Firing up the Funny: Brighton comedian, Stephen Grant, bids farewell to comedic home of 23 years to relocate to plush new hub – Ironworks Studios
Stephen Grant, multi-award-winning comedy compere, writer and Brighton legend, is excited to announce his move to a brand new state of the art venue, the new home of stand up comedy in the heart of the city.
Stephen, who is Brighton born and bred, conceived, set up and named The Krater Comedy Club in the first half of 1999, so titled as the venue was essentially a hole in the ground at its inception. It rapidly grew from a fortnightly event into a five show a week UK comedy circuit staple and a notorious Brighton institution.
After an incredibly challenging period of venue closures during the pandemic, Komedia decided to take the comedy part of their programming in a new direction; and on 15th January 2022, after 23 years and over 4000 shows, The Krater Comedy Club came to an end in Brighton. Stephen continues to curate the Krater Comedy Club in Bath, which operates as a community benefit society.
The new comedy venue in Brighton’s North Laine, is situated at Ironworks Studios, which launched in July 2021. Paul Kemp, MD of Brighton & Hove Pride, and his team have dedicated the last two years to transforming Ironworks Studios from an office unit into a bespoke creative arts and entertainment space. The venue promotes high-quality, innovative, educational, and entertaining events with a community fundraising objective.
The comedy club will be known as The Forge Comedy Club at Ironworks Studios – with the forge being the heart of any ironworks. This brand-new venue features two performance spaces, with flexible seating and capacities of 60 to 180, and the latest specification of live streaming and recording facilities. This will allow comedians to not only perform but record their shows, but also produce radio shows, talks, live podcasts, and high resolution streaming. Additionally, Stephen will continue his long-standing commitment to new comedians and local talent, with regular free workshops and performance masterclasses hosted there, and a pathway for newer acts to become the stars of the future, building on the foundations laid at Krater for over two decades.
Opening night will be Saturday 29th January, featuring Romesh Ranganathan, Jen Brister, Joe Wells, and compere Stephen Grant. And while tickets are likely to go instantly, comedy fans can expect to see acts such as Russell Howard, Jimmy Carr, Zoe Lyons, Marcus Brigstocke, Seann Walsh, Maisie Adam, Stephen K Amos, Angela Barnes and Hal Cruttenden, all looking to come to the Forge this year. From late February the club will run weekly on Saturdays, with additional days coming up later on in the year, and in keeping with the ethos of Ironworks Studios, every ticket sold includes a ringfenced charity contribution supporting local community groups and projects.
Details of shows can be found at www.forgecomedyclub.co.uk where people can sign up to the mailing list and always be the first to get the chance to buy tickets. In every way this venue is an upgrade; all seats will face the stage, tables aren’t shared with other people, and there are limited VIP package options for a special night out. All details are also available via www.ironworks-studios.co.uk
Stephen Grant, “I’m so proud already of what this will be; the UK’s best stand-up comedians have all said they’ll come and perform here, and the support from the industry has been breath-taking. Furthermore, I have an amazing team of people who are passionate about comedy, above all else. And finally, getting to work with Ironworks Studios, and the wonderful people at Brighton Pride, means that neither quality nor diversity will be compromised in this unbeatable collaboration.”
Romesh Ranganathan, Comedian, Writer, Actor and Podcaster, “Stephen Grant is the best compere and host in the country and so I’m very excited to play at his new club. He’s always been great at nurturing talent in the area and so this new club is not only great for news for audiences, but for the comedy scene in Brighton as a whole.”
Paul Kemp, Head of Ironworks Studios said, “We are thrilled to welcome Stephen Grant’s Forge Comedy Club to Ironworks Studios and believe we’re a perfect venue for this high calibre comedy offering. We can’t wait to welcome an array of top-quality comedians and are excited to ensure the continuation of diversity, accessibility, and progressive programming we’re passionate about, whilst also continuing to raise essential funds for local community groups. We can’t wait to show people that Ironworks Studios Brighton is the new perfect place for a memorable night out.”
About Funny That, Stephen Grant and The Forge Comedy Club
Stephen Grant began his comedy career by creating and compering the multi award winning Krater Comedy Club back in 1999. While there, the venue won Chortle’s Best Comedy Club of the South, over 12 times, and the club nurtured the talents of the best UK comedy stars, including Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Carr, Russell Howard, Sarah Millican, Alan Carr, Romesh Ranganathan, Stephen K Amos, John Oliver, Rob Beckett, Richard Ayoade and many more.
During the pandemic, Stephen started the Funny That comedy organisation, while the traditional venues were shut. Funny That hosted Covid-safe pop up events across Sussex during the pandemic including outdoor events at the Hassocks Hotel and at the stunning Brighton Open Air Theatre.
The Forge Comedy Club, run by Funny That and in association with Ironworks Studios, is the new home of premier stand-up comedy in Brighton, featuring the best comedians on the circuit and a host of famous names, with resident multi award-winning compere Stephen Grant.