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State of comedy circuit nothing to laugh about.

Byline: GRAEME BROWN Regional Business Editor graeme.brown@trinitymirror.com

THE owner of the city's most prominent comedy club has spoken of his fears for the laughter industry after a series of blows.

Jongleurs on Broad Street is currently closed after being caught up in the collapse of Bliss nightclub, while plans for a new club called Just Add Tonic in the city have been axed.

This comes just weeks before the city's annual comedy festival, and Glee Club owner Mark Tughan said he feared the negative news would put off potential customers.

However, he said the city's comedy scene remains in rude health, as shown by the Birmingham Comedy Festival, from October 4 to 13, which features the likes of Russell Brand, Adam Hills and Jongleurs, on currently closed.

Robin Ince.

Meanwhile, Jongleurs is expected to announce a new venue in the city before the month is out.

Mr Tughan said: "With Jongleurs and the supposed arrival of Just Add Tonic it has all seemed a fairly hapless mess.

"Dozens of shows go on sale and then out of the blue they just disappear.

"It looks for all to see that the comedy scene has taken a knock."

He added: "I still think we have got a thriving comedy scene in the city. We have got the Birmingham Comedy Festival coming up, which shows that.

"There is lots going on at the Old Joint Stock, The Drum and here."

The Mail reported last month that Jongleurs had closed after Bliss Bar and Clubrooms suddenly closed.

That came shortly after the 'pre-pack' administration of Gatecrasher, further down Broad Street, which racked up debts of PS3.5 million.

That had meant that shows had to be cancelled at Jongleurs, but a spokesman for the company told the Mail he was hopeful that a new venue would be found in the next 10 days, but was unable to say where in the city it was.

He said there had been a glitch on its website which meant cancelled shows were being shown as sold out.

Elsewhere, comedy website Chortle has reported that the opening of the new comedy club in Birmingham called Just Add Tonic has been postponed indefinitely.

Birmingham Comedy Festival organiser Dave Freak said: "The festival has been going since 2001 and the public demand has never ceased.

"There are about 60 or so acts. While it is a shame that Just Add Tonic came in at the last moment and disappeared quickly, the festival is unaffected."

Street, is

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Glee Club owner Mark Tughan, who has spoken of his fears for Birmingham comedy clubs.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 20, 2013
Words:436
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