Laughter is the best medicine: Inside Sheffield’s ROFL comedy club
Following a year where genuine laughs were few and far between, Sheffield’s first purpose-built comedy club ROFL opened its doors to audiences last month.
ROFL, a stand-up comedy company with venues in Preston, Derby and Newcastle-under-Lyme, took over the former Pizza Express building on Division Street, committing to a £200,000 refurb of the venue which would also boast a cocktail venue and upstairs beer bar.
The company’s founder, Lee Jones, told Exposed the story behind the clubs: “ROFL Comedy Club started in 2014 in Stoke On Trent as the only dedicated comedy club in Staffordshire. Since then, we have opened in Derby, Preston and now Sheffield. It began when I was diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t expected to live to see the five-year mark, so I decided on a do-it-before-I-die project as I used to travel all over the country to watch stand up.”
Having beaten the illness, Lee continued building the ROFL brand and bringing in audiences. “It’s for comedy fans looking for a great night out. We ask all our customers to pre-book; we don’t sell tickets on the door as we don’t want to encourage people who have been drinking since lunchtime to stumble in. We want the provide a welcoming environment and showcase the best talent on the professional comedy circuit.”
The venue, which is laid out over three-and-a-half floors, will contain the 100-capacity comedy club and on the same floor the elegant Hemingway’s cocktail bar. The upper ground-floor is home to a well-stocked Belgian beer bar, where customers will soon be able to sample some delicious hot stone-cooking.
Lee tells us that as well as offering a second-to-none live comedy experience, punters will be able to let their hair down in the Hemingways bar, which will also be open to guests not booked in for the comedy club. “Hemingways will be open seven days a week. It’s a cocktail bar with a relaxed vibe and regular live music after the comedy finishes upstairs. Once restrictions are lifted, there’ll be live music every night – the hot stone cooking menu will be arriving. We’re looking forward to people joining us and trying the food and drinks on offer.”
After a side-splitting opening soiree last month, June and July look set to keep the laughter coming with a whole host of top comedians such as Catherine Bohart, Rob Rouse, Phil Nichol, Sarah Keyworth, Ben Norris and Markus Birdman. Time to turn that frown upside down, eh?
Tickets available via roflcomedy.com (£12pp).