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    

Whats on in Brighton today

Credit Aitor Throup

Following the release of his acclaimed track Favourites featuring Little Simz, Kasabian mastermind Serge Pizzorno aka The S.L.P. has revealed he will release his debut solo record The S.L.P., on 30th August 2019. 

The Mods are coming back to Brighton this August Bank Holiday weekend, with a double helping of Quadrophenia to mark the occasion of the film's 40th anniversary.

It was two years ago that the then Brighton Festival Guest Director Kate Tempest played a secret gig in the city and performed an exclusive rendition of her unreleased new album, The Book Of Traps & Lessons.

Art party-makers Traumfrau joins forces with The Queer Songbook for a live creative party celebrating Brighton's vibrant community and queer voices, and what Pride has meant through the decades. From the Stonewall Riots to personal stories. 

Jazz Re:Fest at Brighton Dome prides itself on giving a platform to some of the dopest live music around, especially showcasing emerging and underexposed talent – this year will be no exception. 
Credit Tom Woollard

Two of the UK's most innovative theatre companies, Gecko and Mind the Gap, have announced a co-production called A Little Space, which will visit The Old Market in Brighton, this December.
Credit Andy Sturmey

The Futureheads, who played Concorde 2, Brighton, last month, are set to release Powers, their sixth studio album and their first electric guitar release in almost a decade.  

Sussex-based Mark and Helen Johnson, the award-winning founders of Out of the Ark Music, have launched a new label aimed at encouraging families and communities to singing intergenerationally. 

Brighton Dome is hosting Together, a free event on Sunday 23rd June 2019 to support two human rights campaigns: Refugee Week and Fly the Flag.

Singing for his supper. Squeeze's lead singer Glenn Tilbrook tells us why on the band's latest tour - which visits The Brighton Centre in October-  they'll be raising money and awareness for The Trussell Trust, the anti-poverty charity and foodbank network.

This year is a landmark year for songwriter Richard Hawley. Not only has he released his eighth studio album, Further, but a musical based on a collection of his songs opens in his hometown of Sheffield. 

Barns Courtney had started his musical journey as part of indie bands, SleeperCell and Dive Bella Dive. He then toured as a singer/songwriter, opening for Libertine Carl Barat but paid the bills by working at PC World. 

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...






Latest Brighton Jobs


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