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2 September 2012

last thursday night

a couple of weeks ago, i found some vouchers on deal cloud for a cute place in clapham called secondo; the deal was for a dinner and night of jazz, comedy and poetry for two people, all for £10. in london, £10 for one person is a good deal, so this offer was too good to pass up. i passed the deal around and work, and got a group of six of us booked in (thanks mark) for this past thursday. we went straight from work and had a few drinks before heading off to clapham for our evening of entertainment.
the place itself was right underneath the train line at clapham north, in an almost bunker-like shed. it had minimal decorations, but had a distinct 'blitz' vibe about it. the staff were all decked out in era costume from the 40's and there was initially jazz music being played while we were shown to our table. we sat right by the toilets, which were built out of a renovated caravan. there was a second caravan opposite, which was a makeshift thrift shop. there was random bric-a-brac piled up the walls, and bookshelves utilizing space between the 'kitchen' and the 'dining room' to allude to a professional set up. all things considered, the place seemed really adorable and we were looking forward to what would come..

we ordered our drinks - which were not included in the voucher price, nibbled at the complimentary soda bread and settled in for our first course of five, which was a delicious grilled piece of fish (i forget the variety) on a small balsamic salad with avocado and walnuts.. we thought if that was anything to go by, we were in for a feast! second course came quickly after, french onion soup - full of onions. (side note: i am allergic to onions) so i passed on this course and gave mine to chris while i ate more free bread. by third course we all became a bit more aware that perhaps the standard was slipping... we were delivered 6 small pieces of herb encrusted (and full of bones) fish and also lambs kidneys in gravy (gross) - which i also passed on.
after this course, the owner of the restaurant came onto the microphone (which he did not need. he was loud) to ask how how our meals are, are we looking forward to the entertainment, etc, and explained that after the next course the entertainment would start then following that would be our dessert. to be honest, i wasn't really all that bothered about the entertainment, i was happy enough with the £5 meal and ransom atmosphere - but it seemed like our 5th course was being held ransom by the entertainment, and i was really looking forward to getting that chocolate brownie in and around my mouth!

the fourth course was a massive pork chop with steamed veg (i don't eat pork, usually, but i tried it) then the 'entertainment' began. it seemed then that the jazz component of the night was a farce. there was no equipment anywhere to allude to any kind of live entertainment, instead there was a steady stream of un-funny comedians who were hell-bent on being as politically incorrect as humanly possible. at one point, carmen and mark were in fits of laughter.. laughing at the deathly silence in the room. laughing at the inappropriateness of the majority of the 'jokes'. laughing at the hens at the front of the room who had had a lot to drink and were laughing at themselves. it was awful. 
there were three or four 'comedy' acts, an un-funny mc and a poet. the poet was actually good. he was a jamaican man in probably his 50's, rapping about the paralympics (everyone was making jokes on the paralympics, he actually recognized the athletes for what they are: inspiring) then another about... well i don't really know. but i liked it, and i was smiling. after that there was another comedian (i think.. it all goes blurry in my memory) then the west indian owner got back on the microphone (unnecessarily) and started shouting some story about how he was in the garden of eden with eve, and the snake told him to eat banana cake... i think this was all his marketing ploy to get us to try his banana cake. this analagy about banana cake lasted about 8 minutes, and had us in confused fits of laughter and mark yelling at the top of his voice "BANANA CAKE! BANANA CAKE!"  i could not be swayed though, i wanted that brownie.
at long last the entertainment was over, and we were allowed to have our dessert. just as we were finishing up our food, the mc came back on the microphone all excited, to tell us that "but wait! there's more! i'm actually your headline act!" at that point, we grabbed our stuff and left; there was no way we were going to sit through more uncomfortable jokes about racism and paraplegia. instead, we went to the pub and played beer pong with santa. 

although it wasn't quite what we had in mind, we had a really entertaining night. although i wouldn't recommend the comedy there to anyone, the deal we got was really good and essentially we had a cheap and fun* night out with some great people.

*hanging out with my mates is always better than staying home.