Ha'penny Bridge Inn, Dublin

Tuesday 9pm


Ha'penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar



press releases

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Press releases

Delve into the past history of events of the Battle of the Axe!!


Links to other sites




Battleoftheaxe.com is a club for up and coming acts in the arts field. Every Tuesday night (since 1996 and until the end of time) 9.30pm up-stairs at the Ha’ Penny Bridge Inn, comedians, singer/songwriters, actors, clowns, poets, etc. go to war on the open mic to try and win the Lucky Duck Award at the club, voted by the audience. New acts are always welcome and are advised to come along any Tuesday night and register for a slot with the MC on duty. Tuesday’s 9.30pm, Up-stairs Ha' Penny Bridge Inn, D.2 Adm. €6/€5 

So many popular artistes on the Comedy & Singer Songwriter’s circuit these days, first cut their cloth at the battleoftheaxe.com Names such as James Goldsbury, Carl Spain & Neil Delimer (new RTE comedy Award winners) have won the famed lucky Duck Award voted for by the audience at the battleoftheaxe.com Other popular winners at the show have included Eddie Naessens, Declan Rooney, Jerome Holland, Simon O’Leary, Alex Lyons, Pat McDonald, Anne Lillis and Anne Gildea and over 400 performers have graced it’s stage since its conception 5 Years ago. The Ha’ Penny Bridge venue has also housed such famed acts as Dermot Morgan, Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne, Alan Davis (Cracker) and The Nualas in it’s time!!!! 

Often described as a hit and miss show (maybe because new act’s are having a go for the first time and more experienced player's are trying out new material), however over the past couple of years the majority of its nights have been hits, all for just £3.50 (AND NOW ONLY FOR €6). It can certainly match & better the so-called bigger clubs on its good nights. What most commentators fail to report is that the bigger clubs often have dreadful nights as well, at highly ridiculous prices too, but never gets reported? However the smaller the club the easier it is to put down!!!!! Since battleoftheaxe.com ‘s arrival in 1996, many clubs have come and gone, even with the luxury of big sponsorship company’s behind them. It’s almost certain that when the Celtic Tiger is chocked battleoftheaxe.com will still be still standing tall. Favorite singer/songwriter’s have include Paddy Casey, Haley Read, and groups such as Yellow Room, Matagouri, Free Range, the Firm, all whom have progressed to get high profile gigs in such respectable venues such as Whelan’s, Vicar Street, HQ, & Eamon Doran’s. Come in and join in the fun any Tuesday nite if you want, just like the guy from the Herald a couple of years ago, who got up on stage and sang a couple of songs. He ended up reviewing himself in the paper the next day! We grant you all, the fortune of good vibes throughout your lives Kindest regards, from the battleoftheaxe.com






42 Wellington Quay,

Temple Bar,

Dublin 2

Tel: 086 815 6987

email: battleoftheaxe@hotmail.com


JESUS HALTS SHOW!!! battleoftheaxe.com had a wonderful Christmas show on Tuesday the 18th December 2001, however the show is taking a one-night break on Christmas. Nit’s are having a go for the first time and more experienced players are trying out new material, however over the past couple of years the majority of its nights have been hits, all for just £3.50. It can certainly match and better the so-called bigger clubs on its good nights. What most commentators have failed to report is that the bigger clubs often have dreadful nights too, at highly ridiculous prices too, but this never gets reported. However the smaller the club the easier it is to put them down!! Since battleoftheaxe.com's arrival in 1996 many clubs have come and gone, even with the luxury of a big company’s sponsorship behind them. It’s almost certain that when the Celtic Tiger is choked battleoftheaxe.com will still be still standing tall. Favourite singer/songwriter’s have include Paddy Casey, Hayley Reid, and groups such as Yellow Room, Matagouri, Free Range, the Firm, all whom have progressed to get their gigs in places such as Whelan’s, Vicar Street, HQ, and Eamonn Doran's.

This Press Release is just an excuse to wish battleoftheaxe.com performers, audience’s, journalists, listing’s editors and anybody who has contributed to making the show what it is (for better or worse!), a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We grant you the fortune of good vibes throughout all your lives from the show.

Kindest regards, from the




"Comedy File" - Taken from Event Guide July 2000

The Ha'Penny Bridge Inn's Tuesday night comedy event, Battle of The Axe, has been renamed the much more user-friendly battleoftheaxe.com. It's still a weekly show where comedians, impressionists, singer/songwriters, musicians, magicians, whatever, can engage in all-out war on the open mic. The audience takes the role of judge and jury, and new blood is always welcome. For more details on how to get your grubby paws on the top prize, the coveted Lucky Duck award, call 086-815 6987 or just show up on the night.

by Mary Minihan




"Women Grind The Axe" - October 19th 1999

Battle of the Axe!! at the Ha'Penny Bridge continues in its promise to provide an open space for new performers by hosting a women's only performance night Tuesday October 19th. It has been especially organised to encourage women to take the stage. Tony Ferns the organiser explains why he is hosting this night, "I want to encourage and give women performers more of a chance, there is no shortage of talent, just time and space."


The night will be hosted by regular MC Gráinne McIntee. Performers will include singer/songwriters Hayley Reid and Joan Walsh, the group Cavan and Lilly Caffery doing acapella. Drag queen Kelly Ann will also make a special appearance and the band Kiss McGee, finalist in the Irish regional heat of the BBC Comedy Awards will also perform.


Women performers are invited to come along on Tuesday October 19th before 9pm to register their name with the director. Actors, musicians and comedians are all welcome.




"Make 'Em Laugh"

"Make 'Em Laugh" is the title of a show presented by the genial Gay Byrne on RTÉ on Sunday nights at 8pm. Apart from being an opportunity for those who wish to slowly wean off a 30 odd year-old Gaybo addiction, this show is a chance to see Irish comic brilliance that was long before the time of most current Dublin comics and their audiences. This show has so far featured the cream of the sadly declined institution that was Irish variety. Gay Byrne's knowledge and feel for this area is, in this comic's opinion, impeccable.


The "Battle of the Axe!!" every Tuesday 9pm at the Ha'Penny Bridge Inn, could probably be described as 'Neo-Irish Variety Entertainment' in all its best aspects. It provides an opportunity for a wide range of performers to try new ideas in front of what had become the best audience in Dublin. One of the secrets to the shows success is the audiences voting at the end of the show to nominate the winner of the Lucky Duck Award. This makes the show the perfect antidote to the amount of passive entertainment being pitched at the couch potato in all of us. I can imagine that in the decades to come (notice how I am sparing you the reader the next millennium drivel) the show will be fondly remembered for its contribution to the entertainment scene in Dublin. Come along on Tuesdays and you will have something with which to bore your children and grandchildren on family holidays to the planet Jupiter; or Mosney on the moon if the money is a bit tight with the way pensions are going these days.

Eddie Naessens




Uncontrolled War!

Every Tuesday night at the Ha'Penny Bridge Inn in Temple Bar, uncontrolled war breaks out between comedians, musicians, singers, actors, clowns, poets and various artists battling it out for the honour of the Lucky Duck Award.


The Lucky Duck Award is the now more than famous award of the Battle of the Axe!! club for the most talented act on show, voted for by the audience.


Noted award winners in the past have included Dublin band - Crusty, comedian/actor - Eddie Naessens (Jack from Fair City), and acapella song mastress - Lilley Caffery.


Leading Dublin street buskers such as Jimmy Quinn, damien Davis and J.J. from Georgia have rocked the club down to a frenzy on many occasions.


This show is a must for anyone with show business aspirations. So if you want to be a star or just have fun nurturing the new crop of entertainers along, then why not drop along to the Battle of the Axe!! any Tuesday night at the Ha'Penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 at 9pm.




The One Year Celebration Show

This, the crazy show for new talent having a go on stage and for old talent trying out new material and routines celebrates it's first year in existence with a celebration show on Tuesday 28th October 1997 at 9pm.


During the past year musicians, singer/songwriters, poets etc. have gone to war on the open mike for the honour of being No. 1 at the club, voted by the audience for which they receive the Lucky Duck Award.


The show is the brainwave of Laoisman Tony Ferns. He produces, directs and occasionally MCs the show. He is assisted by Gráinne McIntee who is assistant director and regular MC at the club. Both also perform on the Ha'Penny Laugh Improv. Comedy Show at the same venue on Thursday nights.


Popular performers over the past year include Eddie Naessens (better known as Jack in Fair City) who works very hard on his old and new material for his stand-up routine. Recent winner Emer O'Kane gave a stunning performancewith her double-base song routine.


One of the biggest improvers of the year is John kavanagh who has moved over from C&W to his more suited styleof Pogues/Dubliners type songs. Grafton Street buskers Jimmy Quinn, Damien Davis and J.J. from Georgia, U.S.A. have rocked the Club down on many occasion during the year. Comedians to watch out for in the future are Simon O'Leary and Alan Wood.


Other popular winners during the year were Dublin lady Lilley Caffery (rock 'n' roll and acapella songs), Billy Bob Johnstone (comedy) and Jason B. Bad (singer/songwriter).


This show is amust for anyone who has any ambitions for the stage. So if you wanna be a star or just have fun and see the stars being created, just drop along upstairs to The Celebration Show on 28th October or any Tuesday night to the Ha'Penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 at 9pm for Battle of the Axe!! and be proud of Ireland's performing arts culture.




Fun and Frolics in T.B.

Ah, what can I say that hasn't been said before? (Plenty, that's what!) The Battle of the Axe, the battle of the twats, whatever you want to call it. I call it "The Show of shows", where would ya bleedin' gerit? Tuesday nights upstairs at the Ha'Penny bridge Inn that's where! It's the bleeding place to be. History in the making. A warm, intimate, interesting, entertaining, creative, fun and mad adventure into the unknown for and by all. And not to dwell on the eerie, strange, spooky insanity one will experience also.


Unique and inspired has extravaganze, the brain child of mysho Tony Ferns, brings you such talent and lack of it in some cases, that you'll wonder why nobody ever told you it's been there since September '96. No mention of Battle of the Axe would be complete without the elegant, persistant Pearl Ruth, the best door-woman in Europe.


Thousands of folk from every corner of the planet have performed, being regaled, laughed, cried (a few offended but nobody got hurt). It's a blessed space where young and old talented, inspired, driven, passionate and occasionally under the influence individuals express themselves for the coveted "Lucky Duck" Award. The pleasure is all yours so come on down for no particular reason and enjoy.

by Grainne McEntee




Confused? Suicidal? Lonely?

Confused? Suicidal? Lonely?... Don't worry, you'll find all your troubles will vanish once you enter the cult of Battle of the Axe. Incomparable evenings of laughter, terror, ingenuity and craic lie ahead. Watching the stream of talented hopefuls cheered on and supported by a gobsmacked audience cajoled off the streets will start to make you think "Wow! I could do this too!", and before you can say 'Brainwash' you will want to give Tony and Pearl all your worldly goods, move to a tiny bedsit and spend all your time gesticulating in front of a broken mirror. Relax! Take it slowly, learn some guitar chords, maybe juggling, a joke or ten. Then braving the taunts of your worried relatives come to the soothing environment of the Ha'Penny Bridge Inn and your life will be forever changed.


Welcomed in by Pearl (who single handedly keeps Irish hospitality alive amidst the money grabbing tourist robbing yuppiefied hellholes in the area), you will feel safe and at home. Watching Ken (screaming "I am the bastard illegitimate son of Jim Morrison" whilst writhing on the floor) you will feel exalted and excited. Participating in the rousing cheers and tumultuous applause will keep you sane and happy. This it it - Zen and the art of articulate nonsense, you are now a fully fledged member of the Battle of the Axe. Congratulations, now get off the stage your time is up!


There couldn't be a more firginving platform to start on the long haul to fame. The kindness of the audience is legendary - at least if you die, you can die in peace.


Who needs colonic irrigation when you can do standup comedy?


Diversity explodes here every Tuesday night and when it comes down to it, where the hell would all the frustrated housewives, embittered politicians, wannabe rockstars, ancient divas, tortured poets and confused comics go to? (Anybody fancy sewing up another banner?)


There can never have been a more terrifying moment than the first step up onto a stage to do a standup routine - (bungi jumping my arse) - but I'm madly grateful that I did it at the Battle of the Axe. What surprises me more is that they let me come back and do it again, there will no doubt come a time when they'll be begging me to stay at home of a Tuesday but I know if I sit and whine Pearl will let me in - and then I'll be the heckler from hell (actually the only heckler in the place most likely).


My knees knocked so furiously and my jokes were so feeble I felt like a Ronnie Corbett impersonator.


It's unique, it's ubiquitous, it's Battle of the Axe, and you'll never forget it.

by Éidín Griffin




Playing MC at the Axe.

Playing MC at the Battle of the Axe was a very enjoyable experience. It was a warm exciting atmosphere, and it felt great because you could really feel that the audience were really enjoying themselves. When the comedians did their gags there wasn't a dry eye anywhere. It was fabulous, the music was cool and funky and it was a delight to see the winner of the show was a first-time comer with her own amazing original material. Hey, we even had some cool celebs drop in such as the late great Michael Hutchence, that's right, he's not dead, he's just been hiding from Paula. And if that wasn't enough who else was in the house, well none other than that soulful popster, "throw your knickers at me" Tom-the sex god-Jones. After the show I approached these legends and asked why they came. They replied, "Hey, when we're in Dublin we check out the best and everybody knows that the Battle of the Axe kicks ass! ...and it's the grooviest place to be on a Tuesday night."

by Peter Fox




Links to other sites!

Sites of interest or relation to the show!


Entertainment Guides for the city!


Artists/Performers pages


Hayley Reid - Sometimes

Hayley Reid, singer/songwriter

Site dedicated to winner of the Lucky Duck, and singer/songwriter Hayley Reid.

  • Donal Norton Website of the regular appearing stand-up comedian










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