How the famous Northern Quarter comedy club the Frog and Bucket is standing up to Covid-19
- Frog and Bucket are fighting to make a safe space for live comedy
- Despite financial struggles, they are staying open
- Audience feedback has been fantastic since reopening
A lot of venues in Manchester have had to close their doors during the pandemic but one Northern Quarter comedy club is continuing to host comedy in a safe way.
The award-winning Frog and Bucket is pushing to save live comedy during the pandemic and was asked by the governmnent to pilot shows as early as July.
Club director Jessica Toomey said: “We voluntarily closed before the government forced us too, as we wanted to do what was best for the safety of staff, acts and customers."
“But once we were fully confident we could re-open safely I jumped at the chance when the Department of Culture, Media and Sport asked us to do the pilot comedy show in July.
The customer feedback survey revealed that 100% of the audience felt very safe in our venue and we truly believe we are still one of the safest nights out there is.
I'd like to think after 26 years we are a flagship venue and benchmark for the industry so wanted to install some confidence in the rest of the industry to start up again.
It really helps that we are a cabaret seating style venue as it lends itself much better to current restrictions such as table service.”
Although financially difficult, Jessica is glad the club has remained open as far as possible.
“Although we are barely breaking even being open, we believe we provide an essential public service providing comedy during such uncertain times, laughter truly is the best medicine and stress relief.” she said.
Inevitably, some shows have had to be cancelled, one of which was popular Geordie comedian Carl Hutchinson, who was due to appear at Frog and Bucket with his appropriately named tour Carl Hutchinson is allowed to play out again!
Carl, 33, applauded the efforts of Manchester’s comedy clubs like the Frog and Bucket and the people who have bought tickets to his shows, saying: “I’ve never known a bunch of people to be so understanding about cancelled gigs, people have incredible.
It’s been really hard, not just for comedians but all creators generally, but I have seen people powering through and had a lot of resilience, from putting stuff up online, doing stuff in back gardens and generally powering through, it’s been a rough time for everyone.”
Carl also said that were other ways people could support their favourite venues and comedians.
“Follow, like and subscribe on social media, let them know that you’re watching and listening to their content and that you’re there,” he said.