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Everything you wanted to know about Rip Roar Comedy, but were too afraid to ask! Select a subject:

About Us


Are the comedians any good?


We only book the best comedians on the UK circuit. How do we know they're the best? We have booked most of them before and seen them perform at our venue. Comedians we book for the first time have to have a very strict set of credentials, and a LOT of experience on the circuit. As comedy promoters we're considered to be one of the most difficult clubs for comedians to get booked at. This is a good thing for our customers because it ensures that the comedians they are spending their hard-earned to watch, have pedigree and a comedy CV that would get them booked at any of the 'premier league' clubs in the UK.

It is also our policy to bring on newer acts who can only get better by getting valuable performance time at gigs like ours. As a customer you will always be told when a comedian is 'new' or trying out new material, or doing a 'half-spot'. It is important that we do our bit to contribute to allowing new talent this stage time because without it, the circuit would not have new talent taking over from those that no longer perform on it. In the 16 years of Jesters, there were very few comedians from the early days still performing in 2011. Without the possibility of gigs in front of 'real' audiences, very few of the latter day comedians would actually be able to perform to the standard required.

We pride ourselves as a venue in managing our audience too - to allow everyone to enjoy themselves to the fullest extent possible. More about that later.


Being a comedy club, are you supposed to heckle the comedians?


Clearly we expect a deal of interaction between audience and comedian, otherwise there'd be no point us staging live shows. However, there is a line to be drawn between what can be having a laugh with the comedians and preventing them from performing their material. We'll let you know if you are crossing that line.

Comedians have a wealth of funny material to do on stage, which they can't possibly get through if they have to deal with hecklers all night.

Good heckling can be great fun, and many comedians make references to heckles from previous gigs. So if you're going to heckle, try to make it positive AND funny. Simply shouting abuse, or making inane, drunken remarks to a comedian you're not enjoying, will eventually get you ejected from the venue.

Also, please be aware of when to shut up. If your judgement in this area is poor, then we'll let you know... ;-)

We will always ask you to switch your mobile phones to silent (preferably, off), while the acts are performing. please have the courtesy to make or take calls well outside the auditorium. Texting or using social media on phones while the comedians are performing, is also considered to be very bad manners, and will irritate those around you.


Can we sit where we want?


When you arrive at the venue, you will be greeted at our reception desk, where we will organise your seats. We will always seat groups together. Larger groups (12+) are usually allocated seats prior to arrival, so that we can accommodate them at any time they arrive.

We do this to be as fair as possible to people who have pre-booked tickets as a group and to avoid seating disputes on the night.

Where possible we seat the larger groups near the stage and the smaller groups towards the rear of the room. We will also give table seat priority to those that have booked meal-inclusive tickets for obvious reasons.

We will where possible seat all groups together. If you book as a group, you will be seated as a group. Please be aware that if you just turn up on the night without an advanced booking, and expect to be seated with a pre-booked party, we will always do our best, but the likelihood is when we are busy, that this may not be possible.

For more details of our seating policy, see 'How do we make a reservation?' below.


How do I find the club?


Rip Roar Comedy takes place on the first floor of:

15 Union Gate (above Steam Cafe Bar)
63 Union Street

Directions to the venue, with a map, are on our Contact Us page.


How do we make a reservation?


The simplest and quickest way is to use our Book Online service; find the date of the show you want to attend on the right hand side of the home page, click on it, and follow the rest of the process.

You may book a mixture of meal-inclusive and entry-only tickets - the system will calculate the correct total to charge you. We cannot upgrade entry-only tickets to meal-inclusive once payment has been made, but you can still eat on the night - we will issue you with a voucher of your meal choice at reception as you arrive, which you pick up yourself, in your own time (up to 8pm) from our serving hatch to our commercial kitchen.

Our booking process is designed to be as painless and quick as possible. We appreciate you're busy and we don't want you to spend more time than you need filling in data on a computer screen!


One of the most common requests is that you may wish to book in a large party, yet don't wish to pay for everyone yourself. It is possible to do this easily. Here's how:

1) Give everyone a party name to book under (usually your own).

2) Tell everyone to book their ticket for your group booking under that exact name. (If your name is Peter Porter, then all of your friends to book under the name Peter Porter. This means that instead of putting their own name in the box, they put yours. It doesn't matter what name is on the debit/credit card they are using to pay!)

3) We will always seat people with the same name together, (even if coincidentally, someone with the same name as you also books on the same night!)

4) Please, please ensure that your friends follow this rule. We can't be held responsible, or guarantee to make amendments on the night of the show for people who book under their own name, and then expect to be seated with you.

5) Also, (for as obvious as it sounds), make sure they get the correct date! (Many people have got this wrong in the past!)

6) If any of this process has gone wrong for you, we can correct it on our system given advance notice. Again, e-mail is the best way to do this. Contact us at

7) You will need to ask for corrections to be made AT LEAST 24 HOURS prior to the show. We cannot guarantee to resolve any mistakes you or your friends have made if you don't allow us sufficient time to do so.

At Riproar we're not geared up to take cash for bookings as we don't have an office at the venue. Our booking service is operated from a remote office in North-west Bristol. So, please try to have a debit or credit card available to pay for tickets.

For large company or big group bookings we will accept cheque payments, STRICTLY by agreement, and then with sufficient time for cleared funds to arrive in our account prior to the show date you're after.


How is the club laid out?


At our Union Gate venue, which we opened in November 2014, we have two floors, each of which can (and does) run a comedy show, dependent on a few things. For the most part, we run shows on a Friday in the Cafe Bar downstairs, and in the club upstairs on a Saturday.

Sometimes we are booked for large scale (non-comedy) events which can only be run in the club, so we move the show downstairs to the Cafe Bar.

On the website, we depict each event as either 'Cafe Bar Comedy', or 'Stand Up and Boogie'. Stand Up and Boogie is our description of comedy run in the club, where we are geared to run a disco after the show, where required.

In the cafe bar, we have a mixture of bench seats and chairs at large rustic tables (prioritised for diners, of course), and if we are very busy we will put in chairs in rows, without a table.

In the club, we have trestle tables with black table cloths, which seat either four or six people per table. Many of these tables are put together to form seating for large groups. There is a raised platform at the back of the club to allow for smaller groups at tables with a raised view of the stage.


Is the comedy rude/blue?


It most certainly can be!

Our shows are intended for adults and as such taboo subjects are often dealt with. You will almost certainly hear every profanity (or 'swear word' if you prefer) that the English language holds. Sex and personal relationships are usually the subject of a comedian's routines.

You may well also hear politically sensitive material, and bang up-to-date topical routines, all of which can be offensive to some. A live alternative comedy club is exactly that.

Please be very aware that it is not our intention to offend anyone at any time, about anything. Nor do we ever book comedians whose sole aim is to shock, to be funny.

As a company we remain politically, and religiously neutral. We are not here to express opinions about anything through the comedians who perform at our shows.

We will not be held responsible for anything that they say, or any offence anyone feels may have occurred, to either themselves, or to any group they may sympathise with. It is on this basis that you book a ticket to the show.

Having been very upfront and explicit about the nature of the comedians' material you are likely to hear at any Riproar show, we will largely ignore any complaints either written or verbal, from anyone who deems that they have been offended. We most certainly will not act upon any complaint made in this regard, nor consider any kind of refund. or credit. The same ethos applies for anyone who claims not to have enjoyed the show, or not to have found the comedians funny, for whatever reason.

If you are offended by swear words, material as described above, or are politically sensitive, please do not come to a Riproar gig, and for the same reasons, we strongly suggest that you don't go to any live stand-up show at any other comedy gig in the UK either, as you'll likely see the very same comedians, and hear the same type of material!


Is there food available?


Indeed there is! We have a kitchen that Gordon Ramsey might be proud of, and are partnered with Lettuce and Lovage Catering who are one of the finest catering outfits in the South-west (having been awarded the soil associations's gold award for catering).

All of our food is therefore locally sourced and cooked from fresh on the night. Most meals cost about £8-£9 and come with cutlery, napkins and condiments. Full details are available on our Food page. You can even download a copy of the menu to peruse before arriving at the club.

We operate a hot counter buffet. If you have pre-ordered a meal online, we will give you a voucher to redeem at the hot counter for your chosen meal. If you have an entry-only ticket, you may purchase a meal on the night from the bar. you will be given a printed receipt for your food which you may redeem at the hot counter, next to the bar.


What do we do?


Live Alternative Stand Up Comedy using the best of the Professional Circuit in the UK. The Club is open from 6.30pm to 11.30pm (we often carry on with a DJ to 1am if the demand is there) every night we open. Variations to these times will exist for special shows like weekend Christmas shows and New Year's Eve.


What is the format of the evening?


Depending upon the show, there will be a number of circuit comedians who will entertain you for the duration of the comedy show; one of whom sometimes acts as host and compère for the evening. It is he or she that will banter with you, do birthday, stag, hen, loss of virginity, or 'just-out-for-the-night' celebratory announcements, as well as introducing the other acts.

There are two intervals between the acts, each lasting roughly 15 to 30 minutes to give you time to refill your glasses, answer the call of nature, and/or pop outside for a smoke.


Why is the disco only on until 1am?


Sadly, we're only licensed until this time to play recorded music. To carry on beyond this time would contravene our licence, without which we couldn't operate.

We are situated in the heart of Bristol though. If you're a hardcore party type, and want to carry on until the wee hours, you could probably find your way into a club, from our front doors, blindfolded, listening to your iPod.

We will of course do our best to entertain you post show if you want to dance and will play a bunch of classics from the last four decades.

Booking Info


Do I have to pay a booking fee?


Our ticket prices are inclusive of the commission we have to pay to our secure online payment service providers.

This means that the price you see advertised for ALL of our shows is the price you pay - you won't encounter a final payment screen that springs a booking fee on you with Riproar.


Do I have to pay in advance for my places?


We can only make reservations upon receipt of full payment.

This means that until we receive full payment for your tickets, you do not have a booking.

We are unable to hold/reserve seats until you are able to make payment.

We will not be able to give you any kind of special treatment if you have friends that have booked you wish to be seated with, but haven't booked in advance yourselves.


How do I know where we will be seated?


We seat on arrival, so the earlier you arrive, the greater choice of seats you will have, bearing in mind that we will always give diners seats at tables.

Please note that when we run the comedy shows in the Cafe Bar, we can only supply around 80 seats to dine. If we have more booked in to dine than this, the later arrivals will be issued with a tray and asked to eat their meal from their individual chair.


Tell us about the disco at the end of the comedy show?


We have a DJ after the comedy show who will play until 1am or 'last man standing' (at our discretion) - whichever comes first. What we mean by this is that if say, it's 12.30am. and there are more of us (staff) than there are of you (customers), we will stop the disco and ignore any complaints about doing so. Come 1am, however many there are of you still dancing , we will stop the disco and be even more ignoring of any complaints about doing so! (See specific FAQ on this one). We hope you understand. :-)

We have some funky disco lighting and we play big screen 80s sci-fi clips skilfully edited together by our techie team for your visual entertainment, so if dancing isn't necessarily your thing, you can sit back, enjoy another drink maybe, and watch some splendid old sci-fi in full techie-colour! ;-)

We clear space for dancing by folding away the tables and chairs in front of the stage, so you're more than welcome to shake your tail feather until our licensing hours run out. Our friendly DJ will usually take requests, though you should expect the anthems from all genres from the last 40 years. We're not Oceana or a dance club with a fashionable groove about it, but we honestly don't care - if you like it and you'll dance to it, we'll play it. Simples.


What if I turn up late on the night?


We will of course always let you into the club, anytime up to the start time of the show, (8.30pm) if you have pre-booked, and we have space to allow you in. If we have sold-out in advance however, and you don't arrive until after 8pm, we reserve the right to sell your tickets to those who might wish to buy them for cash on the night. Under these circumstances, we will not offer you a refund in cash, but will be happy to move your tickets to another show. (We understand that sometimes circumstances beyond our customers' control can make them unavoidably late).

For the avoidance of any of these issues, please try to arrive at the club by 8pm latest. Bear in mind that if you have booked to dine, 8pm is the time we stop serving food, so please do your best to arrive before 7pm. We often have over 150 people booked to dine, and it would be impossible to serve everyone in time for the show, if we did not ask that they arrived in time to allow us to do this.


What if I want to cancel my places or reduce numbers?


Once a booking has been made we are unable to give refunds.

This is always clearly explained to you when you make your booking; it appears on our terms and conditions of booking which we strongly advise you to read prior to booking and paying for your tickets.


What if the comedians listed are not the ones performing on the night?


Sadly, this is inevitable due to the nature of their work. Every club in the country suffers from last minute cancellations by acts who have fallen ill, or have had late offers for highly paid TV work. We are no exception; we can guarantee that the listings we publish now will change, though in most circumstances, the listings we do publish change very little and the comedians listed will perform.

If you are booking to see a particular act that we have listed, we strongly advise you to email us 24 hours before that show, to confirm that the line up is as published.

Often these changes can literally be last-minute, which doesn't allow us time to publicise the fact. Given the nature of the live entertainment industry, we can offer no refunds or other offers should we need to change listed line-ups of our standard shows.

Please note that we will be unable to give refunds on this basis, and we would always replace any cancellation with a comedian of equal quality.


What methods of payment do you take ?


We accept all major credit and debit cards (except American Express)

We will accept company cheques for large bookings, by prior arrangement only, but unfortunately, this does not apply to personal cheques.


What's this about a behaviour bond being required for single sex groups?


A Behaviour Bond of £10 per person is payable for Stag or Hen Parties, and groups of 6 people or more were the gender split is 70% or more in favour of one sex.

e.g. your group has 10 people, 8 ladies and 2 gents, the gender split is 80% so you must each pay the £10 Behaviour Bond.

Entry to the club will only be permitted when the bond is paid in full, in cash, on the door upon your arrival. You bond will be refunded (in cash) on the night at the time that ALL members of your party leave.

For further details or to discuss your group arrangements, please email us.

Our Behaviour Bond Contract is available as an Adobe Acrobat document which you can download,save to your own pc/mac and read on any mobile device capable of picking up pdfs. You can also print it out.

Download Behaviour Bond Contract (Adobe PDF)

The objective of the Behaviour Bond for large groups is that the 200+ people in the audience do not have their entertainment disturbed by troublemakers. During an average week we have 5-6 groups bound by our Behaviour Bond, so you can readily understand how effective it is.

Our Behaviour Bond policy sets us apart from many other Comedy Clubs as we are better able to manage troublemakers and keep disruptions to the show to a minimum. We take great pride in our efforts to ensure that each show runs smoothly.


When can I book tickets?


Our Online Booking service is available 24/7. The deadline for booking tickets to a show is 4pm on the night of that show. After this time, we usually have a limited number of tickets available on the door. These are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, FOR CASH ONLY (we have no card facilities on the door) with the understanding that you will have to take whatever seats we have available.

Forthcoming Events
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Bristol - Fri 24th November 2017
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Bristol - Fri 22nd December 2017
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Bristol - Sat 23rd December 2017
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Bristol - Sun 31st December 2017
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Bristol - Sat 13th January 2018
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Bristol - Sat 20th January 2018
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