Karen Koren: Festival frolics in a two city break

Jason Manford at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny
Jason Manford at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny
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Gilded Balloon, Pleasance, Assembly and Underbelly have their big brochure launch with The List Magazine in London tonight. It is the London launch of our very exciting, creative and extensive programme for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The event is being held at the Omeara Club in O’Meara Street, which can be found in Flat Iron Square, a new culture and food hub that has recently made its home in London Bridge.

It’s a multipurpose venue and somewhere to be when you’re looking to be elsewhere, or so their website says, and let’s be honest, we’d rather be somewhere other than London, when it’s hot and muggy.

There have been lots of rumours that music venues were a bit of a dying breed in London, then up pops this new one. It is quickly becoming the new spot for the cool kids. The owner is Ben Lovett, a member of Mumford & Sons, and the venue boasts a state-of-the-art sound system.

It’s a space for gigs and indie club nights, but also functions as a venue for comedy nights, talks, burlesque and magic shows. The List has taken over the whole venue for the London launch and there will be a host of performers who are part of our combined programme.

Not that I will be staying too late, as my daughter Katy and I are flying to Dublin first thing tomorrow, then driving down to Kilkenny for the weekend.

The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival is on over the weekend and it’s one of the best in the world. Comedians from all over the globe congregate to have a laugh together and get to know each other and it’s known as the comics’ comedy festival.

Kilkenny is a great Irish city with a population of only 26,000 – it’s really only the size of Musselburgh, but it’s a city because it has a cathedral and a castle.

All the best Irish comedians are on and this year Adam Hills, Jason Manford, Reginald D Hunter, Zoe Lyons, Rich Hall, James Acaster and loads more are on the bill.

I’m looking forward to catching up with lots of them and seeing some new comics I haven’t seen – then programme them for next year!