Category Archives: collections

Histcompod Episode 15 – Lynne Parker’s Funny Women Programme

In Episode 15 of A History of Comedy in Several Objects we have an exclusive interview with Lynne Parker, the founder and the head of Funny Women. Lynne discusses her experiences running Funny Women, the success stories, the controversial stories, and articulates points about feminism within stand-up comedy.

Lynne selected as her ‘object’ of the episode the 2016 Funny Women Awards programme, to demonstrate how far Funny Women has come since 2002.

Programme for the final of the 2016 Funny Women Awards

You can access this episode of ‘A History of Comedy in Several Objects’ via iTunes and acast. An image of the programme is available on our flickr site, so do check it out (in the ‘History of Comedy in Several Objects‘ album)!

And don’t forget to get involved! You can contact us via or tweet us at @histcompod. You can also search the online catalogue for more information about the holdings of  the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive at

Remember to subscribe to the podcast, and please leave us a review on iTunes.


Search the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive collections!

I’m pretty thrilled to say that the new online catalogue for Special Collections & Archives, and where material within the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive has been catalogued, is now available to search and browse. You can find it at

You can search for performers, promoters, comedy clubs, or other key words using the simple search option on the homepage, or you can use the advanced search option to search in more detail. For example, you can search or browse by date (searching for 1970s will result in records created in this decade), or by category (for example, browse through all of the audio recordings, or set lists and notes). You can also just browse all of the BSUCA collections using the BSUCA hierarchical tree.

BSUCA hierarchical tree

BSUCA hierarchical tree

Most collections within the BSUCA are catalogued in a hierarchical structure – this is because we follow an international archival cataloguing standard called ISAD(G) – with a top-level collection record (such as this for the Linda Smith Collection) which describes the collection as a whole, followed by levels below (called ‘series’, ‘sub-series’ etc) which cover specific groups of material (such as business records, performance records, audio-visual records). Some individual items are catalogued down to ‘item level’ (such as this audio recording of Tony Allen and Andy de la Tour performing in as part of Alternative Cabaret Collective in 1981) although some items (leaflets, flyers) are catalogued to a folder level (such as this record for flyers and posters for The Santa Claus Science Experiment in Tiernan Douieb’s collection). The way in which a collection has been catalogued reflects as closely as possible the way in which the original creator of the material (in the case of BSUCA, this is often the depositor themselves) had organised the material.

Catalogue record for posters in the Mark Thomas Collection

Catalogue record for posters in the Mark Thomas Collection

The catalogue is a work-in-progress and there are a few collections in the BSUCA which are not yet catalogued or are in the process of being catalogued. We are able to provide a listing for these on request – just email  This online catalogue will also be incorporating, over the course of 2016, Special Collections & Archives material (such as our theatre collections, windmill collections, and personal archives) which are currently available via the web pages or Library Search. If you are looking for material which you think we have, but can’t find, please email us.

Because of copyright restrictions we are not able to provide digital access to much of the material, although we are providing access where we do have permissions. If there is material you discover through the catalogue that you would like to access for research, teaching, or just out of general interest please email us! We are open to everyone although we do need at least two days’ notice in order to retrieve material from the archive store. More information about how to access the collections can be found on the Special Collections & Archives web pages.

So please go, search, explore the stand-up comedy collections!

Spotlight on: John Pidgeon Collection

We were very sad to hear of John Pidgeon’s death on 19 July 2016.

Along with the Linda Smith Collection, John Pidgeon’s deposit of audio interviews, primarily recorded for radio, was one of the foundation collections, and inspiration for, the establishment of the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive in 2013.

John Pidgeon was a successful journalist, author, radio producer and comedy producer.  John started his career in music journalism in the 1970s working for publications such ‘New Musical Express’ (NME) and becoming editor of ‘Let It Rock’ in 1973. In the early 1980s he began writing for radio, initially on music and pop, before making comedy radio programmes in the 1990s through independent production companies John Pidgeon Productions and later Gilmour Productions.

The John Pidgeon Collection archived with the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive includes original audio interviews, on Digital Audio Tapes (DAT), recorded with comedians for the programmes ‘Laughing Matters’ (recorded 1994-1995 and broadcast on British Airways Radio), and ‘Talking Comedy’ (a show broadcast on BBC Radio 2 between 1996 and 2002). Both these programmes were interviews with comedians talking about their comedy heroes and inspiration.  This collection is a fantastic resource, featuring the unedited interviews (often between one and two hours in length) as well as the edited thirty minute programme as broadcast.  Comedians interviewed for ‘Laughing Matters’ and ‘Talking Comedy’ include Eddie Izzard, Alexei Sayle, Harry Hill, Jo Brand, Graham Norton, Al Murray, Phill Jupitus, Josie Lawrence, Ronni Ancona, as well as American comedy legends George Carlin and Joan Rivers.  John’s collection also includes interviews with comedians about Chic Murray (recorded for the BBC Radio 2 programme ‘Chic Murray: the Comic’s Comic’ in 1997; interviews with Barry Murphy, Tommy Tiernan and Jason Byrne about the Irish comedy scene; and even a unique interview with The Rolling Stones recorded in 1994.

In 1999 John became the head of BBC Radio Entertainment, a post which he held for 6 years, where he supported and produced for acts such as Ross Noble, Little Britain and Flight of the Concords. As well as original recordings from his career in radio production, John gave the Archive a large collection of published cassettes and CDs from the country’s most popular comedians, many of whom he had worked with; we are very lucky to have the personal comedy collection of a collector and comedy enthusiast.

Our thoughts are with John’s family and friends.

Interviews with comedians on DATs (Digital Audio Tapes) from the John Pidgeon Collection

Interviews with comedians on DATs (Digital Audio Tapes) from the John Pidgeon Collection

Spotlight on: The Josie Long Collection

On the 25th January 2016 we were lucky enough to have to opportunity to visit comedian Josie Long at her Arts Emergency Office in Hackney*. Josie had gathered together a collection of gems from throughout her career, ranging from some her first tours to her drawings & zines, to material from her monthly ‘The Lost Treasures of the Black Heart’ comedy club.

One of the earliest items from the collection is a notebook created by Josie when she was performing live in 1998 which contains listings, photographs and annotations.


Page from Josie’s 1998 notebook. BSUCA/JL/1/1/1


Page from Josie’s 1998 notebook. BSUCA/JL/1/1/1

A significant part of Josie’s collection is a vast amount of material from her various tours, from Kindness & Exuberance in 2006/2007 to her Cara Josephine show performed from 2014-2016. Within these series’ are items related to tour preparations such as beautiful mind-maps of ideas for shows, to the sketch pads and props used in the shows themselves!


Mind-map used by Josie Long to brainstorm ideas for her ‘The Future is Another Place’ show 2011-2012 BSUCA/JL/1/8/1



Cardboard cut-outs used for ‘An Audience with Dan Nightingale and Josie Long’ shows, 2005. BSUCA/JL/1/3/2

Another amazing part of Josie’s collection is the audience contributions made at her live shows. It has been wonderful to see how  involved and enthusiastic comedy audiences can be. For example in her Kindness and Exuberance tour, audience members were encouraged to write down their ‘favourite small thing’. After the tour Josie created a zine from these contributions.


Audience contributions from Josie Long’s Kindness and Exuberance tour in which she asked the audience to write down their favourite small thing BSUCA/JL/1/4/8


Favourite Small Things Zine created by Josie Long compiling audience contributions, who were asked at her Kindness and Exuberance tour to write down their favourite small things. BSUCA/JL/1/4/5

As part of  Josie ‘All of the Planets Wonders’ tour, she encouraged audience members to send her objects so that she could create a museum of All the Planets Wonders objects which attracted a variety object including books, badges and even food.


Objects collected from the audiences of the ‘All of the Planets Wonders’ tour. This picture shows a Teddy bear someone found when they moved into a new house, a badge from Edinburgh Zoo and an orange thrown by Josie to and audience member at a previous show. BSUCA/JL/1/6/7

It is brilliant to also have a range of materials from Josie’s life outside of her solo performances. Her collection stretches to material from her ‘The Lost Treasures of the Black Heart’ comedy club which includes club notes & records books and  also audience artwork created during the shows.


Felt artworks created by the audience at a Lost Treasures of the Black Heart club show BSUCA/JL/2/6

Finally, a mention has to be made to Josie’s great comic creations. From August 2011 Josie has been drawing for the Guardian, creating a comic called ‘Josie Long’s Another Planet’, a collection of which is now in the archive. Also from 2005 Josie has created her own ‘Drawing Moustaches in Magazines Monthly‘ Magazine, issues 1-7 of which are now held by BSUCA.


Josie Long’s Another Planet: What if we did pull out of Europe? [published 2nd February 2013] BSUCA/JL/2/4/9


First Issue of ‘Drawing Moustaches in Magazines Monthly’ Magazine, April 20th- June 19th 2005 BSUCA/JL/2/3

The Josie Long collection has now been catalogued and will soon be discoverable via the University of Kent Library catalogue and accessible to view on request at the Special Collections Reading Room.

*Arts Emergency is an organisation created by Josie Long and Neil Griffiths, working with young people in higher education from diverse backgrounds, helping them to effectively access higher education in the Arts or Humanities. They create events to share this information and also to raise money for the work that they do.

Archiving stand-up comedy on the Web

One of the things I was keen to do when I was appointed as Archivist for the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive in January 2015 was to ensure that websites and social media relating to stand-up comedy were being captured and archived. So much of how comedians promote and publicise themselves today, and interact with their audience, is done through social media and websites, and I’ve already noticed that websites referenced in material in the BSUCA collections have already disappeared. I approached the UK Web Archive team at the British Library to see whether I could actively contribute to their mission, and I was delighted that they were happy for me to curate a new Special Collection, to be called the ‘British Stand-Up Comedy Archive’ collection.

Although the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive is based at the University of Kent I’m really pleased that we are working with other organisations and individuals to ensure that material relating to stand-up comedy is (beginning) to be archived for current and future researchers (and others) interested in stand-up comedy. Stand-up comedy has a huge presence on the Web, more so than I can nominate, so I have take two approaches so far.

Approach 1: filling the gaps

One focus has been on nominating websites for inclusion which relate to collections that we already have within the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive. For example, I have been nominating the websites and social media accounts of those whose work we have been physically and digitally archiving at the University, such as Attila the Stockbroker’s website and twitter account.  I have also been nominating sites which complement the collections we have. For example, within The Mark Thomas Collection we have copies of articles he has written, but only those which he collected himself. In fact there are many more which he has written which are only available online. The idea behind this approach is that we can ‘fill the gaps’ for researchers interested in those whose archives we have, by ensuring that other material relevant to that comedian/performer is being archived. These websites are provided in sub-categories with the name of the collection they relate to (i.e. Linda Smith Collection, Mark Thomas Collection).

Josie Long's website (

Josie Long’s website ( Josie Long deposited physical material with the BSUCA in January 2016, and her website has also now been archived within the UK Web Archive at the British Library.


Approach 2: providing an overview of stand-up comedy in the UK today

As we are trying to collect material related to stand-up comedy in the UK I think that it is really important to try to capture as much information as possible about current comedians and the current comedy scene, nationally and locally. So my second focus has been on nominating websites which provide an overview of stand-up comedy in the UK today. Rather than initially focussing on nominating the websites of individual comedians (which would be an enormous task!) I have instead been nominating websites which are dedicated to comedy in the UK, both at a national level, such as Chortle and Beyond the Joke, and those at a regional level such as Giggle Beats (for comedy in the north of England) and London is Funny. I’ve also nominated the comedy sections in national news outlets like the Guardian and The Huffington Post (UK), as well as in regional news outlets such as The Skinny (Scotland and the north west of England), The Manchester Evening News, and The York Press. These websites include news, interviews with comedians and others involved in comedy, as well as reviews and listings of upcoming shows. The idea was that capturing these sorts of websites would help to demonstrate which comedians were performing, where they were performing, and perhaps some of the themes discussed by comedians in their shows. These websites have been categorised into the sub-category ‘Stand-up news, listings and reviews’.

Giggle Beats (, a website founded in June 2010 to promote comedy in the north of England.

Giggle Beats (, a website founded in June 2010 to promote comedy in the north of England.

I’ve also been focusing on the websites of comedy venues in order to document the variety of comedy clubs there are, to provide an overview of the comedians who are performing, as well as to document other issues like the cost of attending a comedy club night.  Many of the clubs whose websites have been nominated are quite longstanding venues, such as Downstairs at the Kings Head (founded in 1981), the Banana Cabaret Club in Balham (established 1983), and The Stand Comedy Club (established in Edinburgh in 1995). And of course I’ve also been focusing on comedy festivals around the UK. Much material relating to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe had already been included in the UK Web Archive but websites for Free Fringe events (which many see as important for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe*), such as the Free Festival and PBH’s Free Fringe, have now been nominated. I’ve also been nominating websites for comedy festivals around the UK, ranging from large established festivals such has the (Dave) Leicester Comedy Festival and the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, to smaller festivals such as the Croydon Comedy Festival and Argcomfest (Actually Rather Good Comedy Festival). The sub-category of ‘Venues and festivals’ is by far the largest sub-category so far!

Website for Downstairs at the Kings Head (, a comedy club in Crouch End, London founded in 1981.

Website for Downstairs at the Kings Head (, a comedy club in Crouch End, London, founded in 1981.

Other features of current stand-up comedy that have been captured include organisations such as the Comedy Support Act (a charity funded by benefit shows which aims to provide emergency funds and assistance to professional comedians who find themselves in financial hardship through serious illness or accident) and organisations and events which celebrate and promote women in comedy such as What The Frock!, Funny Women, Laughing Cows Comedy, and the Women in Comedy Festival.


Next steps:

There are so many more websites that I haven’t yet been able to nominate, particularly those of individual comedians or performers. However, the UK Web Archive is open to all (as long as the website is part of the UK web domain), so if there are websites relating to UK stand-up comedy that you want to be archived in the UK Web Archive please nominate them here

* Luke Toulson, ‘Why free is the future of the fringe…and 7 more ways to improve the festival’,; and Nick Awde, ‘Free shows are ringing the Edinburgh Fringe changes’,


Interesting facts about the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive

1. The British Stand-Up Comedy Archive contains 22 collections; we have been collecting material since 2013.

BSUCA collections on our Calm cataloguing system

BSUCA collections on our Calm cataloguing system

2. We have material dating from 1970 to the present day, documenting the rise of alternative comedy and stand-up comedy. We are keen to collect material from relevant areas of performance including alternative cabaret, performance poetry and working men’s club comedy.

3. We have collected a range of material in a variety of formats (including photographs, scripts, diaries, audiovisual recording, posters, contracts) and for a variety of purposes (promotion, academic research, for broadcast).


4. Throughout 2015 we have been developing new workflows to ensure that the recordings in the archive held on legacy audiovisual formats (such as cassette tapes, MiniDisc and DAT) are digitised and accessible for researchers today and in the future.

5. The digitisation of both printed and audiovisual material means that we can provide samples of representative content from the archive on platforms such as Flickr and Soundcloud as well as on our blog.

6. We have worked to ensure a range of content from the comedy world has been collected and we have been keen to engage with comedy promoters and venues. Monika Bobinska donated a large collection of material from the Meccano Club (1985-1995) and Peter Grahame has given material from Downstairs at the Kings Head (established in 1981). We also have material from more recent clubs and promoters, including The Folkestone Comedy Club and What The Frock! Comedy.

Meccano Club Bookings Book.

Meccano Club Bookings Book. February-March 1995. Featuring acts including Tracy Brothers, Al Murray, Nick Wilty and Dylan Moran. (c) Monika Bobinska

7. One strength of the BSUCA collections is the number of unique, unedited interviews with comedians, recorded for purposes including academic research and publication (Oliver Double Collection), and radio broadcast (John Pidgeon Collection, Andrew Sherlock Radio Collection).

Interviews with comedians on DATs (Digital Audio Tapes) from the John Pidgeon Collection

Interviews with comedians on DATs (Digital Audio Tapes) from the John Pidgeon Collection

8. We’ve had some incredible events this year, with performers such as Mark Thomas, Attila the Stockbroker, Richard Herring, Stewart Lee, and Phill Jupitus (at the University of Kent), and Jo Brand, Susan Calman, and Stephen K. Amos (at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe). These events were all recorded and can be accessed in our reading room at the Templeman Library, University of Kent.

Phill Jupitus talking about a Red Wedge Comedy leaflet which cartooned for (as Porky the Poet). Photo Matt Wilson

Phill Jupitus talking about a Red Wedge Comedy leaflet which cartooned for (as Porky the Poet) during an in-conversation event with Oliver Double in September 2015. Photo Matt Wilson


9. We are holding a joint conference with the British Cartoon Archive ‘Comedy On Stage and Page: satirical cartoons and stand-up‘ (14-15th January 2016), which will explore issues including the relationship between the audience and the comedian, writing shows, the comedy industry, censorship, and women in comedy, and also highlight the Stand-Up Comedy Archive collections.

10. Alongside the conference we will be hosting a joint exhibition with the British Cartoon Archive, providing access to material from the archive and explaining more about its establishment, development and collections in the new Templeman Library gallery area.

Stand-Up Comedy Archive Collections Autumn update

I wanted to give an update on the collections that we’ve now received into the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive, nine months or so into our Beacon Project to catalogue, digitise, provide access to, and continue to build this archive for stand-up comedy in the UK. Our current collections include material from:

  • Alexei Sayle
  • Attila the Stockbroker
  • BSUCA Events
  • John Pidgeon
  • Linda Smith
  • Monika Bobinska
  • Mark Thomas
  • Nick Toczek
  • Oliver Double
  • Richard Herring
  • Robin Ince
  • Tony Allen
  • What The Frock! Comedy

Some of these we’ve written about before, so I wanted to provide some brief updates on the new collections.

The BSUCA (British Stand-Up Comedy Archive) Events Collection is being created through the events that we are holding ourselves, on campus, and at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We now have recordings of in-conversation events from Richard Herring, Stewart Lee, Mark Thomas, Stephen K. Amos, Jo Brand, Susan Calman, Alexei Sayle, and Nina Conti, recordings of Edinburgh Preview shows from Alfie Brown and Jimmy McGhie, and a recording of our inaugural Linda Smith Lecture, given by Mark Thomas.

Stewart Lee in conversation with Olly Double, 10 June 2015. Photo Matt Wilson

Stewart Lee in conversation with Olly Double, 10 June 2015. Photo Matt Wilson

The Alexei Sayle Collection is one of our most recent deposits, and contains material from the career of alternative comedian Alexei Sayle, including scripts for various TV and radio programmes and films, including his own TV and radio shows (‘Alexei Sayle’s Stuff’, ‘The All New Alexei Sayle Show’, ‘Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round’, ‘Lenin and the Rovers’) and others he acted in (‘The Young Ones’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Whoops Apocalypse’).

Scripts deposited by Alexei Sayle

Scripts deposited by Alexei Sayle

Material deposited by Robin Ince includes passes and badges for shows, tours and festivals in which Robin Ince performed, flyers and postcards for shows, zines made for Robin Ince’s Book Club and Edinburgh shows, performance notes for shows ‘Robin Ince Is As Dumb As You’ (2005) and ‘Robin Ince Knew This Would Happen’ (2007), and props (including Robin Ince and Josie Long puppets!)

Material received from Robin Ince

Material received from Robin Ince

Our most recent deposit has been from What The Frock! Comedy, a Bristol-based comedy brand which champions female comedy talent. We’ve received a copy of ‘The What The Frock! Book of Funny Women’ (2015), flyers, badges and bookmarks.

Material received from What The Frock! Comedy

Material received from What The Frock! Comedy

Nick Toczek deposited some wonderful flyers and leaflets from his alternative cabaret nights in Bradford, which he ran in the 1980s and 1990s. His collection comprises leaflets and flyers for the alternative cabaret and alternative comedy nights Stereo Graffiti, the Bradford Poetry Live Festival, Tumbling Hill Street Blues, Bradford Alternative Cabaret, Cracker!, and Korks Komedy Klub. Some of Nick’s flyers within the Linda Smith Collection can be viewed on our flickr account.

Flyers for alternative cabaret nights from Nick Toczek

Flyers for alternative cabaret nights from Nick Toczek

Richard Herring did a wonderful ‘in conversation’ event with us back in March (some sound bites are available on our SoundCloud channel), and he deposited material from his career performing theatre and comedy since his time at the University of Oxford until the present. The Richard Herring Collection contains scripts for radio, television and plays; promotional material for stand-up comedy performances, plus published material by Richard Herring (including books and DVDs). The Collection includes original material on paper (scripts, reviews, tour flyers and brochures), published material (books, pamphlets, and a DVD), born-digital material (documents and files saved to 3.5″ floppy disks) and 179 tiff image files from Richard’s ‘Comedy and Drama in Oxford notebook’ (loaned to and scanned by the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive).

These collections are all being catalogued, and will shortly be discoverable via the University of Kent Library catalogues.  But if you are interested to know more about the content of the collections, or to view and consult material please let us know via We’ve also got some really exciting new deposits and partnerships for the archive coming up this autumn so do check back in with us for more information!



Spotlight on: Attila the Stockbroker Archive

I’m very pleased to announce that we have a new collection within the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive from Attila the Stockbroker. Attila is a performance poet, punk poet and musician (and also a University of Kent alumnus).

The Attila the Stockbroker Archive comprises material created and collected by Attila, including his work (such as first drafts of poems, and notebooks), press coverage, publicity and promotional material for performance poetry and music gigs (flyers and posters) including for Glastonwick and Barnstormer events, fanzines and zines he collected and contributed to, as well as his manifesto for election as Student President whilst at the University of Kent in the 1970s!

Poster for Attila the Stockbroker's performance at The Playhouse, Harlow, in May 1981. Courtesy Attila the Stockbroker.

Poster for Attila the Stockbroker’s performance at The Playhouse, Harlow, in May 1981. Courtesy Attila the Stockbroker.

Our main collecting focus is on alternative and stand-up comedy but we are really interested in the context surrounding the alternative comedy scene, including the alternative cabaret circuit. We want to ensure that we document these overlapping aspects and so we’re keen to represent the alternative cabaret circuit and those performing there; as other material in our collections show, these include performance and ranting poets (as well as magicians, circus acts and impressionists!)

I’m also pleased to announce that Attila will be doing an ‘in-conversation’ event with Olly Double followed by a performance of his work, in the Gulbenkian café on Monday 19 October – tickets available soon!

Poster for Barnstormer events at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, including comedian Mark Steel, and poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, with Attila the Stockbroker's band 'Barnstormer', 1995. Courtesy Attila the Stockbroker.

Poster for Barnstormer events at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, including comedian Mark Steel, and poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, with Attila the Stockbroker’s band ‘Barnstormer’, 1995. Courtesy Attila the Stockbroker.

Spotlight on: The Monika Bobinska Collection

Elspeth Millar writes:

I’m really excited to announce that we have a new collection deposited within the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive, The Monika Bobinska Collection, which was deposited in April by Monika Bobinska.

The majority of the collection contains records of, and documents relating to, the Meccano Club, a comedy club which was established in 1985 by James Miller (stage name James Macabre), Mark Bobinski and Lucinda Denning, initially at the Camden Head, Angel, and later at The Market Tavern, Islington. Monika Bobinska ran the club from 1986 (initially with James and later on her own) until 1995.  The  records of the Meccano Club include administrative records (such as bookings books, payment receipts, contact books, contracts), promotion and publicity (flyers, posters, event listings), press cuttings, photographs, and audio-visual recordings (of live events, and broadcast programmes in which the Meccano featured). There is also material from the exhibition staged at the Canal Gallery in February and March 2015 ‘ALT CAB or Where Did It Go Wrong?‘, including promotion and material collated for the exhibition.

The Monika Bobinska Collection also includes material collected by Monika relating to the comedy circuit in the 1980s and 1990s, although not specifically related to the Meccano Club. This material includes a series of magazine publications including numerous Time Out issues, press cuttings relating to Comedy in London and specifically in the Islington area, leaflets for comedy festivals, badges and books regarding the A-Z of comedy and women in comedy, her private collection of the Joan Collins Fan Club material and also records for the ‘Cave of Harmony’, a series of stand-up comedy nights for women comedians. Monika has also deposited photographs of live performances at the Meccano Club and of professional head-shot portraits of comedian’s such as Eddie Izzard, Phil Jupitus, Matt Lucas & Mark Thomas.

The collection is important as, although it documents part of the early careers of some well-known comedians today (such as Harry Hill, Jo Brand), it also demonstrates how a comedy club, in the early days of ‘alternative comedy/cabaret’ conducted business and negotiated with venues and comedians.

The collection is currently being listed and digitised and will be catalogued and made available for public access over the next few months.

Harry Hill and Al Murray at the last night of the Meccano Club at the Market Tavern, Islington

Harry Hill and Al Murray at the last night of the Meccano Club at the Market Tavern, Islington