HAPPY ENDINGS COMEDY CLUB
* 154 Brougham St, Cnr William St, Kings Cross
* 8pm & 10pm Saturdays
* (02) 9300 9060
* Tickets $20 each show.
Media Launch night was February 9th. Happy Endings Comedy Club in Sydney’s Kings Cross is run by Left of Centertainment, and will have its official opening night on Saturday 19th February with early and late shows.
As one who focuses so often on rooms featuring mostly amateur and new comedians, there is a particularly welcome pleasure to savour at an all-professional comic lineup – whoever is first to mention whatever topic of the day might be inevitable, one can be confident that those following in the lineup will strike their own similar jokes out of their routines, so that the audience doesn’t have to bear the repetition. This willingness to drop a punchline from one’s set, no matter how good it might be, in order to keep the night as a whole on track is a professionalism which many young comedians take a while to realise that they need to learn.
Last night, if I remember correctly, the inevitable Sheen joke honours went to Brett Nichols, and the inevitable Warne/Hurley joke honours to Steve Philp. But I was laughing too hard to take detailed notes, so I might be mistaken – you’re lucky I wrote the names down! The lineup boasted some of the most reliable laugh generators working around Sydney, and everybody was having a lot of fun in the intimate nightclub cellar-space: Steve Philp did the MC honours; Clint Paddison, Brett Nichols, Tom Oakley, Chris Wainhouse in the first half; the second half with Jacques Barrett and Dave Jory, all topped off by an extended set from Tommy Dean.
The performers were relaxed and confident, cheeky and warm. For those of us who’ve seen these folks many times, the best part is seeing how they refine punchlines we’ve heard before with little tweaks to the set-up so that they still surprise us, or extend a favourite theme by riffing with some new lines, as well as keeping on writing brand new bits. It brings a tender glow to a critic’s cold and shrivelled heart, that polishing and risk-taking – and there was plenty of it on display.
The venue itself is charming (El Rocco, previously Bar Me): couches and stools upstairs for hanging around before and after a show, the jazz cellar performance space is a pleasure to be in, also it’s close enough to the Cross to feel the buzz, yet just far enough away to be relaxing to sit around in. It’s also refreshing to see a comedy room only 5 minutes walk from a train station – it’s rarer than it should be. The pub across the road with an ATM is a convenience not to be sneezed at either.
Left of Centertainment’s Mark David is looking forward to building a reputation for Happy Endings as a fun spot to begin or end a great night out, by running two shows – the early at 8pm and the late at 10pm. Shows will initially be Saturdays only, but once word gets around he expects to extend to Fridays and maybe Thursdays too.
I’ll definitely be back.