The Comedy Store will be back in July | offering drive-in gigs © Judi Love/Monkeywing (CC By SA 2.0)

The Comedy Store will be back in July offering drive-in gigs

Live stand-up comedy is definitely returning on July 3 – as a drive-in.

The Comedy Store will be providing line-ups for two gigs within a week, with fans able to park up and watch the shows from their own cars.

On July 3, a show will be staged on the riverbank at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, which should have hosted the Henley Festival, and on July 7 comedy is coming to Powderham Castle in Exeter.

The gigs are part of weekend-long events at the sites called Car Park Party, which will also feature socially distanced karaoke and film screenings.

Comedy Store owner Don Ward said: 'Comedy is such a great tonic in troubled times. Being part of a collective experience, sharing a laugh is so life-affirming. With clubs and theatres closed we felt it important to find a way to bring comedy to its audience, and I’m delighted to say we have.’

The gigs are being promoted by entertainment giant Live Nation, which in normal times offers quarterly Comedy Store branded stand-up shows to several regional theatres.

Anna Cooke from the company added: ‘It felt such a natural progression after  working with the Store on the UK  wide  residencies, to assist on the drive in shows. I’m sure these two will be the first of many.’

The news comes after Chortle reported how stand-up Tom Binns – best known for playing inept hospital radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury– had launched a crowdfunding drive to buy the equipment requried for a touring drive-in comedy club.

He has currently raised £1,500 of the £5,000 he needs by June 11 to convert his van to put a stage on the roof, and buy the appropriate sound system, including a way of feeding back audience laughter to the stage.

Some comedy clubs in America have already started experimenting with drive-in gigs. Here’s a news report from a gig in Anchorage, Alaska, last month:

Tickets for the Comedy Store Car Park Party gigs go on general sale at 10am tomorrow, with the line-ups to be announced nearer the time of the shows.

Published: 21 May 2020

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