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Reason to be cheerful...

It's time to help Liverpool’s longest running stand-up night blow out 12 candles on its big comedy cake.

Published on February 2nd 2007.

Reason to be cheerful...

For a city with a reputation for being funny, regular comedy nights were a long time coming. There was a groundbreaking festival in the late 80s and early 90s, just around the time when comedy really was becoming the new rock n roll. But like Basil Fawlty and the League of Gentleman, it quit at the top of its game.

After that, there was nothing to joke about. Good comedy acts only did Liverpool “off-peak”, on a week night, because they'd been booked for much better dosh to do London primetime slots at the weekend; and going-out types increasingly found an E, rather than laughter, was the best medicine as Superclub City went into orbit.

Then came Rawhide. It started out on a miserable Monday night, February 6, 1995, in the Everyman Theatre foyer bar, but soon there was nothing but belly laughs as the once-a-fortnight gig, set up by the theatre's manager, Kevin Fearon, packed 'em in. Its popularity among acts and audiences grew with unknown Johnny Vegas taking the mic and Dominic Holland, Tim Vine, Alistair McGowan, Sean Lock, Junior Simpson, Ross Noble and Dave Spikey all easing Liverpool crowds into the working week.

Rawhide got too big for the Everyman, so set out on a nomadic trip around various city venues, finally settling at the historic Royal Court two years ago.

Now Rawhide has done the huge venue up with cabaret seating to bring in even bigger names. But it's still a wandering star, having resurrected the Comedy Festival and started stand-up projects in schools; it even manages some of the acts and has taken the show on the road all over the north west.

But this Wednesday it's the big party to celebrate all that. Having been making people laugh since most of these whippersnapper comics were in short pants Rawhide is bringing six of the best acts off the circuit together for a night of cracking comedy. Chirs Cairns, Steve Best, Brendan Riley, Kevin Gildea, Steve Gribbin and the newly crowned North West Comedian of the Year Jason Manford are on the bill, so a great night is guaranteed.

Get along, pack 'em in, Rawhide!

Rawhide 12th Birthday Party
Wednesday February 12th
Royal Court
Roe Street
Box office: 0151 709 4321

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