.

The proposal that the venue will cover the outstanding bill from its projected profits over the next five years received 100 per cent support from creditors, Komedia say.

A spokesman said: ‘The support we have received from all areas has been immense and we are very thankful for this. Like many businesses today, we found normal avenues to finance closed and had no other option than to table this plan.

‘With this now in place we can again focus on providing the city with the comedy, music and club nights that we know it still has a healthy appetite for.’

Meanwhile, Djalili will help ease the club’s financial problems with two dates there on April 6 and 7. He said: ‘Komedia were the very first theatre to book my one -man shows back in 1994 even with titles as dodgy as Ron Mussolini Strikes Back. They have been a bastion for the arts and have encouraged, cajoled and empowered a lot of acts regardless of management and status. I am delighted to be doing two benefit nights.’

The venue, which has been named best comedy venue in the south for seven years in the Chortle Awards, blames its woes on the 」1million cost of a 2006 building programme and the withdrawal of the Arts Council’s 」160,000-a-year grant last year. The funding body had supported the venue’s expansion.

Komedia first opened in 1994 with an 80-seat cafe theatre before moving to its current venue, which includes a large comedy venue, cabaret theatre and studio space. Komedia also operates a venue in Bath and a production arm – which are separate companies unaffected by the financial situation in Brighton.

Published: 23 Mar 2009

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