Goodbye Jongleurs (for now)

Clubs to be renamed

Every remaining Jongleurs comedy club is to be rebranded under a new name.

The collapse of the chain’s former owner Regent Inns this month means control of the brand name reverts to its founder Maria Kempinska.

And she intends to use it to launch a new Jongleurs venture – a chain of clubs which she promises will be ‘more adventurous, more creative and more spontaneous’ than the existing ones.

Intertain, the new company running the venues, has temporarily extended its licence to use the Jongleurs name over the busy Christmas period.

But on January 2 it will have to relaunch them under a new name, which has not yet been revealed, but has promised they will remain comedy venues.

Chief executive John Leslie said the move would allow the company to break its ties with the original Jongleurs set-up. He told The Times: ‘The Jongleurs licence held by Regent was quite restrictive. This is a big opportunity for us to develop the format.’

Ms Kempinska said she was looking for sites in Newcastle, Liverpool and Brighton to start her new chain of Jongleurs.

Ms Kempinska launched the first club in Battersea, South London, in 1983. In 2000, she and husband John Davy sold their 51 per cent share of the business to Regent for £8.5million, but retained rights to the brand name.

Published: 30 Oct 2009

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