Pleasance Ahoy

“What could possibly go wrong?”


Over fifty comedians, four hundred miles and ten fantastic gigs; Pleasance Ahoy was a Cultural Olympiad event celebrating the London 2012 Olympic Games across the length of the whole country.

Pleasance Ahoy was the daydream of Anthony Alderson, Director of the Pleasance Theatre. After “far too many bottles of wine over dinner” a close group of old friends mused “what could be better than messing about on the river, putting on comedy gigs in picturesque canal-side pubs?”

The perfect opportunity came with the launch of the London 2012 Olympics. The Cultural Olympiad loved the idea, and so the fair ship ‘Meggie’ was launched in Islington London, ready to embark on a seven week journey through the rivers and canals of the UK to eventually arrive in Edinburgh to open the biggest arts festival in the world. Packed with comedians and a hardy crew, the Pleasance Ahoy podcasts, films, blogs and photographs document the whole four hundred mile journey.

From black tie festivals in Henley on Thames to the crumbling canals of Manchester, from the jam packed gigs in the sunshine to the near sinking of the boat during the wettest summer in a hundred years – it was an epic adventure. The podcasts were presented by Al Lorraine and featured stand up and interviews from over fifty comedians, recorded at the weird at wonderful locations along the canal network.

This travelling circus entertained the rural communities whilst generating excitement and interest in the Olympics themselves, and having a little fun of their own along the way.

Pleasance Ahoy was also the subject of the our BBC Radio Scotland documentary ‘The Joke Float’.

“Trust us to pick the wettest summer on record to decide to do the most beautiful thing possible through Britain.”Andre Vincent
Pleasance Ahoy