Red hot comedy

Comedy club founder chats about her Edinburgh Preview Show

Marcus Brigstocke

Marcus Brigstocke performs at Red Imp Comedy Club on Sunday 29th July

Walthamstow’s premier comedy club, Red Imp, is again offering exclusive comedy appearances from leading comedians ahead of Edinburgh Festival.

Founder of The Red Imp Comedy Club and resident host, Susan Murray, spoke to me about why Edinburgh is so important to comedians and more about the forthcoming gigs.

“I started putting on the Edinburgh Preview Show so that comics would have a safe space to try their new material,” explains Susan. “A friend who did a show at Ye Olde Rose And Crown Theatre Pub gave me the heads up that it would make a good comedy space and I thought I would give it a go to run my own club.

“The other best thing about my job is the people I work with. Most of them are nuts and brilliant and quirky and full of angst and low self esteem. I fit right in. I found my tribe.”

Since starting Red Imp Susan has since brought many of the biggest names from British comedy to E17, including Stewart Lee, Tim Vine, Mark Thomas, Russell Kane, Sarah Pascoe, Alan Carr, Omid Djalili, and Richard Herring. More big names will be added to this list over the next month.

“For this year’s Edinburgh season we have the strongest line-up in London, with most of our acts having done Live at The Apollo and there’s an almost even split between male and female acts. You won’t find that anywhere else.

“Plus, we have a range of comedians who have never been available to perform with us such as Seann Walsh, Paul Foot and Marcus Brigstocke. In addition I have secured some more unusual acts such as Abandoman, who twists rap and improvisation – no really, they did a huge tour with Ed Sheeran!

“Red Imp has such a great reputation on the UK comedy circuit and it’s in such high demand I’ve had to add some Sunday matinees to accommodate all the great acts that want to do it.”

The success of Red Imp has inspired Susan to expand the club to other venues. “I am really chuffed to confirm the new Brixton branch of Red Imp. My master-plan to take over the Victoria Line is starting with a pincer movement.

“I like to think that Red Imp is the sole reason Waltham Forest won the very first London Borough of Culture award. In your face, Brent!”

Who else would Susan like to see perform at Ye Olde Rose and Crown? “I always said I’d die happy if I managed to get Mark Steel and Stewart Lee – they’ve now both performed a few times and I’m not yet dead so maybe next year I will get lucky and be able to secure the likes of Bill Bailey, Sarah Millican and Eddie Izzard. Who knows, anything is possible.”


Red Imp Comedy Club’s Edinburgh Preview Show is on at Ye Olde Rose and Crown on Sunday 15th July (Tom Stade), 22nd July (Seann Walsh) and 29th July (Marcus Brigstocke). Tickets are £10.

Visit redimpcomedy.com

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