Laugher Factory co-founder Gail Clough said she hopes to help 'develop' the comedy scene in the kingdom
Dubai’s Laugher Factory hopes to one day to expand to Saudi Arabia and take advantage of the kingdom’s burgeoning comedy scene, according to co-founder Gail Clough.
Established in 1997, Laughter Factory, the Middle East’s longest-running comedy night, holds regular comedy events at a number of venues in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Clough said that she one day hopes to expand to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, where the comedy scene is still in a nascent stage.
“I’m desperate to get in there,” she said. “They [already] have an amateur scene and someone is purpose building a venue.”
Clough added that she “wouldn’t be interested in getting in there and making a quick killing and getting out.”
In January, Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority announced that restaurants and cafes would now be able to apply for entertainment licenses to host music and comedy events, part of a wider effort to transform Saudi Arabia into one of the world’s top 10 entertainment destinations.
In Clough’s opinion, having comedy in Saudi Arabia will help improve the lives of its citizens and residents.
“I’d like to develop and create something for the people that are there,” she said. “You could have bereavement. You could have had a divorce or lost your job, and for two hours you go and laugh. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You know you can be okay again.”
She added that “it’s quite important, and somewhere like Saudi Arabia really needs it.”
A number of famous comedians – including Laughter Factory alumnus Russell Peters – have previously performed in Saudi Arabia.
Additionally, a number of comedy clubs have been established in the kingdom in the last several years. Two of the kingdom’s homegrown comedians – Moayad Alnefaie and Ibraheem Alkhairalla – were included in the Netflix original series ‘Comedians of the World’.