Dan Nightingale

Dan Nightingale

Originally from Preston, Lancashire Dan Nightingale started his comedy career while living in Newcastle in 2002. After working at The Hyena Comedy Café as a sound man for six months, he finally got on stage.

He moved to Manchester within 12 months he went from barman at the Frog & Bucket, to booking agent, to hosting the new act night and finally compering the weekends.

In June 2004 he turned professional. At that year's Edinburgh festival he performed as part of the Big Value Comedy Show, returning in 2005 as part of a double header with Josie Long.

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Dan Nightingale: Sex, Drugs And My Nanna’s Bungalow,

Edinburgh Fringe review by Paul Fleckney

There’s long been a sense that Dan Nightingale doesn’t get his dues as a comic, that he’s good enough to be bigger than he is. Well, his hidden gem status is confirmed here, because he’s got a genuinely hilarious show that comedians far more famous than him would be proud of. 

At the moment he’s performing it to 50 people (max) in the Just the Tonic Mash House, in the Snifter Room to be precise. Mock that ridiculous name all you like, it’s an absolute belter for comedy, and that helps Nightingale’s cause, but he doesn’t especially need it. 

Sex, Drugs and My Nanna’s Bungalow tells the tale of how the party-loving clubber ended up moving his family to sleepy St Annes on the Lancashire coast. The bungalow belonged to his nan – a woman who ‘thrived on anger’, he says – until she died, and it has turned out to be perfect for his and his family’s new-found boring existence. 

Nightingale admits that ‘person moves house and everything works out fine’ isn’t exactly a situation that’s ripe for a comic narrative, but who needs narratives when you can find funny stuff in things as mundane as life insurance and buying a trampoline. I can still see the image he creates of him and his wife dragging this bargain trampoline along the road, the acrimony building with every step.

The stark difference before and after his transition is illustrated by the difference between his old neighbours in Manchester (DJs who never sleep) and his new ones (Paul and Jackie). This leads to some superb material about living next to those noisy sods, and his wife’s almost innocent query as to whether their New Year’s Day party was a daytime do or ran over from the night before. 

Meanwhile, in their current existence, their daily tasks include trying to convince their young daughter that having a bath isn’t the most terrifying thing in the world – another great routine, chalk it up.

With so many years of club MCing under his belt his audience work is pitch perfect, indeed his introduction to the show – about going to see Kevin Hart and learning a lesson in how to big yourself up – is an early sign of how good the rest of the hour will be. 

But most of all Nightingale is just funny and likeable in himself. Being in the company of such a natural comic makes this a ludicrously easy and pleasurable show to watch. Were you to give this entire show to say Dara O Briain (whose storytelling and sensibility seems similar to Nightingale’s, I think) you’d never know it belonged to a bloke in a tiny room up a slightly dubious alley. O Briain would also get rave reviews.

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Published: 14 Aug 2018

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