There is plenty to do in London, but my boyfriend and I were wondering what we could do to celebrate our first year together – a meal out is the norm but we wanted something a little more interesting. After a shining recommendation, we ended up booking our tickets for a comedy night at The 99 Club London on the 8th October.
The flagship 99 Club is based in Leicester Square. The venue attracted me because of its list of critically acclaimed acts that grace the stage regularly and who are simultaneously on every other comedy TV show. Its reputation among comedians and audiences alike made it an immediate choice. The club is perfect for comedy; it’s intimate and exciting. I can’t hail the staff highly enough as well, they are friendly and approachable. I’m surprised how close we are to the stage as well – the atmosphere is ideal. You’ll often see current talent grace its low-ceilinged, dark room so the atmosphere isn’t something you can catch in an arena or at the Apollo. With tickets pricing from £8 online, you can’t go wrong.
The line-up tonight consists of our host Brett Goldstein and comedians Luke Toulson, Mae Martin and Nathan Caton. Brett Goldstein, who warms up the crowd into almost hysterics, haggles the rowdy hen party at the front and they love it. It’s a promising start. The interactions aren’t awkward, if anything they leave you jealous you weren’t picked on.
Luke Toulson – © HD Management
Luke Toulson is first up on stage. He’s longhaired, endearing and awkward. Luke plays on the ‘bad father’ and ‘bad boyfriend’ routine and it’s brilliant. Tonight, a lot of his stand-up relies heavily on mocking the trials and tribulations of being a parent. He focuses on the less-so-lovey-dovey aspects of parenthood, and says shocking things Mum and Dad daren’t say aloud but routinely think it. This topic could potentially lose some the audience who may not relate, but I’m not a parent and I found it simply hilarious; a gut-clenching sort of funny. A highlight is Luke’s own personal rage with The Sound of Music and its plot-holes, which are funny and bloody true.
Mae Martin – © Sun Lee via Chortle
I was particularly excited to see Mae Martin. It’s difficult to not to like this Canadian comedian. Although tonight, she hasn’t brought her guitar to show us her musical stylings which I’ve seen previously on Russell Howard’s Good News; this aside, her set works in favour for a strong stand-up. Mae is a great storyteller, she reels off anecdotes on sexuality but the topic is never heavy and doesn’t monopolise the set. Mae also tells us about her awkward growing pains with dating and wanting a real ‘relashe’ (short for relationship, duh…), which I hope she says more out of irony than habit. Mae also touches upon hilarious and innocent childhood stories about her brother and her father’s ‘unspeakables’ which shocks the audience into chortles. In this personal stand-up, the crowd seemingly cannot get enough of the impression of her mum (Wendy) as well. Wendy crops up sporadically throughout the set as personified anxiety and each time the underplayed deadpan catchphrase ‘Oh….my God’ is met with bursts of tittering. It’s a vibrant, funny and memorable set.
Nathan Caton via Therapy Room Comedy
Headlining tonight is Nathan Caton. After seeing him on Mock The Week a couple of weeks ago I was looking forward to seeing his stand-up routine in such an intimate setting. Nathan throws anecdotes and phrases out with casualness as if they are unrehearsed. Nathan’s routine is accomplished, convincing and charming. Nathan isn’t afraid to delve into politics either as he launches into a humorous remark about the immigrant crisis (that felt weird to type), however it’s not in ill humour. Nathan plays on his West Indies background and his impressions of his not-so-impressed Grandma is a crowd favourite. This comedian is a great end to the night. As the set concludes he triumphantly bounces off the stage – I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of Nathan Caton in the future.
I like to be brutally honest when writing my reviews and avoid gushing, but there are hardly any negatives about The 99 Club.
Maybe the £19.00 I paid for two gin and tonics – ahem several times – wasn’t my wisest moment, so I do wish the drinks were a tad cheaper. But hey! if you’re in central London what do you expect? It’s kind of amusing I suppose, but the comedians were funnier.