Prestwich’s alternative cabaret night Shangri La! celebrates its thirteen anniversary this month, reveling in years of music, theatre, film, acoustics acts, stand-up, spoken word, dance and live bands.
The monthly not-for-profit night at the Carlton Club in Prestwich has been hosted there for the past 10 years. Originally formed by three friends who sought to bring entertainment to the area, Shangri La! started at the Church pub in Prestwich, outgrowing the venue quickly. Within months it moved to the Church Institute and then the Carlton Club.
Shangri La! celebrates its 13th anniversary with a night of cabaret on 28 June, featuring folk musician and stand up comedian Icarus Williams; The Accord Gospel Choir performing everything from traditional Gospel to contemporary pop; Burlesque Idol finalist Mrs No Overall (pictures); and guitar trio Old School Idles.
Speaking about reaching 13 years, co-host Jo Haydock commented, “13 years on and still going strong! People keep coming back for lots of reasons. Yes, we have a cheap bar and a really friendly audience, but it’s mainly because of the amazingly talented performers we now have queuing up to play. It’s also all about the diversity – we have everything from gospel to burlesque, beatbox to electro folk, car sponge puppets to punk. People never quite know what they’re getting and that’s the whole point.
“I think people also like the fact we don’t actually make any money – just helping to put Prestwich on the map by supporting culture and community. We’ve seen our neighbourhood morph into a vibing place to be over the past couple of years with artisan markets, a literary festival, community co-operative, Arts festival and cinema club – and it’s great to be a part of that.”
Over the past 13 years, Shangri La! in Prestwich has acts including Arthur Brown and Tony Longfella Walsh, a brass band, an opera singer, a reader of comedic erotic fiction, theremin-playing punks, yodeling lute players, a car sponge puppet, an African drumming circle, accordion playing mime artists and psychic medium stand up. The event has also given regular platforms to Manchester artists including singer songwriter Toria Wooff and folktronica band Granfalloon.
Shangri La!’s next event runs on Friday 28 June at the Carlton Club, Bury Old Road. Tickets £5. Doors open at 8pm with the first act on stage around 9pm. All proceeds are split equally between the acts.