Peter Cook's legendary club returns

Antidisestablishmentarianism in action

Peter Cook’s legendary comedy club The Establishment is set to make a return to London.

His widow Lin has given her blessing to plans to revive the club, which launched the ‘satire boom’ of the Sixties and became the hottest society ticket in town.

It will initially launch as a monthly night in Ronnie Scott’s jazz venue, hosted by alternative comedy badboy Keith Allen, but plans are afoot to find a permanent venue in 2013.

Lin Cook said: ‘Peter wanted to revive the club, so if it was reopened in Soho that will be realising Peter’s dream. It would have been Peter’s 75th birthday this year, how amazing is that?’

The relaunch of came after Lin told satirist Victor Lewis-Smith about her late husband’s plans. Lewis-Smith then teamed up with Allen and Mike O’Brien of comedy audio label Laughing Stock to work on the plans.

In 2013, the team plans to open a permanent home for The Establishment, an exclusive members’ club in the heart of Soho.

Cook set up The Establishment in 1961 in Greek Street – at a venue now called Zebrano. It featured uncensored, stand-up featuring radical and anarchic performers including Lenny Bruce, Barry Humphries and Frankie Howerd as well as jazz from Dudley Moore and guests.

Although it only existed for three years, it was hugely influential part of the satire scene that include That Was the Week That Was, Private Eye and Beyond The Fringe – all of which had Cook at its heart.

The first nights of the revived Establishment are at Ronnie Scott’s on September 19 and 20 this year, starting at 11.30pm.

Published: 29 Aug 2012

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