Beat the January blues with a night of laughs
GCC debut from Danish dynamo Sofie Hagen and a return from musical madman Rob Deering among highlights of January tour
Feeling the January blues? Who wouldn’t be down after the roller-coaster ride that was 2016. But it will soon be (or is already, if you’re reading this late) a new year – and we’ve got just the ticket to pull you out of that seasonal funk. We’re thrilled to have bagged a regional debut appearance from scolding stand-up sensation Sofie Hagen for our first tour of 2017, which hits the road on January 12th and travels throughout Dubai, Abu Dhabi and DOHA.
If you haven’t heard of Hagen, we can guarantee you will soon – since winning the career-making Best Newcomer award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, this 28-year-old Danish dynamo has exploded, landing mainstream TV slots including BBC’s The One Show and Comedy Central’s Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central.
Also in January we’re dead chuffed to announce a return visit from comedy rocker Rob Deering, the one and only “looping comedian” who blasts all stuffy musical stand-up cliches into touch the minute he straps on his trusty Fender Stratocaster. Part stand-up, part rock show, this is musical comedy at its best. Rounding out the bill is Jack Dathel, a stage veteran and former Time Out Comic of the Year who brings three decades of stage experience to the party.
The Laughter Factory – January listings
What: The Laughter Factory starring Rob Deering, Sofie Hagen and Jack Dathel
Thursday, January 12th – Moevenpick JBR 9PM
Friday, January 13th – Moevenpick JBR 9PM
Monday, 16th January – Grand Hyatt DOHA 8PM
Tuesday, 17th January – Grand Hyatt DOHA 8PM
Wednesday, 18th January – Park Rotana AUH 8PM
Thursday, 19th January – Grand Millennium Barsha Heights 9PM
Friday, 20th January – The Gramercy DIFC 9PM
Price: Dhs140/QR 140 –
book now at thelaughterfactory.com
Contact: 00971 50 878 6728
Meet the comics
Take a closer look at the trio of stand-up talents performing across the GCC as part of The Laughter Factory’s January tour.
Forget all the tired cliches about musical comedians – Rob Deering isn’t some scruffy pretender milking a few cheap puns while strumming the three chords he knows on an out-of-tune guitar. He’s a razor-sharp, clean-cut performer equally comfortable riffing on a punchline as he is a on his Fender Stratocaster. Known colloquially as “The Looping Comedian”, Deering was building intricate one-man, electronic storms of sound long before you heard of Ed Sheeran. And he is keeping up with times – Deering’s summer club smash “In or Out” hilariously recast the EU referendum debate to the tune of Blur’s “Girls & Boys”. Sadly, the joke’s just not as funny anymore. It’s unsurprising to learn Deering began as a musician, “failing to get famous”, as he puts it, in a string of bands with ever-more dubious names: Wax Lyrical, The Jemimah Stepdads, Giant, Silver, The Glass Needle and Galar. Later, he channelled his craft into writing theme tunes, pop songs and jingles, and flirted with a theatre career, before Deering turned his sizeable IQ – a whopping 148, he claims – towards the big money prizes on a string of UK TV gameshows. Rob still holds the honour of being the first person to win quiz show The Weakest Link without getting a question wrong – much to host Anne Robinson’s mirth. Amid all this wit and randomness, comedy seemed like the most appropriate outlet for Rob’s hyper-animated, restless talent. Turning to the stage in 2000 – and first strapping a guitar into his act a few years later – Rob Deering soon broke into front rooms across the UK as a regular on Channel 4 breakfast show RI:SE – in which his act included frequently falling over. That gag was (eventually) retired in 2011 following knobbly knee-related issues, but fear not – this precocious talent has more than enough actual jokes up his sleeve. Just don’t say he’s matured.
Hardened comedy fans will be most excited about the Middle Eastern debut of Sofie Hagen, one of the hottest rising stars of the European stand-up circuit. The Danish-born, London-based trailblazer was signalled out with the ultimate career-making honour, when she was named Best Newcomer at last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards, following debut Fringe solo show Bubblewrap. Since then, demand for this assured, informed and deeply personal comic has rocketed to the moon and back. “Hilarious… clever, touching and funny,” praised The Mirror in a five-star review, while the snobby Sunday Times warned: “A charming show, if littered with unexpected filth.” Other accolades include the Chortle Awards’ Best Newcomer and Laughing Horse New Act of the Year. Already an established telly face, 28-year-old Hagen has been featured on mainstream UK programmes including the BBC’s The One Show, Alan Davies Après-Ski and Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central, as well as appearing in this summer’s Channel 4 sitcom Outsiders. Destined for household fame, catch Hagen on this rare regional tour now. Or don’t, and spend your life as one of those bores at the bar talking about the time they nearly went to see someone famous before they were really famous.
A bona fide comedy veteran, Dathel was named Time Out’s Comic of the Year back in 1998, a decade after he turned his back on a successful pro snooker career to pursue a life in comedy. Known for a distinct and assured delivery, over the past quarter-century Dathel has appeared on stages wide and far, smashing the world’s biggest comedy festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe and Montreal’s Just For Laughs. Back at home in London, Jack is a regular at The Comedy Store, where he holds a lead role in weekly topical panel show The Cutting Edge – alongside recent Laughter Factory headliner Alistair Barrie. An under-appreciated acting career included a spot in the movie Comic Act – and a starring role in four Vauxhall commercials.
About The Laughter Factory
The Laughter Factory is the Middle East’s longest-running comedy night, proudly making the GCC laugh since 1997. Thanks to a longstanding partnership with the UK’s Comedy Store, The Laughter Factory hosts a fresh bill of three different professional comedians every month, many already familiar stars of the screen on hit UK TV shows. With a reputation for quality and a sharp eye for talent, The Laughter Factory has showcased reams of A-list comics on their way to superstardom, including Michael McIntyre, Russell Peters, Ed Byrne, Dara O’Brien, Ross Noble, Jason Manford, Sean Hughes, Kevin Bridges and Frankie Boyle. The Laughter Factory’s commitment to comedy has been recognised by numerous publications, winning several accolades over its two-decade history, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from Time Out Dubai in 2013.
Find out more Website: www.thelaughterfactory.com
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelaughterfactory
And Twitter: @LaughterFactory
Gail Clough (co-founder) +97150 100 3074