WANSTEAD: Comedy club moves to Leytonstone after row over bouncers (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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WANSTEAD: Comedy club moves to Leytonstone after row over bouncers
A COMEDY night organiser failed to see the funny side after being asked to pay for bouncers by the manager of a Wanstead bar.
Jon Fentiman, 49, a primary school teacher from Chigwell, had been laughing all the way to the bank after his Wanstead Comedy Night played to packed audiences at the Bar Room Bar in Wanstead High Street.
But last month an interim manager at the club told Mr Fentiman that he would have to start paying £150 for bouncers, and the laughter stopped.
Mr Fentiman said: “I love Wanstead, but they were giving me £250 to source all the comedians.
“To ask me to pay £150 for security on top of that just made it impossible to continue there.”
The monthly night had become popular attracting crowds of between 60 and 90 people.
Mr Fentiman added: “We were getting a good standard of comedian, and there was never any trouble there.”
The night has now moved to Baburchi, a curry house in Leytonstone, where it will reopen on May 10.
However, the smiles may yet return to the faces of Wanstead’s comedy lovers after Bar Room Bar’s new manager, Tom Gussman,25, said he would be happy to talk to Mr Fentiman.
He said: “The manager who took the decision was only here for about a month.
“I would definitely be happy to talk to the organisers about a return.
“I’m not sure why two bouncers are needed for a comedy night on a Thursday anyway.”
But Mr Fentiman said it was too late to turn his back on Leytonstone.
He added: “Perhaps I can suggest to anyone whose nose bleeds when they reach the top of Hollybush Hill, that they do as I do.
“As you drive past the obelisk, keep your foot on the accelerator but close your eyes and keep them shut.
“Slowly let images of Judith’s of Wanstead enter your mind and imagine yourself wearing one of their dresses.
“Now imagine you are floating on the froth of a huge cup of overpriced cappuccino.
“Finally, and without opening your eyes, repeat the following affirmation out loud: ‘I am part of Wanstead and Wanstead is part of me.’
“Knowing this helps me feel safe beyond the Green Man Roundabout.”
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