Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 28 March 2019

Komedia Brighton Retains Its Appetite For Life On Its 25th Anniversary

On May 1st 1994, the directors of Umbrella Theatre, Colin Granger, Marina Kobler, and David Lavender, opened a new venue called Komedia, in a converted former billiard hall in Kemptown, Brighton. 

Credit Ian Greenland

They modelled the venue on the cabaret theatres they had seen while touring with Umbrella in cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin; small informal welcoming venues that offered people from all walks of life a place to enjoy comedy, cabaret, and music whilst having a meal and a drink. 

There were no venues like these in the UK in the early nineties and Colin, Marina, and David wanted Komedia to be the first. 

From the very beginning, the venue's cabaret theatre format was a huge success both with audiences and performers and in the venue's first season new talent such as Graham Norton, Al Murray, Mel and Sue and Omid Djalili were the first to step on its stage. 

In 1998 Colin, Marina and David were able to move their venue to larger premises in the centre of Brighton, their choice being Jubilee Shopping Hall (a former Tesco supermarket) on Gardner Street. 

Krater Comedy Club was born in June 1999 after the 'crater like' basement area was transformed into a cabaret space. 


The larger venue quickly attracted established and up-and-coming comedy and music acts such as; Catherine Tate, Stewart Lee, Ross Noble, Harry Hill, The Mighty Boosh, Johnny Vegas, Dave Gorman, Flight of the Conchords, Jimmy Carr, KT Tunstall, The XX, Kate Nash, Anna Calvi, Ghostpoet, Bonobo, The Magic Numbers, Bat for Lashes, Foals, Mumford and Sons and even Sia.

Over the years, when other UK arts centres were closing because of cuts in public funding and the recession, Colin, Marina and David knew that for Komedia to remain independent and in control of its own destiny, the venue had to be self-sufficient and sustainable. 

They developed a business model where highly successful, profitable, regular shows such as the Krater Comedy Club, cross-subsidised the work of up-and-coming artists, spoken world and children"s events.

Today, Colin, Marina and David are proud that with the help of the venue's loyal staff and management team that Komedia continues to programme a varied range of entertainment: 

'Our aim when we opened Komedia in May 1994 was to create an independent and self-supporting venue that offers a wide choice of live entertainment, good service, and welcomes people from all walks of life. 

'25 years later, we are proud that with the help of all our staff this aim has been achieved, and that Komedia will continue to have this vision at its heart – let the good times roll!"

Komedia's aim today remains the same as 25 years ago – to offer customers a warm welcome, a wide choice of live entertainment, good service, bars and food, so that everyone with an appetite for life can enjoy a good night out.

For all the info on Komedia Brighton's forthcoming shows CLICK HERE

by: Mike Cobley



Related links

Komedia Brighton

Share    


Ed O'Brien never planned to make a solo record. As a guitarist with Radiohead, who over almost three decades and nine albums have established themselves as one of the most innovative and influential musical forces of our time, he thought his artistic side had its outlet and was happy to spend any downtime from Radiohead with his family.

Throughout COVID-19 isolation, everyone has become aware of the supportive and stimulating power of music. Although many people want to learn, they have no access to musical instruments or tuition - especially with schools and shops currently closed. 

Local Brighton businesswoman, Lisa Lepki, is supporting an exciting initiative, The Page Turner Awards, to help new authors get their stories out into the world.
Credit: Andy Sturmey

Barely a year since their debut album Dogrel, Dublin's Fontaines D.C. are set to return with A Hero's Death.
Credit Katy Cummings

Scottish arena rockers Twin Atlantic are back with new album Power - and it's arrived with a dramatic shift in style and tone.

The Rec Rooms is an independent music and comedy venue in Horsham, West Sussex, which was opened by three locals just over eighteen months ago. 

Guerrilla bike lanes appeared overnight on the streets of Brighton as part of an Extinction Rebellion campaign to highlight the urgent need for more cycling space in the city.
Credit Jake Wangner

Jack Garratt accompanies the forthcoming release of his new deeply personal album, Love, Death & Dancing, with an equally reflective long-form visual piece.

Beloved of a passionate fanbase and garlanded by award judges, Tim Vine is taking a sharp left turn from his career as a one-line gagsmith and punmeister extraordinaire. Ladies and gentlemen, for one tour only (maybe), we introduce to you . . . Plastic Elvis! The idea for this new tour is somehow simultaneously daft as a brush and not as crazy as it sounds.

A new virtual high street delivery service is up and running. Click It Local, who's ethos is to enable local shops to be able to compete with the likes of Amazon on convenience and choice launched this week in a mission to save the local high street and help support the Brighton community.
Credit Jamie MacMillian

One thousand five hundred Brighton Festival ticket buyers have donated back some or all of their purchases to the Festival after it was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
Credit Tom Sheehan

Taken from their self-titled debut album, One Hand Tommy is The Imbeciles latest single and proves no matter how strange our world seems right now, it could always be stranger .. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd