If you tried to think of the most famous venues for stand-up comedy you might come up with The Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles or The Comedy Cellar in New York.
Now there’s a new name to add to the list. Maybe. 96 Shenley Road in Borehamwood.
Local Stand Up comic Philip Simon is about to take up residence as the compere of newly launched Borehamwood Comedy Club, replacing a slot that was due to filled by Jongleurs until the national comedy club chain went in to administration in October.
Philip says he’s been searching for the ideal venue for a comedy night in Borehamwood for some time, and hopes that the rest of the community will agree that this is something that the area will benefit from.
He says, “96 Shenley Road is a fantastic venue to work with, so when the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance. To have a professional comedy club with good transport links to London will appeal to the type of acts playing the London comedy circuit, which will mean we can book some cracking names, and I’m confident my contacts on the circuit will mean we can really make a success of this venture.
“The council, which owns the venue, could have looked to contract with another big national operator, but instead have chosen to support a local business. They should be applauded for this.”
As well as being a rising star of the stand-up circuit, Philip writes gags for other performers and works on shows such as Mock The Week and Radio 4’s Newsjack.
Originally an actor, graduating from Guildford School of Acting in 2001, he has appeared in a number of shows including the live West End run of decidedly non-Kosher TV sensation Peppa Pig.
After that, he told the JC, he decided to move into comedy:
“I did a comedy course at The Comedy School in Camden and did my first gig after that in April 2011.
“It was the best professional decision I’ve ever made and I’m now more at home on stage telling my own jokes than I ever was as an actor.
“My first gig (outside of the comedy course’s showcase) was extremely nerve-wracking, but it turns out a by-product of being an actor for so long meant that no-one realised how scared I was and thought I was more experienced than I actually was.
“This worked in my favour and I progressed quickly through the open mic circuit to the professional circuit, gigging all over the world.”
His new club’s launch night is set for Saturday 25th November: Philip will host a professional line up from the UK comedy circuit that includes Lateef Lovejoy, Trevor Crook and Geoff Boyz.
Further dates are to be announced for 2018, but it is hoped that this will become a regular feature of the Elstree & Borehamwood scene which will appeal to comedy fans of all ages, from mature audiences to the Peppa Pig set.