Gilded Balloon launches monthly comedy show

Comedians Raymond Mearns, left, and Kai Humphries join Gilded Balloon chief Karen Koren. Picture: Sally Cuthbert
Comedians Raymond Mearns, left, and Kai Humphries join Gilded Balloon chief Karen Koren. Picture: Sally Cuthbert
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ONE of the Capital’s best-known comedy houses is making a return to the circuit after opening a brand new venue.

Award-winning Irish comedian Dylan Moran is set to headline the new monthly comedy club, which starts next month and is being hosted by 30-year-old event company the Gilded Balloon.

This will be the first time in over a decade that the Gilded Balloon has organised year-round comedy in Edinburgh.

At its peak, the firm had been hosting seven shows a day from its long-time Cowgate base. But when the building was ravaged by a fire in December 2002, the club was left without a permanent home. Since then, the Gilded Balloon has become a Fringe favourite but now it is set to return as a regular city staple after organisers at the Festival Theatre offered a studio space for the company’s sprawling line-up of comedians.

Karen Koren, who founded the Gilded Balloon in 1986, said the theatre’s new comedy club had been a long time coming.

“This is actually quite fortuitous timing because the anniversary of the destruction of the original Gilded Balloon is coming up in a few days,” she said.

“Since that fire, we have been very active in putting on shows across the country and of course during the Festival, but we haven’t had an opportunity to host regular shows.

“We were so excited when The Studio at the Festival Theatre became available because it is an exciting, intimate and flexible space, perfectly suited to stand-up.”

Duncan Hendry, chief executive at the Festival and King’s Theatres, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Karen and the Gilded Balloon on this exciting new venture and we’re sure the public will love the opportunity to discover a new space for comedy in the city.”

The inaugural show on January 10 will kick off with headliner Dylan Moran, named “the greatest comedian, living or dead” by French newspaper Le Monde.

He’ll be joined by the Edinburgh-based Geordie Kai Humphries, and the 2013 Scottish Comedian of the Year Larry Dean. The evening will be compered by Scottish circuit legend Raymond Mearns.