In need of a good laugh? Then you’ll be as thrilled as we are to learn that the Middle East’s longest-running comedy night, The Laughter Factory, is making a return to Dubai this July, with a brilliant line-up of international comedians set to perform five nights of gigs as part of Dubai Summer Surprises.
We caught up with the Laughter Factory’s head honcho, Gail Clough, to ask her how’s she’s faired during the Coronavirus crisis…
The events and entertainment industry has been devastated by the Coronavirus, comedy included – what’s been the impact on the Laughter Factory?
Everyone is bored without live comedy and I am very skint.
Did you have any contingency plans in place and how have you survived the financial fallout?
Staying home and eating pot noodles, instead of laughing and partying.
How easy / difficult was it to entice comedians to get on the plane and travel to Dubai?
It was the easiest job in the world. All of our acts love playing the Laughter Factory, it’s 24 year old club that means it has a seasoned audience who are incredibly comedy literate. Comics live for those type of gigs.
Are there any Covid protocols are in place in the venue(s) for the comedy nights?
We are set up in the exact same way as the restaurants with only table service. All tables are 2 meters apart. Everything is sterilized. The place will be very safe for everyone, we love our members and will make sure everyone is kept healthy.
How do you see the comedy industry in the UAE faring over the 12 months?
I can’t see the huge area type acts like Michael McIyntre coming for a while but I think the Laughter Factory will do really well. It’s important people come together and laugh together. Laughter is a shared emotion and stand up shouldn’t be watched on a screen, it’s pointless. It’s like going to a party, standing outside and looking in through the window.
So, who’s bringing the laughs? Irish comedian Danny O’Brien is a comedy festival veteran, and a familiar face at The Edinburgh Fringe, with his solo show frequently selling out. Throughout 2019 and 2020, the comic has toured the world with his act, and he has a number of TV projects to his name.
No stranger to Dubai, Nick Page also returns for The Laughter Factory’s July series, bringing his outlandish storytelling and devastating punchlines with him.
And finally, rising star Peter Flanagan rounds off the trio. The Irish comedian is a regular columnist for The Irish Times, attracting acclaim for his astute takes on Irish and British politics, which has seen him land slots creating material for the BBC and Comedy Central.
Missed Dubai’s live comedy nights? Get it booked.
Tickets Dhs160. Shows start 8.30pm. Thu July 16 and Fri July 17, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach (compulsory main courses priced from Dhs60); Wed July 22 at Zabeel House by Jumeirah – The Greens (compulsory Dhs140 two-course dinner to be paid on entry); Thu July 23 and Fri July 24 at Grand Millennium, Barsha Heights (compulsory main courses priced from Dhs35). For tickets visit www.800tickets.com or call for more information (050 878 6728).