Whitstable Comedy Club. Review by Fiona Sinclair.

On a Thursday evening in April teeth chattering with the cold I made my way to the Whitstable Comedy Club located on the harbour’s East Key.  This is surely one of the most unusual comedy venues, set in The Lobster Shack, an eccentric building  that is part bar, part sea food restaurant and  part comedy store .  It must be the only comedy venue where lobsters snooze quietly in their tank at the side of the stage.  I particularly liked the eccentric box office snug as a punch and Judy booth that accommodates just the one person to dispense tickets.

Nick Wilty, the owner /MC wanted the layout to be the kind of relaxed venue he would like to attend himself.  Consequently it is set out like a Soho club with tables, candles and even a log burning fire.  This makes for an intimate setting where the audience is comfortably close to catch the acts but not too close as to be ‘picked on‘.  Nevertheless on the night I attended, a group of sixth form boys had placed themselves at the front which made for some banter and interplay between acts and the boys.

Nick Wilty is himself an accomplished comedian of many years experience and he plays the role of the genial host very well which enhances the relaxed atmosphere.  Wilty selects his acts well.  On the night I attended there where three circuit comedians who were very polished.  Wilty is clearly a devotee of comedy and likes to scout for local talent so the forth comedian was the first gig of a young man studying comedy at the local college.

Nick is clearly very well connected.  A sort of Kevin Bacon of the comedy world. because one of the great treats of the club is its ability to attract big names such as Harry Hill and Jo Brand.  It is such a treat to see comedians of this pedigree at close quarters rather than the theatres and stadiums that often make these headline acts so remote; tickets for such ‘special ‘events are available either on a comedy night, or at an independent music shop in the high street, which gives the revenue and its organisation a charmingly old fashioned feel to it.

Whitstable should count itself very lucky to have this comedy club that plays on the first Thursday of every month and has a modest entrance fee of £10.  Events with more well-known comedians are dearer but still good value at £20.

Fiona Sinclair © 2013.