Headliners comedy club, which has been running in Chiswick for the best part of 20 years, has closed until further notice because of Covid restrictions.
The popular club, which stages stand-up comedy in the Boston Room of George IV on Friday and Saturday nights, reopened in September after the summer break, with reduced seating to accommodate social distancing.
But now that London has entered Tier two and only members of the same household can sit at a table together, owner Simon Randall says the club is no longer viable to run.
“I didn’t have any choice” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “The new regulations make it completely impossible”.
People go on a night out together with friends and it isn’t the same if they can’t sit together. He is effectively left to selling tables of two only, which with the required amount of social distancing, means taking a loss.
Images above: Jeff Innocent, Eleanor Tiernan, Neil Delamere
Scheduled shows with Jeff Innocent, Eleanor Tiernan, Neil Delamere, George Lewis, Andy Parsons, Steve Gribbin and John Moloney have all been cancelled.
Simon is angry about the whole way in which the government has managed Covid restrictions as regards the entertainment and hospitality industry.
“They’ve managed to exceed even my low expectations”.
He describes the way in which companies have been able to apply for government money as “a chancer’s charter” without any proper scrutiny, so that some payments have been “absurdly generous” while others have been “pointlessly tight-fisted”. He says he’s taken losses of about £8,000 so far.
Images above: George Lewis, Andy Parsons, Steve Gribbin
He also despairs at the stupidity of making everyone leave pubs and restaurants at the same time.
“Driving home the other night at 10.00 o’clock I saw what must have been 200 people queuing up outside Sainsbury’s to buy booze to take home. If they’d asked anyone who runs a pub they’d have told them that’s what would happen. The 10.00pm curfew makes it more likely people will catch the virus. It’s beyond counterproductive”.
“We could cope with social distancing, wearing masks and hand sanitising, serving people at their tables rather than the bar; even the 10.00pm curfew. But when everyone on the same table has to be from the same household it just becomes impossible”.
Images above: John Moloney; Simon Randall as MC in the Boston Room at George IV
Simon hopes he will be able to reopen Headliners in November, but as things stand, the club is closed until further notice.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: London going into Tier 2
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