Norwich theatre voted as one of Britain’s top comedy venues

The Norwich Playhouse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norwich Playhouse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A riverside theatre has been crowned one of the top places to watch comedy in the Britain.

Shappi Khorsandi who appeared at the Norwich Playhouse in 2018. Picture: MATT CROCKETT

Shappi Khorsandi who appeared at the Norwich Playhouse in 2018. Picture: MATT CROCKETT - Credit: MATT CROCKETT

Norwich Playhouse on St George's Street was chosen by the public as the best comedy venue in the east and the midlands at the 2018 Chortle Awards.

Rowan Whiteside, marketing and communications officer for Norwich Playhouse, said: 'We really do attract a very high calibre of comedians, partly because the Norwich audience is fantastic, the venue is a nice space and there is a real interest in the Norwich Playhouse and city, which is a great place.'

The Chortle Awards is an annual celebration of the most popular comedy acts, venues and shows, produced by Chortle - a website dedicated to all things comedy.

Since 2000, the playhouse has attracted popular television comedians to Norwich including Jon Richardson, Sarah Milican, Stewart Lee, Katherine Ryan, John Bishop and Tim Minchin at the start of their careers.

Comedian Mark Watson who is performing at Norwich Playhouse in 2018. Picture: COURTESY OF NORWICH PL

Comedian Mark Watson who is performing at Norwich Playhouse in 2018. Picture: COURTESY OF NORWICH PLAYHOUSE - Credit: COURTESY OF NORWICH PLAYHOUSE

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Caroline Richardson, Norwich Playhouse director, said: 'Back in 2000 we had Al Murray here, and after seeing his show I thought what fantastic fun it was to see 300 people sharing the pleasure in laughing together. That's what made me start programming comedy.

'I'm delighted that the past 18 years of bringing fabulously funny people to the region has been acknowledged by this award, and the playhouse team looks forward to the next 18 years and beyond.'

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Already this year the playhouse has hosted Michael McIntyre, Stephen K Amos, Tim Vine, Mark Thomas, Richard Herring, Shappi Khorsandi and Phil Jupitus, among other entertaining acts.

News of the award attracted the following comments on social media:

'Brilliant work. An amazing venue. Literally have lost count of the amazing comedy shows I have seen. A brilliant theatre.'

'Wonderful venue, lovely staff, and great choices of acts.'

When describing the playhouse, comedian Jon Richardson said: 'The nicest venue in Norwich/the UK/the world.'

Fellow performer Mark Watson said: 'Norwich Playhouse is one of my favourite venues in the country.'

Richard Herring said the playhouse was the 'highlight' of one of his tours.

Visit or call 01603 612580 information about playhouse events.

2018 Norwich Playhouse live show dates

Below is a selection of comedy acts at Norwich Playhouse this year:

Stand-up comedian John Robins is performing The Darkness of Robins on Tuesday April 3.

Sarah Kendall, known for the BBC Radio 4 series Australian Trilogy, is bringing her show to the theatre on Friday June 1.

Henning Wehn is performing Das Neuen Materialen Nachten from Thursday June 7 until Saturday June 9.

The Grumpy Old Women: To the Rescue live show performance, starring Jenny Eclair, Dillie Keane and Lizzie Roper, is happening on Friday June 15.

Black Books star Dylan Moran will be opening his national tour with three nights at the playhouse from Monday September 3 until Wednesday September 5.

Marcus Brigstocke will be at the playhouse from Tuesday September 11 until Thursday September 13.

Mark Watson will be putting on exclusive performances, outside of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from Thursday September 27 until Saturday September 29.

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