Last laugh | 

Al Porter returns to Laughter Lounge – but at three times the price of his other gigs

Tickets cost €31 per person plus booking fee, or a bundle of €62 for two plus one booking fee

Eugene MastersonSunday World

Al Porter is finally returning to the venue where he kickstarted his career after an absence of over five years.

But anyone who wants to catch the comedian in Dublin’s Laughter Lounge will have to pay nearly three times what fans are paying in other venues across the country.

We can reveal that Al is booked in to play the Laughter Lounge on Friday, January 27 and Saturday, January 28.

Tickets cost €31 per person plus booking fee, or a bundle of €62 for two plus one booking fee.

The price compares to €10 he is charging for upcoming gigs in Galway’s Roisin Dubh and Drogheda’s Prop Room, as well as €12 in Tallaght’s Civic Theatre.

One comedy industry insider argued in Porter’s defence: “The Laughter Lounge charges that rate no matter who plays there and is a prime city centre venue.

"You also get a free drink with the ticket. The bill usually has some support comedians, and they have to be paid too.”

Al recently made a charity appearance with Eric Lawlor and has been playing some warmup shows in the likes of the Dragon bar in his hometown of Tallaght.

Other upcoming gigs include the Inec Killarney, Jerry Flannery's Bar Limerick, The Dean Crowe Athlone, John Cleere's Bar & Theatre Kilkenny, Kavanaghs Portlaoise, Citylimits in Cork, as well as The Hot Spot Music Club, Dalkey.

Al, who turns 30 on Friday, performed his first charity gig in over five years when he performed in November to raise money for HOPE – Suicide Prevention Drop In Centre Tallaght.

He unexpectedly joined a number of entertainers including Mary Byrne who took to the stage on the night and helped raise some €3,000 for the local charity.

Porter indicated his intention to move into a new chapter with his life after breaking his silence last July in a lengthy social media post.

He said how he would “like to make people laugh again” and resurrect his career.

He quit his high-profile radio slot with Today FM in November 2017 amid a furore over unproven allegations made on social media and has declined to publicly comment ever since.

Writing about that difficult time in his life, the stand-up comedian said that he is a “long-time sober” and living a quiet existence in his parents’ house in Tallaght.

He said that about five years ago he “kind of disappeared” and his life changed beyond all recognition.

Porter said after a series of tweets making allegations against him were made in 2017, he took the issues in his personal life very seriously and decided to walk away from all his work commitments.

“From the age of 19 my life had been a runaway train, I had been burning the candle at both ends, leaving me overwhelmed and unable to cope,” he said.

“At the time all I wanted to do was go home to my family, but I couldn’t even do that as the media were outside my mam and dad’s house. In the space of 48 hours, it felt like I’d lost everything.”

As for his future plans, he said on his website that he is now “fit and healthy and a long-time sober” and indicated he would like to return to his comedy career.

“Now, I’d like to make people laugh again. Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. Mine starts now,” he said.

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