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Stephen Merchant sets box office record

Stephen Merchant has sold out two theatre gigs in less than ten minutes, with only minimal publicity.

His two work-in-progress shows set a new record for London’s Bloomsbury Theatre – a venue that has previously played host to his Office co-creator Ricky Gervais.

The two nights at the 535-seat venue on January 13 and 14 went on sale yesterday with little publicity outside of the theatre’s own mailing list.

However, some of those who brought tickets clearly have no intention of using them themselves – but instead hope to sell them on for a huge instant profit. Already seats are on sale at the resale website GetMeIn – owned by Ticketmaster – for up to £99 each, a massive 560 per cent mark-up on their £15 face value.

Merchant began his career as a stand-up comedian, and was a finalist in the 1998 Daily Telegraph New Comedy Awards. In the past couple of years he has been making a tentative return to the circuit, making largely unpublicised appearances at club nights to work on his material.

Published: 25 Nov 2010

Today's comedy-on demand picks

SLAPSTICK'S BIG NIGHT IN

Robin Ince hosts this VERY star-studded event to bolster the Bristol festival which celebrates all manner of vintage comedy. The calibre of guests who dropped in shows how much it's loved, including Sir Michael Palin, Rob Brydon, Stephen Merchant, Jo Brand, David Mitchell, Harry Hill, Jack Dee, Lucy Porter, Lee Mack, Graeme Garden, Stephen Fry, Jess Robinson, Tony Hawks, Richard Herring and Frankie Boyle.

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... including the Laughter Lounge virtual comedy festival and the return of Frank Skinner's poetry podcast.

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