If you make a living being funny in Ireland, chances are you have spent a good deal of your time on the stage in the International Bar. Glamorous it ain’t, but this place has been churning out Ireland’s finest stand up comedy for years. While you may encounter a nervous first-timer cutting his/her teeth on the live stage, stuttering their way through a set, you are equally likely to come across an Irish household name along the lines of Des Bishop or Ardal O’Hanlon.
The performance space upstairs is small, dark and cramped. Arrive late at your peril as you will be left standing at the back, or worse, occupying on-stage stools where you will inevitably become the subject matter of many of the gags. Line ups vary – Monday nights feature comedy improv, while for just €5 on Sunday nights, enjoy some established stand ups try out new material. The space plays host to other theatre and music from time to time, and the ground floor is a popular pub.
Upstairs, however, is where this place comes into its own and a look at some of the faces gracing the walls will confirm this.