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The Laughter Factory

I've never been a great fan of stand-up comedy, but with nothing else planned for last night and the sudden offer of an unwanted ticket, it seemed a good idea to check out the Laughter Factory event, a monthly occurrence in Slaka Ramada's Cher-is-sad bar. Of the three performers, one I liked, one I quite liked and one I didn't quite, which is probably par for the course. But what I couldn't help but notice was that during the Ramadan closure, the Ramada has greatly freshened up the interior of the Cher-is-sad, transforming the city's drabbest den into something quite light and airy. Not before time. Until a couple of years ago, this was Slaka's liveliest nightspot, thanks to the resident band Streetnoyz, with their high energy and very camp lead singer Nelson. But after getting rid of the band and banning unaccompanied ladies, the place enetered a doldrums which the more recent national ID clampdown did nothing to alleviate. It became not uncommon to find maybe thirty solitary men sitting at thirty solitary tables, drinking, smoking, staring at the wall screens and talking to nobody. And somehow the dinge intensified the mood. So it remains to be seen if the new paintjob will have lifted the cloud of gloom. Purely in the interests of research, I'll visit again soon and report back. I'm not hopeful, but you have to try.

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