NOW YOU can stock up on laughs as well as local art, crafts and tasty goodies with the launch of Bay Harbour Market’s monthly Comedy Club.
The new club opened with a gig featuring comedians Marc Lottering, Rob van Vuuren and Mum-Z last month. The next event, which takes place tomorrow, will have host Martin Davis, Stuart Taylor, Anne Hirsch and Carl Weber taking to the stage.
“The intention with the market and venue was always entertainment,” says co-founder Anthony Stroebel.
“It was always our vision to extend it outside of having live music just when the market is open. It’s time to start exploring new entertainment frontiers.”
The Comedy Club is their first initiative and if the response to the first gig was anything to go by, Stroebel says that they may soon host more than one event a month. But guests should still expect good-quality shows. “There’s nothing worse than bad comedy.”
In addition to featuring top comedians, they are hoping to extend another of the elements the market is passionate about – involving the local communities.
“In due course we’ll also start bringing comedians to the stage from Hangberg as well as Mandela Park,” Stroebel explains.
They will put the word out through social networks and rely on word to spread with the help of the roughly 60 people the market employs from those areas.
“We’re quite well connected and I have no doubt we’ll have quite a lot of people coming to the door.”
Emerging comedians will be auditioned and Stroebel and Mum-Z will work closely with them, helping them to hone their talent and giving them a platform.
August’s event proved not only popular, but also a valuable testing ground to highlight areas that could be streamlined. With close to 400 tickets sold, there were people sitting on every available surface and standing at the bar.
“It was quite informal. It was a jovial, high-energy crowd,” says Stroebel, adding that while they are keen to retain the vibe of the market, they will implement a more formalised numbered seating system in future.
The doors open at 6pm and guests can order and enjoy food from some of the usual traders before the comedy begins at 7.30pm. The Boom Bar also serves wine, spirits and draught beer.
“It’s a very special venue at night, and it has a very nice ambience. Marc, Rob and Mum-Z were bowled over. It was great to hear their feedback.”
The response from the public has also been overwhelmingly positive and Stroebel has no doubt the event is going to become popular.
All proceeds from the launch were donated to Hout Bay Cares (Community Awareness Rehabilitation Education Service), a sustainable community project working with people in Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu struck by poverty and drug abuse.
While the plan has always been to increase what the market offers, there are no set plans to extend physically.
“We had a particular size in mind for a particular reason. But we’ll try to add different dimensions to the space.
“The market itself is constantly changing – but that is the nature of a market,” says Stroebel, explaining that the steady change of traders and products available creates a great energy.
l Tickets R90 to R100, or R80 for standing room. The Bay Harbour Market trades on Friday from 5pm to 9pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am to 4pm. See www. bayharbour.co.za