Islington’s Angel Comedy needs donations to survive coronavirus pandemic

The new mural at The Bill Murray comedy pub in Islington.

The new mural at The Bill Murray comedy pub in Islington. - Credit: Archant

A top Islington comedy club that has hosted the likes of Eddie Izzard, Mae Martin and Nish Kumar says it won’t survive the coronavirus pandemic without support from the community.

With gigs normally held every night of the week, Angel Comedy puts on more free shows than any other venue at its two pubs – The Bill Murray, which it opened in 2016 after a crowdfunding campaign, and The Camden Head.

It also pays more comedians each year than any other venue, and more than 100,000 people come through its doors annually to see the household names who frequently perform there such as Romesh Ranganathan, James Acaster, Josie Long, Rose Matafeo and Stewart Lee.

Run by a community of comedians aiming to make the industry more accessible, it also hosts free writing workshops, which have moved online since the lockdown began. A range of other initiatives launched during the pandemic include Angel TV, a mix of pre-recorded shows, filmed sketches, comedy films and community outreach.

But a government grant of £10,000 will not be enough to cover costs, and the team says it will have to fold unless it gets enough money from the community. A fundraiser has been launched on Patreon, where people can donate the cost of a cup of tea every month.

Co-founder Barry Ferns said: “It seems particularly sad that a time when people most need to come together, to relax and laugh and take some time to forget their woes, that comedy clubs need to be closed.

“As an independently funded venue, we’re asking people to help us survive this crisis buy buying us a cup of tea once a month.

“The venue takes about three to four cups of tea an hour to survive, taking a cup of tea in London being £2.50.

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“People haven’t got a lot, they don’t need to give a lot, just share a cuppa with us once a month and we’ll still be here at the end of the crisis to laugh and forget your woes with.

“There will come a time when we will all come together again to laugh in the same room. We hope to be one of the places you can come.”

Some well-known comedians have already donated to the fundraiser, which can be found at

For more about Angel Comedy’s lockdown offerings, visit