Harrogate comedy club that laughed and laughed is now 25 years old!

The remarkable story of Harrogate’s Hyena Lounge Comedy Club reaches a landmark moment this month with the silver anniversary of the day it first served up laughter.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:49 am
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:52 am
Alun Cochrane will appear in Harrogate’s Hyena Lounge Comedy Club's 25th anniversary show on November 27.

Thanks to major roof repairs at Harrogate Theatre, its 25th birthday show in just over a week's time will see Hyena make a temporary return to its original home at the Manhattan Club where in its early years it discovered little known acts such as Peter Kay, Jonnny Vegas and Al Murray.

Hyena supremo Toby Jones says it’s a special feeling returning to where it all started and where comedy acts which went on to become household names first made an impression amid the snooker, darts and function rooms of this community venue just off Leeds Road.

And Toby also paid tribute to the comedy club’s original founder, Alison Lyon who first set up Hyena in 1996.

Toby said: “ For a quarter of a century The Hyena Lounge Comedy Club has attracted the funniest stand-up comedians from around the world to Harrogate .

“We’re regarded as such a legendary club far beyond Harrogate. Many of the acts that have played the club have gone on to become household names such as John Bishop, Russell Howard, Ross Noble, Micky Flanigan, Sarah Millican, Alan Carr, Jon Richardson and Katherine Ryan.

“Alison did a wonderful job. Her very first line-up at the Manhattan Club was Chris Addison, Lee Mack, Dave Gorman and Jonny Vegas as the night’s MC. Incredible!”

After Harrogate’s Alison Lyon got Hyena off to a stunning start, in 2001 the comedy club was taken over by established comedy promoter, Toby Jones at her request.

In 2005, Toby took the decision to move to the monthly event to a new home at Harrogate Theatre with Alan Carr the headliner for its first show.

Such was its quick success in its new home, it took on a key role in establishing the Harrogate Comedy Festival in conjunction with Harrogate Theatre.

Since then, neither Hyena Lounge Comedy Club nor Harrogate Comedy Festival have looked back - until the intervention of Covid lockdowns and the £1 million roof repair project.

But Toby, whose services as a promoter and organiser are in demand across the country, is used to overcoming challenges and keeping a sense of humour about it.

Now one of the longest running comedy clubs in the country, Hyena will mark its silver anniversary by doing what it does best - putting on great comedy acts in a show on Saturday, November 27, the first of a regular series.

Toby said: “There’s an open invitation to join us this month to celebrate our 25th birthday back at the Manhattan Club. There’s not only at-table seating and a relaxed atmosphere to create an authentic comedy club experience, we’ve also got a terrific line-up of comic talent coming to Harrogate.

“There’s Alun Cochrane (Have I Got News For You, Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week, Tom Wrigglesworth, (The Unbelievable Truth), Steve Royle (Britain’s Got Talent Runner Up 2020) and host Alex Boardman (The John Bishop Show).”

For tickets for the comedy night on Saturday, November 27, visit: www.hyenalounge.com