Award makes risks worth taking, say Mama Liz’s owners

Michael Houlihan and Liz Bullimore co-owners of Mama Liz at Stamford with their comedy vunue award EMN-160127-223227009
Michael Houlihan and Liz Bullimore co-owners of Mama Liz at Stamford with their comedy vunue award EMN-160127-223227009
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The team behind Stamford’s award-winning comedy night Voodoo Stands Up are delighted their risk-taking has paid off.

Voodoo Stands Up secured the Best Comedy Club prize at this year’s Midlands Comedy Awards.

The monthly comedy club, which operates at Mama Liz’s in North Street, came top in a public vote that garnered more than 1,100 responses.

Co-owners Michael Houlihan and Liz Bullimore were joined by compere John Elson to receive the award. Michael admitted it was a huge surprise to hear Voodoo Stands Up named the winner.

“There was a stunned silence in the room,” he said. “It was just a very sweet moment.”

Voodoo Stands up began in the cellar venue of the popular bar in 2008. It has progressed slowly but steadily since then, growing in popularity. A partnership with Funhouse Comedy helped bring a regular stream of quality performers to Stamford, and the club’s loyal following showed their support by voting in the awards.

Michael said: “The quality we have been able to tap into through Funhouse has been great. We are now running two nights a month and selling both out.

“The last two years have been amazing and have really shown the fruits of our labour.”

The award is sure to bring more attention to Voodoo Stands Up, and the team at Mama Liz’s hope to continue their steady upward march.

“We’re going to keep doing what we do well, and see what doors it opens up for us,” said Michael. “But we don’t want to overdo it.”

The bar, which is also a music venue, restaurant and cocktail louge, is known in Stamford for its quirkiness.

“The award does justify taking risks,” said Michael. “It’s very rewarding, having set out to do something a little bit different. It renews your fath in what you set out to do.”

Peterborough-based comedian Jay Islaam, who founded the Midlands Comedy Awards in 2014, said Voodoo Stands Up punched “well above their weight in the comedy world”.

Visit www.mamaliz.co.uk to find out the latest event listings.