As you've no doubt noticed, coronavirus has brought with it some very, very weird times. With lockdown now easing we're allowed out of our homes again, but traditional live performance venues are still closed - so a number of promoters are now looking to the concept of the 'drive-in' as a way of bringing comedy fans and comedians closer together again, in a way that's still safe.
The drive-in cinema concept, adopted particularly by America in the 1940s, has never particularly been seen in this country in any notable way. However, with social distancing laws in place, it's time for the UK to properly experience this entertainment delivery mechanism en mass. For those not aware, the way it works is that you drive your car into a car park style situation, with all the cars facing a big screen/stage, and then audio from the film/gig you're watching is played into your car, normally via your car radio. Many venues also offer a service whereby the bring drinks and snacks to your window.
So, at the time of writing, here's what is currently planned around the country, comedy drive-in wise...
The Drive-In Club
Brent Cross & Dagenham
3rd July - 9th August
The Drive-In Club is the first and biggest multi-genre outside entertainment experience to hit the UK, with Comic Relief on board as their charity partner. Their first site is situated at Brent Cross Shopping Centre in North London, and the team have programmed a dazzling array of events: old and new cinema blockbusters; kids' shows; music and podcasts; plus comedy from stars including Jason Manford, Rachel Parris, Adam Kay, Omid Djalili, Bill Bailey and Reginald D Hunter. It's not just stand-up, Jonathan Pie, Adam Kay and There's No Such Thing As A fish Live are amongst the other comedy attractions. If you're anywhere near the capital this summer, you shouldn't miss out.
Car Park Party
Henley, Northampton, Dudley, Newbury, Manchester, Chelmsford, Powderham
9th July - 15th August
Also offering a range of different events, Car Park Party are partnering with the legendary Comedy Store to programme their comedy nights. This will be your chance to watch the very best of the UK comedy circuit's new and emerging talent before anyone else. They say: "Lorryloads of laughs are guaranteed with big names and 'up and coming' talent teaming up to put smiles on faces everywhere."
The Drive In
4th July - 30th August
This Edmonton venue also promises food, films and family fun alongside a number of comedy nights for its "brand new live
experience". The first, scheduled for Monday 13th July, boasts Jamali Maddix, Fern Brady, Sean McLoughlin and Tom Houghton, with later nights' guests to be confirmed nearer the time.
Jericho Comedy: Drive In Comedy
17th July - 25th July
Oxford's local comedy club, Jericho Comedy, is running this drive-in at the city's Oxford Artisan Distillery site. Three comedy nights are currently scheduled, from 17th July. They're already sold out, but keep an eye on the club's website, as this initial success almost certainly means more dates will be programmed soon.
Cinestock Drive-In Comedy
July - September
Comedy club Grinstock Comedy has partnered with open-air cinema producers Cinestock to arrange comedy in Sussex, including at the world's only indoor drive-in venue. Their events run till September, with acts such as Reginald D Hunter, Tim Vine, Dane Baptiste, Rachel Parris, Tiff Stevenson, Bobby Mair and Mark Watson booked to appear.
6th July - 4th October
Launching in London before embarking on a cross-country tour until October, @TheDrive In - sponsored by Suzuki - is promising another array of brilliant live comedy, blockbuster films, singalongs and more. Working with Oxford's Jericho Comedy (see above) to programme their stand-up nights, acts will include Lou Sanders, Ahir Shah, President Obonjo, and the brilliantly naughty Rosie Jones, plus many more.
Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club
St Albans, Bath, Marlow, Tunbridge Wells, Chichester, Warwick, London
7th July - 2nd August
Mark Watson has teamed by with Drive & Dine Theatre to launch the first ever Carpool Comedy Club. He'll be working alongside a selection of the best comics in the UK for a comedy tour of the South England. With two shows per night, acts vary by date and location: Sara Pascoe, Jess Fostekew, Lou Sanders, Shappi Khorsandi, Ed Byrne, Daliso Chaponda and Dara O Briain are just some of the names on the list.