Patrick Monahan, Susan Murray and Nick Doody at The 99 Club
There’s something strangely endearing about the poorly lit, inappropriately set up 99 Club, maybe it’s the fact that it’s so dingy despite being just underneath the glamour of the hustling Leicester Square; hopefully the upcoming acts will also have this intriguing balance. First up is Irish comedian Patrick Monahan and he wastes no time jostling the mainly middle-aged rowdy audience in discussing everything from how old they look to the differences between men and women, with material about as original as a Simon Cowell show. Patrick relies heavily on his Irish charm to drag his act into being funny but unfortunately the lack of scripted material became increasingly apparent as his crowd interaction wore thin. If there is such a scary thing as a poor-man’s Jason Manford, this is it.
Next up is fiery redhead Susan Murray and she storms out silencing the lively crowd by repeatedly shushing them in a fairly petrifying way. Her material is solid enough to gain consistent laughs but doesn’t really peak to be drastically memorable or hilarious; it may be an easy comparison but thoughts of Jo Brand’s B-material drifts into mind. Unfortunately the most eventful part of the set is the ejection of a row of the louder audience members as a hole is left in the crowd. This leaves a bad taste in the mouth for the rest of the night, although the compere does a pretty impressive job of salvaging some laughs by describing the night as “the atmosphere on boxing day after a family fight”.
Nick Doody therefore has the daunting task of stepping out to a half-full room of slightly confused punters and gets straight to addressing it head-on, describing it as if bowling balls had “fallen through the roof” and relaxing the atmosphere. His act is clearly a level above his predecessors: his material has the relatability of Peter Kay’s work but without the cringe factor as his observations go down a storm. His take on the horse food scandal and the differences between American and English drinking culture are clear highlights and transcend all demographics in the audience with everyone enjoying different parts. Although the night was thrown into early disarray, Doody definitely did a delightful job of lightening things up and salvaging the otherwise forgetful night.
For further information about The 99 Club and future events visit here.
Watch Nick Doody perform live here: