Pod goes pop | Another group of clubs goes to the wall

Pod goes pop

Another group of clubs goes to the wall

Another chain of comedy nights has gone to the wall.

The promoter of the Laughing Pod, which operated in seven venues, has written to agents saying he is closing all his clubs immediately.

Stephen Watson cited ‘major financial problems’ for the closure – and it is understood comedians are owed money for performing at his shows dating back to at least March.

Watson told those owed money: ‘My problems are currently a lot bigger then yours.’

However, on Facebook he gave a slightly different story, saying that despite his financial woes, he will be continuing with his monthly clubs in Billericay and Thundersley, both in Essex.

The Laughing Pod’s other venues were in Southend (described as the flagship venue), Rayleigh, Benfleet and Westcliff-on-Sea – all in Essex – plus one in London’s Canary Wharf and one in Newquay, Cornwall.

Watson has not responded to Chortle’s requests for comment, but on Facebook posted: ‘I no [sic] I made some errors and hope people in the comedy world can give me a second chance and I will make sure I get things right this time.’

He said ticketholders from the closed Rayleigh or Benfleet venues could use their tickets for the surviving shows.

• After this article appeared, Watson contacted Chortle to explain that when he wrote his email to the agent he was ready to 'walk away from comedy completely'. However, he since had a change of heart but decided to close several of his venues 'to keep things manageable'. His clubs in Billericay and Thundersley plus a new act night in Harwich continue to operate.

Published: 11 Oct 2013

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