Our pursuit of laughter took us away from our usual stomping ground of Manchester city centre this week, finding ourselves in Levenshulme to visit the inaugural Klondyke Komedy Club night hosted by regular Manchester circuit compère Katie Mulgrew.
The Klondyke Club is a throwback to my childhood, a working men’s club cum bowling club. The sort of place you can imagine hosts all the big occasions in life, from christenings to wakes and all that’s inbetween.
If venturing there on foot, it’s worth noting Google Maps will lead you down a dead end, or in our case wandering the surrounding streets like oddballs until we finally found the entrance highlighted by a huge sign a bit further down the road!
The club has been open for 100 years and seems to be at the very heart of the community and this is obvious from the large contingent of the ‘Levvy Massive’ who’ve turned out to support the launch night.
The room was spacious with numerous tables set out and as normal the front row stayed empty until the very last. The evening begins with Katie warming up the crowd, a mixture of locals and other comedy nuts from further afield (of which we formed part of the latter).
It is evident from her style she is an experienced compère and at ease with the audience, even venturing out into the crowd at one point to snaffle a couple of Squares crisps from one of the rowdier tables.
And so it was on to the first act, who we are familiar with from his time presenting The Friday Night Project and stints on 8 out of 10 cats Rob Rouse. He explodes on the stage, jokingly commenting on the ‘showbiz’ staging which included a fuse box, the fire exit and a 4-plug adapter. Breaking into an impromptu tirade which involved CERN collision, scotch eggs and a Henry the Hoover.
All this before he settles properly into his routine, which is a mixture of observational comedy and surrealism. Drawing on his experience of being middle aged and rural living, discussing wood pigeons and a trip to the doctors in an equally entertaining and graphic fashion.
The second act of the night is Dan Nightingale who we recently saw MCing the Beat the Frog World Series Final at the Frog and Bucket. As on that night, Dan was on top form. Nightingale is a very polished performer, his set is clearly well crafted and a gifted storyteller, drifting in and out of stories with great aplomb whilst keeping you entertained throughout.
His apprenticeship from comedy club barman to compere has clearly giving him an understanding of how to work a crowd and as such has the timing and presence of someone at ease on the stage.
All in all a very strong start from the Klondyke Komedy Club, well worth the trip to South Manchester. I’d highly recommend checking it out when it returns in February next year.