October. The month where Manchester fills with leaves and students, tinselly spiders and plastic zombie fingers. There’s also a hell of a lot of comedians kicking around the city, too. So, go see them. They’ll make you laugh.
XSMalarkey, The Bread Shed, every Tuesday, £5 (£3 members)
If you haven’t been to XS yet, you really should. It’s a Manchester institution with some fine line-ups this month. Here’s a little hint at some of the headliners. The month kicks off with the philosophical and ridiculous Chris Betts on Tues 2, the frankly incredible Chris Lynam (firework up the bum anyone?) on Tues 9. The headliners are yet to be announced on 16 and 23 but rounding off the month is the affable Chester comic Danny McLoughlin on 30th.
Barking Tales, Zombie Shack, Wed 3 October, donations at the end.
The comedy night that seeks to explore mental health. This month with frank sets from Will Duggan, Si Beckwith Louise Young and of course Harriet Dyer comperes.
A pretty impressive underdog story this. Beloved by many but still something of a cult hit for creators Craig Cash and Phil Mealey, the pair decided to resurrect their pub based sit com for the stage expecting it to only attract small numbers but its popularity grew pretty quick. So after sell out shows at the Lowry here’s an arena gig.
Jointly forming the backbone of the comedy scene in this fair city are the two dedicated venues, The Comedy Store and Frog and Bucket. There’s much fun to be had at both venues at a weekend as ever but here’s a bit of a guide to what’s on the rest of the time.
At the Frog and Bucket this month there are a couple of touring shows to enjoy,
Three top Israeli comics in From Israel With Laughs on Tues 9 and there’s a peek behind the scenes at pranksters Dirty Sanchez. The Late Night Laughter show joins the monthly line up on Sat 27. Plus there’s a special visit from Wacky Woody just for the kids on the afternoon of Sun 28.
The big event this month is Beat the Frog World Series competition as the Monday new act night rounds off its year by finding who was the best of all the acts who won through each week. Heats are throughout the month and the final is on Mon 29.
Across at the Comedy Store the new act gong night King Gong is on Mon 7, with New Stuff and Toby Hadoke as host is on Sun 14 and 28. Then Alex Boardman introduces his favourite new acts on Sun 21. In something of a coup, on Tues 16 there’s an audience with one sixth of the legendary Monty Python team and one quarter of the Beatles spoof The Rutles – Eric Idle pays a visit. Then at the end of the month on Mon 29 is star of Taskmaster Alex Horne.
Jamali Maddix, Gorilla, Fri 5 October, £15 (£13 conc)
As seen as the brave soul taking on the extremists in the documentary Hate Thy Neighbour, Maddix is one of the most exciting standup working today. Catch his latest show, Vape Lord, here.
Manchester Podcast Festival, Various Venues, Thu 4 – Sun 7
Comedians do like their podcasts and Perfect Strangers comedy have brought a few of them together to create this new festival for Manchester. Including appearances from Richard Herring, Sofie Hagan, Russell Kane, and Deborah Francis White with her Guilty Feminist podcast. Check out the website for details.
Group Therapy, Union Theatre, Sat 6 October, £14 (£12 advance)
For one month only the GT gang set up camp at the University’s campus and invite back Danish comedian Sofie Hagan. If that wasn’t enough the acclaimed talents of Harriet Kemsley and Larry Dean are in support with the fresh talents of Sophie Duker.
The most middle class man in comedy in a show named by his daughters, Chubster. Needless to say he’s currently laying off the biscuits.
Andy Zaltzman, The Lowry, Sun 7 October, £18.50
A live performance of Zaltzman’s legendary podcast The Bugle that he originally started with John Oliver until Oliver got busy with some other project. Bang up to date satire from one of the sharpest acts about. Live guests, onscreen guests and the taking down of some high-grade bullshit.
Craig Hill, The Lowry, Sun 7 October, £12 (£10 conc)
The breezy Scot, with a show stuffed full of gags you’ll barely catch your breath with C’mon The Lads.
Trapdoor Comedy, Old Monkey, Wed 10 Oct, £5
Lauren Pattison was the talk of the Fringe last year with her frank debut show. This year she’s followed it up with Peachy, on her year of finding happiness.
Mo Gilligan, O2 Apollo, Fri 12 October, £18.75
Gilligan’s Coupla Cans tour continues due to popular demand. A master of physicality and a high-energy style, he’s built up a huge following fast thanks to social media.
The Elvis Dead, The Lowry, Sat 13 October, £12 (£10 conc)
A wonderful cult hit at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 as it packed out its tiny cellar room every night. Brummie Rob Kemp sets the music of Elvis Presley to the backdrop of Evil Dead II. As you do.
Absolutely Fabulous’s Patsy plus a fair few other roles in It’s All About Me. The national treasure takes a trip through her career with many an anecdote and plenty of gags along the way.
Geoff Norcott, The Lowry, Sun 14 October, £12 (£10 conc)
One of the few comedians with a right wing viewpoint shares his ideas and of course jokes, in Traditionalism.
Tim Vine, The Lowry, Tues 16 –Wed 17 October, £27.50
Another pun-filled show from the master of the one-liner, Sunset Milk Idiot.
Henning Wehn, The Lowry, Fri 19 – Sat 20 October, £24
In Get On With It the German comic – as seen on numerous TV shows – calls us to quit the hand wringing in this call to arms.
Jilted John, The Dancehouse, Sat 20 October, £18
Not strictly comedy but some may not be aware that before he transformed into Sheffield legend of pedantry and minutiae John Shuttleworth, Graham Fellows had a hit as Jilted John with Gordon is a Moron.
Elis James and John Robins, The Lowry, Sun 21 October, £21
Best buds Welshman James and uber Queen fan Robins team up again for the tour of their book The Holy Vible.
Smooth and waspish, Allen will divulge his most amusing anecdotes and acerbic observations in Absolutely.
Women in Comedy Festival, from Mon 22 to Sun 28 October, various venues including Tribeca and The Frog and Bucket.
The annual Women in Comedy Festival returns with shows from the likes of Ria Lina, Stephanie Laing, Sameena Zehra and Rachel Fairburn announced so far. Click here for further details.
Finding herself after the break up with the aforementioned Robins, Pascoe’s tour of the much-praised Lads, Lads, Lads continues.
Paul Foot, The Lowry, Sat 27 October, £18.50
One of the most gloriously idiosyncratic comics around. Don’t expect it to make any sense but Image Conscious will no doubt be joyous.
The Village Idiots, Iconic Gin Bar, Tues 30 October, Free
Dead Cat comedy presents a new LGBT+ comedy night. Hosted by the uber glam Scarlet Sohandsome, with the equally glittery Jonathan Mayor, plus Brandon Craig, Shell Byron, Katie Mitchell and Barry Heap.
By Marissa Burgess, Comedy Editor
(Main image: Paul Foot)