Review: Bristol Comedy Cave

Posted on: 2024-02-16

Our rating:

As I arrived to Bristol Comedy Cave, I was reminded of a hopeful survivor enclave in a post-apocalyptic film; unbelievable numbers of people crammed into a makeshift cavern, all there to see the single, hopeful voice they’re crowded around – hoping to bring a little light into a very dark night.


I am, maybe, letting my imagination run away with me there – I don’t think the comedians of Basement 45 will be inciting defiant rebellion against Skynet any time soon (but let’s keep an eye on ChatGPT anyway.) That said, you’d be hard pressed to deny that this is a unique and evocative comedy night.



Bristol Comedy Cave is the newest offering from the prodigious fringe comedy club, The Room Above. Whilst the RA can be found above the White Bear on St. Michael’s Hill, their rapid-expanding popularity has pushed them to open this second prime Saturday night slot in Basement 45 on Frogmore Street.


As mentioned, Basement 45 was really bustling – to the point where the organisers seemed to be struggling to accommodate everyone; extra chairs were being hunted down and some people found themselves sat just beyond the entryway to the main room.

It was little off-putting as a start, and I’m not sure how it happened – but there was a strangely charming, communal feel to it. Audience members were right in close to the comedians, packed around in thrust staging with no discernable stage to serve as a disconnect – a situation the comedians rightly used to their advantage.


Comedy Cave seems to favour quality over quantity – unlike similar nights, our 2~ hours saw just two comedians (alongside the affable and poised MC Burt Williamson), which was a refreshing change of pace; I enjoyed the chance to see the comedians get into their groove and build up more of a language over the course of a longer performance.

As well as Williamson's bridges, the night I attended saw performances from Irish comic Aideen McQueen, and Devon export Luke Honnoraty: both of which clearly distinguished themselves as professional and experienced comedians.


Both comedians took advantage of the intimate and informal setting to build a serious rapport with the crowd and create a raucous, familiar atmosphere – McQueen in particular took the opportunity to build a relationship with those sitting next to her that ping-ponged delightfully between cruelly antagonistic and cheek-reddeningly intimate.

Bristol Comedy Cave is, overall, a strong addition to Bristol’s comedy scene – and a great night if you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed and rowdy than your usual buttoned-up comedy nights.


You can find out more and book tickets for Bristol Comedy Cave on the Room Above’s website – and if you’re interested in the comedians mentioned in this article, you can find Burt Williamson here, Aideen McQueen here, and Luke Honnoraty here.

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Patrick Bate

Patrick is a filmmaker with so much Bristol in his blood the white blood cells are graffiti'd. Educated at the Northern Film School in Leeds, he’s returned home to be a Videographer and Reviewer for 365Bristol and BARBI. When he’s not messing about with cameras, he enjoys playing guitar, spending far too much time on tabletop RPGs, and being an awful snob about cider. Have a look at his work here, or get in touch at