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Hot Water Comedy Club is launching Blackstock Market, the world’s biggest purpose-built comedy club in Liverpool

2 months ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Hot Water Comedy Club is launching Blackstock Market, the world’s biggest purpose-built comedy club in Liverpool

Blackstock Market will be the world’s biggest purpose-built comedy club and is opening in Liverpool.

They’ve spent years planning and converting a disused warehouse building on Blackstock Street just off Vauxhall Road into a multi-use venue called Blackstock Market.

Blackstock Market will house four theatre spaces, including a main one with an old Broadway-style frontage and almost 600 seats which will become Hot Water Comedy Club’s new regular home.

There’ll also be live music day and night, eight different food traders who’ve already been announced, a whisky bar with quirky features and a cocktail bar. Still to come will be a huge rooftop terrace which will have big screens for live sport.

Paul Blair, director of Hot Water Comedy Club, says they’ve created a destination venue which centres around comedy but offers so much more.

And he hopes the scale and pulling power of the new larger capacity theatre will help re-enforce Liverpool’s place as a city of comedy to rival anywhere in the country.

Blackstock Market - Hot Water comedy - The Guide Liverpool
Exterior of Blackstock Market

“Liverpool is really strong for comedy right now, there’s been a swing from London to Liverpool, and that’s great to see and be involved in. 

“We had Dave Chappelle on last year, he’d sold out the M&S Arena the night before and he did two hours at our club because he’d asked one of the top agents what the biggest club in the UK was.

“We’re already the most followed comedy club online by a mile, we’ve got over 5million combined followers, and once we open at Blackstock Market we’ll have the largest dedicated club so that’ll be an extra accolade for Liverpool.”

When they started looking for a new base, the Hot Water team checked out smaller units which would house a single comedy venue and maybe a restaurant attached.

But then Covid restrictions in place at the time encouraged them to take on something far more ambitious.

The huge bar inside Blackstock Market

And when they found the 60,000sqft Blackstock Market, not far from the Kingsway tunnel entrance and walking distance to the city centre, they realised it gave them scope for extra ideas.

“We actually bought the building peak Covid and the main logic behind it was that if it went to half capacity forever we’d have a bigger venue to halve. 

“The building had been empty for 25 years, it was previously an MOT garage and before that it was a glass bottle making factory, so it needed everything redoing.

“But the size meant we could do a lot more than we’d originally intended and it gave us loads of different angles to work with. We wanted a way to naturally complement what we already do rather than trying to crowbar the comedy club into the market, so we had plenty of space for the comedy element, the food, live music, a whisky bar, cocktail bar, and rooftop terrace.”

Blackstock Market will have a main seating area with a music stage which leads through to a food market at the back, and cocktail bar. On lefthand side is the whisky bar which will eventually have its own basement jazz club.

Blackstock Market - Hot Water comedy - The Guide Liverpool

The whisky bar is one of the market’s stand-out features thanks to some cool design touches including a bar created from the reception desk at the original White Star shipping offices which Hot Water inherited with the building. There’s also a second larger whisky bar room with its entrance hidden behind a bookcase.

Opening is scheduled for the end of January/beginning of February, and there are already comedy dates and a line-up of other events including weekend daytime Audience Withs booked in.

Paul says having the four theatre spaces, varying in capacity from almost 600 to 50, gives them much more flexibility.

“We’ve got a lot of tour shows coming in alongside our own programming which is great because we only used to have one main room which was 224 seater and a 70-seater studio in the current venue so we didn’t have space for a lot of the tours.

Blackstock Market - Hot Water comedy - The Guide Liverpool
A hidden bookcase doorway in the whisky bar

“Now we could have four shows running simultaneously, and live music on at the same time in the main space which is unticketed so, with the two bars as well, there’ll be plenty to do and it’ll hopefully always be busy and vibrant.

“At Hardman Street we don’t capitalize on any pre-show or post-show entertainment or food so when a show finishes people go mostly out onto the street. We wanted to be able to offer something more for our existing customers and a new audience and because this place is massive we’ve been able to do everything we wanted and there’s still a lot more to come.”

Find out more about Hot Water Comedy HERE.

Get the latest for Liverpool HERE.

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