Half of Manchester may well be currently in Scotland hawking their jokes at TV execs and shivering punters at the Edinburgh Fringe, but the Manchester comedy scene is still here, slightly diminished but still ruddy healthy. For those of you who haven’t followed the comedy north – check out this little lot.
Comedy Balloon, Ape and Apple, every Wednesday, free
It’s that time of year where if you haven’t had time to check out your local open mic night run by Jason Cooke, do it now. This is where is all begins – a previous incarnation of the night was Alan Carr’s first gig, so who knows who you will see. There will be those who show promise, those who probably aren’t going to make it and some that are downright nuts. It’ll be fun.
Frog and Bucket from Thurs 4, various prices
And so begins the monthly line up at the Frog. The weekends feature performances from the likes of Barry Dodds, Josh Howie, Tom Wrigglesworth and Sean Meo whilst Monday is newcomer night with Beat the Frog. Then there’s Laff Til Ya Fart, the black comedy night, on Sun 7th with Will E Robo, and Laughing Cows all-women line up on Sunday 28th with Bethany Black. Cool.
Comedy Store, from Thurs 4, various prices
Meanwhile over at the Store…at their weekend shows they have the fine talents of Mick Ferry, Jason Cook, Steve Gribbin and Jarred Christmas. Plus there’s King Gong the amateur night on Sun 7th, Alex Boardman’s New Comedians on Sun 21st, and new material night New Stuff on the second and fourth Sundays. Brill.
Group Therapy, Gorilla, Sat Aug 6, £12 (£10 conc)
Fab line-up with the amazing Josie Long compering and the highbrow Ivo Graham and Bob’s deadpan son in House of Fools Daniel Simonsen.
The Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club, £7, and The Heatons Comedy Evening, The Heatons Sports Club, £7.50, Sun Aug 7
Dan Nightingale doubles up at Rob Riley’s dual gigs. Chris Cantrill and MC Sally-Anne Hayward complete the bill in Didsbury and then there’s another chance to catch a tour preview by Gary Delaney at the Heatons plus Gary Meikle and MC Alex Boardman in support.
Jimmy Carr, The Lowry, Sun Aug 7, £30.50
In this remarkable show, Carr attempts to revisit his best bits as well as showcase new material to celebrate 15 years in stand-up.
Daliso Chaponda, XSMalarkey, Pub/Zoo, Tue Aug 9, £5 (£3 members)
This week’s XS sees a performance from incisive Malawian comedian Chaponda. With support from Lee Peart, Harry Stachini and Ryan Dalton.
Guinea Pigs, Sand Bar, Wed Aug 10, Pay What You Want
Dead Cat Comedy’s new material night. Established comedians test out their new material. A chance to glimpse the inner workings of stand-up. Chris Brooker, among others, tests out his gags.
Jason Manford, The Lowry, Thu 11 & Sat 27 Aug, £19.50
Manford gets back to his roots with this ‘best of’ show. That said knowing him there will plenty be new stories in among the gags, especially as this working class Manchester boy has been treading the boards in musical theatre and opera of late.
MACE, Kosmonaut, Mon Aug 15, £5
Manchester’s Alternative Comedy Emporium presents a pre-Pride special in the run up to the festivities at the end of the month. Hosted by Sidekick’s Kate McCabe, the glittering princess who is Jonathan Mayor will headline with Lucy Thompson and Callum Scott in support.
Steve Day, XSMalarkey, Pub/Zoo, Tue Aug 16, £5 (£3 members)
At the long running, popular comedy club this Tuesday is Steve Day. A fine stand-up who just so happens to be deaf. Have a glance into his world, it’s certainly a funny one.
Pride Comedy Night, Frog and Bucket, Sun Aug 21, £15
A further comedy night celebrating Pride. Comedians Jonathan Paylor and Kate McCabe present the sparkling talent of Jonathan Mayor, Oldham’s finest Mick Ferry, Loose Women warm-up man Lee Peart, livewire Andy Watson, the gloriously cheeky Lou Conran and the laid back Colin Manford.
Sidekick Comedy, On Bar, Mon Aug 22, £2
Kate McCabe presents the joyous Kerry Leigh – who may or may not break out into a dance or poem – plus support from Amanda Graham, Katie Plucknett, and Phil Chapman.
Jim Smallman, XSMalarkey, Pub/Zoo, Tue Aug 23, £5 (£3 members)
The heavily tattooed comedian from Leicester continues the fine line-up of acts at XS this month. These days he’s a radio presenter, wrestling promoter and voiceover artist but here he returns to his natural habitat – the stand-up club.
Scott Capurro, Kings Arms, Sat Aug 27, £12
San Francisco’s most outrageous comic drops into the Kings with his Gay Turnaround. Watch out front row, you’re about to get flirted with. Heavily. Well, only if you’re a cute young man…
Off The Rails Comedy Club, The Royal George, Sun 28 Aug, £8 (£5 conc)
Treat yourself to a little train trip out to the country (unless you already live in Saddleworth, in which case it’s on your doorstep, yay!) This month this lovely little club presents blind comedian Chris McCausland, Phoenix Night’s Archie Kelly and Boltonian barrister Chris Kehoe plus MC Ray Bradshaw.
Angela Barnes, XSMalarkey, Pub/Zoo, Tue Aug 30, £5 (£3 members)
And completing the line-up this month at the weekly fun-in that is XS is BBC New Comedian of the Year 2011 Angela Barnes. Excitingly, Barnes’ debut radio show will be airing this month too, based on her 2014 Edinburgh Fringe show You Can’t Take It With You.
The Axis of Awesome, The Lowry, Tue Aug 30, £15
With more than 200 million views on YouTube, there’s no doubting The Axis of Awesome’s erm, well, awesome-ness. Catch the musical comedy trio on this rare tour celebrating ten years of performing together.
By Marissa Burgess, Comedy Editor