After a run of three years, The Comedy Store has moved out of Palladium. The venue that launched in Lower Parel has been renamed Canvas Laugh Factory and has no connection with the international brand.
Charlotte Ward, director and assistant producer of The Comedy Store India, explains the situation, which soured to the extent that matters went to the High Court. “We terminated the joint venture in June 2012, because of financial irregularities that I cannot discuss. But The Comedy Store has not shut down. We have just removed ourselves from Palladium,” says Ward. She adds, “We do have a future. We just have gone independent. We are not going to have a fixed venue yet, but we are looking for a new one. We are going to take the Store all over the city with gigs in clubs, starting with St Andrews, Bandra and the Blue Frog, Lower Parel. We will also go to Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata.”
The next aim for Ward is finding new talent. “We will arrange open mics to do that. For a new venue, we need new comics, otherwise, we’ll just be juggling with the 12-15 we have currently,” she says. On April 18, the Canvas Laugh Factory announced their new identity on Twitter. They explained the development in a tweet, saying, “Since its launch in year 2010, the brand ‘The Comedy Store’ in Mumbai was under a Trademark License Agreement between The Comedy Store UK and Horseshoe Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt Ltd. This Trademark Agreement has now come to an end and hence the company has now decided to continue the business under its own brand, Canvas Laugh Factory (sic).” Another tweet said, “Other than the name outside, nothing else has changed. Inside, you’ll still fall off your chair laughing. (sic)”
In an official statement released by Horseshoe Entertainment and Hospitality, their spokesperson, Purnima Heble, says, “With our fresh look and opportunities, we aggressively aim to become the clear leaders in the genre.”