Gag Reflex is dedicated to developing the very best comic talents in the industry. Our diverse client list features some of the most talented comedians performing in the UK today, from traditional stand-ups to acts specializing in improvisation, sketch shows, musical and physical comedy.
As well as managing and shaping the careers of this pool of talent, we also produce live Tours & Festivals (domestic and international), programme Venue and Festival line ups, match comics to corporate events, and provide skilled writers, actors and presenters for a selection of TV, Radio, Commercials and warm up shows.
Founder & Director Lee Martin became obsessed with comedy, after borrowing Denis Leary's "No Cure for Cancer" on audio cassette (like MP3s, but real) whilst at school. His first foray into the industry was as an over-enthusiastic punter at XS Malarkey back in 2001. The club was having some issues with their venue so Lee helped them move to a bigger, more suitable space with a much more receptive landlord. Fast forward two years and Lee was onstage at the inaugural North West Comedy Awards accepting an award for that very same club. The club went on to win Chortle's Best Venue Award a record breaking 10 times.
Off the back of his achievements with XS, Lee joined Manchester's original comedy club The Frog and Bucket, and helped that venue garner multiple awards and greater commercial and artistic success. Whilst running the Frog, Lee formed Gag Reflex, and in 2010 moved on to focus solely on management and production.
He has produced shows all over the world, including seasons at the Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, New Zealand International Comedy Festival and Just For Laughs in Montreal, to name a few. Next year Lee will be back in Scotland for his 15th Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Previous seasons include back to back sell outs in some of the Fringe's largest venues, including the Pleasance Grand and Gilded Balloon's Debating Hall.
Lee is proud to have evolved the reach of Gag Reflex from the NW circuit to global festivals, television, radio & beyond. He believes in an artist first approach to management, a philosophy which permeates the whole agency. Gag Reflex acts have variously appeared on BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, ITV, Sky1 and BBC Radio 4 since the agency started, and as far as Lee's concerned, the sky’s the limit.
Career highlights include West End seasons & a Christmas run with The Boy with Tape on his Face at The Duchess Theatre, a UK tour with The Axis of Awesome, and dressing as a gorilla on BBC3's Tape Face Tapes.
Lee has read Steve Job's official biography 12 times, and has a lightsaber on his desk. Cos he's cool.
Forest Watkins joined the agency in 2013 as an Agent and Live-Booker. Forest is a Theatre Graduate whose past roles have included acting, writing, directing and producing theatre across the UK, America and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He has extensive experience of live-performance environments, and working within high-pressured sales environments, he now transfers that passion and robust nature to live comedy. He is a chronic food-snob and a football fanatic. Make of that what you will.
An impressionable Hannah Godfrey sneaked into The Stand in Edinburgh one school half term, where the comedy bug was truly caught. Coupled with an inherited and growing passion for comedy, that night led to a career fully immersed in the British comedy industry.
Hannah has run large-scale comedy clubs since she was 21, and feels fortunate to have witnessed many of today’s comedy Arena and mainstream TV stars cut their teeth in a live environment. She has led training academies to bring show managers to brand standard, and worked in Corporate Entertainment, booking performers for large & small scale events across the UK, and internationally.
At boutique comedy agency Beyond Compere, she gained invaluable experience in live bookings and management, and later a spell in the Music Industry with worldwide giants United Talent Agency (formerly The Agency Group), exposed her to travelling and touring with some of the biggest names in music today, including Motorhead, Ringo Starr, Boy George and Deep Purple.
Hannah joined Gag Reflex in 2014, relishing the opportunity to return to Comedy, and the fantastic clients the agency represents, taking on the role of Agent and Producer.
Her career highlight is touring New Zealand and Australia with living legend, Dolly Parton.
During her 18 years in the comedy business Corry Shaw has worked for The Edinburgh Stand, Brighton and Bath Komedia, Covent Garden Comedy Club, Chortle, GSOH, Glorious Management, Bound & Gagged, Radio Forth, The Edinburgh Evening News and has served as barmaid, reviewer, producer, agent, booker, web administrator, tour booker, researcher, show manager and venue manager.
She also launched and ran Foolhardy Comedy which provided act representation for Alfie Brown, Ed Gamble, Iain Stirling, Tom Rosenthal, Sean McLoughlin, Flange Krammer, Fin Taylor and David Elms.In 2012 Corry stage managed the Edinburgh Comedy Award winning 'The Wrestling'
Corry has been heavily involved with Mark Watson's marathon Fringe shows and produced his '24 Hour Jamboree To Save The Planet' in 2007 and 'Mark Watson's Last Ever 24 Hour Show' in 2009. In 2013 she co-produced his 25 hour show for Comic Relief which raised over £60,000 for the charity, and his 27 hour show in 2015 which raised over £100,000 for the same charity.
“We have worked with Gag Reflex on a number of projects at the Edinburgh Festival and at other venues around the country. I have always found them professional, efficient and very easy to work with. I would have no hesitation in recommending them as a company to work with.”
Andy Townsend, Kilimanjaro Live
“Gag Reflex have programmed the Comedy Club at King George’s Hall in Blackburn for six years. It is a pleasure to work in partnership with them; the line-ups are always provided far enough in advance to give assurance that we are effectively programmed and the quality of acts is never in doubt. They are always at the end of the phone and actively want to discuss acts performances before and after a show. They listen to our recommendations and trust our opinions as much as their own. They are not just a booking agency for our club; they are an extension of our venue’s staff team and we are proud to be one of their venues.”
Toni-Leanne Comer, Assistant Promotions Manager, King George's Hall, Blackburn
“We have used Gag Reflex to book our line ups for many years now, and find them to be very reliable and professional. The comics they provide are of the highest calibre and have been equally reliable. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Gag Reflex for all your Comedy needs”
Jessica Toomey, Managing Director - The Frog & Bucket, Manchester
“We wait with baited breath every week to see who the XS Malarkey crew are going to bring us next! And they never disappoint – a great line up every week. We love having the night here at The Pub/Zoo, and actually look forward to work on a Tuesday!”
Samantha Birchenall, Venue Manager - Pub/Zoo Manchester, XS Malarkey, Manchester
"Gag Reflex have been a great company to use with an excellent service manner, professional attitude. We would certainly recommend them for ease of booking for any business event. Thanks for helping make our meeting enjoyable and finding us a fantastic comedian in Dan Nightingale."
Jennifer Thompson, Det Norske Veritas.
"Gag Reflex are fine purveyors of the best of established and emerging comic talent. And dead easy to work with."
Mark Makin, Festival Director The Hobgoblin Cheltenham Comedy Festival
"Over the past two years Gag Reflex have provided us with some excellent comedians and awards hosts and comperes for our high-profile business events. Gag Reflex have provided an excellent service, negotiating on price and communicating well. On top of this they are fantastic to deal with – helpful, professional and endlessly accommodating."
Helen Power, Newsco Insider
"Absolutely fantastic performance from Dan Nightingale on the night; he really got everyone laughing from the first second and fit the bill superbly. Top man and a pleasure to work with too. If there’s any other opportunities for us to use a comedian we’ll certainly consider Gag Reflex and Dan Nightingale first of all. Thanks for helping to make our Christmas Awards memorable."
Thomas Croft, PH Media Group