February: the month of love and cold weather. So, squeeze up close to a load of slightly sweaty folk in a lovely beery club and have a laugh at this lot.
Dead Cat Comedy Club, Seven Bro7hers Brewery, Friday 1 February, £10
Grab yourself a craft brew and kick off the month watching loveable oddball Seymour Mace, the kick-ass Lindsey Santoro, top Northern Irish comic Micky Bartlett and your host Red Redmond.
As ever The Frog and Bucket and The Comedy Store provide the backbone of the local comedy circuit with their weekly comedy events.
At The Comedy Store, outside of the regular shows, there’s the amateur night King Gong on Sun 3, Toby Hadoke hosts professional acts trying out New Stuff on Sundays 10 & 24. It’s the kids’ turn on Sat 16 with Comedy Store For Kids and that weekend rounds off with Alex Boardman’s favourite New Comedians on Sun 17.
Over at The Frog the 25th birthday celebrations start in force with Darren Harriott who brings his tour show Visceral to town on Sun 3 and Matt Richardson follows with his latest show Slash the following Sun 10. Gaby Killick is the Girlfriend From Hell on Saturday 16 and the following day on Sun 17 Lloyd Griffith puts on All-Rounder. The actual anniversary of the birthday on Sun 24 is celebrated by a line up of acts long associated with the club and Olga Koch tells her surreal family tale in Fight on Wed 27.
Comedy @ Chorlton Irish Club, Friday 1 February, £12 (£10 adv)
The popular monthly Chorlton comedy club. MC Jessica Fostekew introduces a headline set from livewire Rob Rouse and with support from the fab Micky P Kerr and Lucy Beaumont.
Scott Capurro, Anthony Burgess Foundation, Fri 1, £5; Tribeca, Saturday 2 February, £5 adv (£8 on the door).
The San Francisco comedian has always been gifted with the ability to shock whilst making an audience almost pop a disc laughing, but as ‘the offence economy’ has taken hold both here and in the US, Capurro has opted rebranded himself as ‘problematic’. Arch, daring and always funny, catch him at these ridiculously cheap and cosily intimate gigs.
Group Therapy, Gorilla, Saturday 2 February, £7
Sticking with tradition, GT’s opening gig of the year sees them pick their seven favourite new acts, the Magnificent 7. Jonny Pelham headlines and Laura Lexx comperes.
A fine number of gigs from Trapdoor this month with sublime Canadian Glenn Wool at the Old Pint Pot on Sat 2 with Wool’s Gold II (The Iron Pirate) (£14). Then Solomon’s in Withington welcomes a fast rising star of the comedy scene – Jamali Maddix on Mon 11 (£5). Then the former Noise Next Door improviser Tom Houghton is at The Old Monkey on Wed 13 (£5).
Tom Stade, The Lowry, Saturday 2 February, £21
A biting satirical mind belies the cheeky charm of this popular Canadian comic. He returns with his latest show I Swear where he attempts to come to terms with becoming ‘vintage’.
Dave Gorman, The Lowry, Sunday 3 February, £31
The man with a love of PowerPoint and who used to live in a house almost entirely full of Daves when he was at Manchester Uni (I will NEVER get bored of that fact), Gorman is once again on a wonderfully geeky mission once more With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint.
Matt Forde, The Lowry, Sunday 3 February, sold out.
Brexit’s not been much of a laugh so far, we may be about to commit ‘economic suicide’ (The Washington Post) but at least political comedian Forde has got a show out of it. Cheer yourself up with his take on it, Brexit Through Giftshop. Then lets all move to Ireland. Or France.
The Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club; The Heatons Comedy Evening, The Heatons Sports Club, Sunday 3 February, £9.
The monthly south Manchester doubling up session with Bobby Mair and John Moloney magically appearing at both gigs then Chris Copestake fills the middle and Jessica Fostekew emcees in Didsbury. Whereas the MC in The Heatons is Justin Moorhouse and Lindsey Santoro is in the middle spot.
The full line-ups at this long-running, lovely club with a devoted following are all carefully curated but here’s a taster of the headliners for February. On Tues 5th Jack Barry pops by, whereas on Tues 12th the particularly exciting burgeoning talent of Jamali Maddix graces the top of the bill. There’s some highly acclaimed and innovative clowning from Elf Lyons on Tues 19th then the month rounds off with Laura Lexx – a queen of blending upbeat laughs with pathos. As ever the fabulously chic Toby Hadoke hosts.
Barking Tales, Zombie Shack, Wednesday 6 February, donations at the end.
The comedic safe space in which to share irreverent tales of mental health. With local legend Tony Burgess, the darkly humorous Katharine Ferns and Wigan’s own Chris Boyle. Plus your resident MC and BT curator Harriet Dyer.
Comedy at Art of Tea, Wednesday 6 February, Free.
Manc comic and radio veteran Roland Gent presents a line of comics at Didsbury’s finest tea emporium. With Chris Tavener, Kat Molinari, Barbie Mugabe, Alex Love, Matty Shaw, Kieran Lawless and Tom King.
Ken Cheng, The Dancehouse, Friday 8 February, £15 (£12 conc)
Neatly plotted, expertly executed and liberally scattered with great gags this was a gem of a show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. Best Dad Ever explores Cheng’s tricky relationship with his father.
Amy Gledhill’s commitment to wearing a giant hotdog throughout the entire DS shows has certainly paid off. It’s certainly not the only gag in hers’ and Chris Cantrill’s deliciously ridiculous stage shows; Regeneration Game, their second outing on tour cements the pair’s status as the king and queen of silly.
Laughing Calves Open Mic Night, Tribeca, Thursday 14 February, £2
The baby gig to the long running Laughing Cows, this is an all-lady open mic night. Hosted by always enjoyable Sian Davies.
Lost Voice Guy, The Lowry, Friday 15 February, £14.50-£16.50
Last year’s Britain’s Got Talent victor, LVG has not let the fact that he is unable to speak hold him back from performing stand up, and it’s a particularly sharp he possesses.
Chris Washington, The Lowry, Saturday 16 February, £15.50-£17.50
Warmth and gags aplenty from this natural comic with his follow up to his Edinburgh Best Newcomer Nominated show of 2017. You Beauty! celebrates the best year in Washington’s life.
Noise Next Door, The Lowry, Sunday 17 February, £8.50 (£5.50 conc)
Family friendly afternoon show and an evening adult show from the high-energy improvising quartet with All At Sea and Remix.
Mark Watson, The Lowry, Sunday 17 February, £22.50
One of the most innovative acts around, Watson is concerned with the state of the world his children are growing up in. Expect an impassioned, joke filled rant in The Infinity Show.
Last year’s Britain’s Got Talent awarded the runner up prize to White, highlighting his long running reputation for perfect timing and fast paced delivery to a wider audience. ‘The only gay, Aspergic, quarter Welsh comic on the circuit.’
Ed Gamble, The Lowry, Thursday 21 February, £18.50
As seen on numerous TV programmes find out why Ed Gamble is so popular with the telly producers – big clue – it’s because he’s a damn fine stand up. Here he is with his latest solo show Blizzard.
Nish Kumar, The Lowry, Sunday 24 February, £26
With It’s In your Nature to Destroy Yourself Kumar hasn’t gone entirely negative about the state of the world – it’s a quote from Terminator 2. But he will be incisive about the current chaotic state of the Western world.
Andrew Doyle, The Lowry, Sunday 24 February, £12 (£10 conc)
Doyle, the co-creator of Jonathan Pie with Tom Walker, is one of the country’s best political satirists. Friendly Fire is his seventh solo stand up show and let’s face it there’s plenty for him to work with given the current state of the country.
Sam Serrano, Gullivers, Sunday 24 February, £3
Serrano’s upbringing was a tricky one – he was born with a life threatening illness, learning difficulties and a Dad that didn’t love him. In BOYish he embraces being far from ‘normal’.
The Village Idiots, Iconic Bar, Tuesday 26 February, Free.
LGBT+ comedy club night with the finest queer comics in town. The uber-glam Scarlet SoHandsome introduces the hilariously gossipy Stephen Bailey, plus support from Kate McCabe, Thom Bee, Josh Jones and Andrew Grogan.
By Marissa Burgess, Comedy Editor