It’s the time of year when we emerge from under two duvets and three blankets, look outside and say ‘I don’t remember planting those bulbs there’. Yes, it’s Spring everyone! As if in celebration, there’s a fine, fine line-up of comedy in Manchester this month.
XSMalarkey, Pub/Zoo, every Tuesday, £3 members, £5 non members (£8 to join)
Once again XS has an incredible line up in March. The be-wigged John Kearns on March 8, gentleman adventurer Tim Fitzhigham on March 15, clever bugger Robin Ince on March 22 and IT consultants Foxdog Studio Ltd on the bonus Tuesday this month on March 29. Plus there’s a special show on March 23 (see below).
Patrick Monahan, The Dancehouse, Fri Mar 4, £12 (£10 conc)
There’ll be cuddles aplenty from the North Easterner as he explores his Iranian/Irish heritage in The Disco Years.
Group Therapy, Pub/Zoo, Sat Mar 5, £13 (£11 conc)
This month’s GT moves to Pub/Zoo and sees a set from Josie Long who has built up a fine reputation performing clever, wonderfully idiosyncratic, ‘home-made’ comedy. With support from Fin Taylor.
Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club & Heatons Comedy Club, Heatons Sports Club, Sun Mar 6, £7 – £7.50
This month the star and creator of BBC’s Hebburn Jason Cook doubles up with talented comic and artist Markus Birdman. With MC Andrew Ryan and Sean Turner (Dids) and MC Justin Moorhouse and Stephen Lawson (Heatons).
Trapdoor Comedy, Mon Mar 7, The Railway, West Didsbury; Tue Mar 8, Solomon’s; Wed Mar 9, The Old Monkey. £3 – £5
David Trent returns to the Trapdoor gigs, no doubt with another brilliantly hilarious powerpoint presentation. With support from Rachel Fairburn (Railway), Vince Atta (Solomon’s) and Stephanie Laing (Monkey).
Rob Delaney, The Lowry, Tue Mar 8, £23
The co-creator and co-star of Channel 4’s Catastrophe continues his tour considering that we are all little more than Meat.
Comedy at the Ram, Ram and Shackle, Wed Mar 9, £3
New comedy night from the team behind Lettuce Laugh. With brilliant beat boxer Vince Atta, the dry wit of Danny Sutcliffe and punster Graham Goring.
Sandi Toksvig, The Lowry, Wed Mar 9, £23.50
A part of the feminist festival Wonder Women, this is a fundraising tour for Toksvig who is co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party. A good night for a good cause.
Bridget Christie, The Lowry, Wed Mar 9, £16
The fantastic, incisive yet deliciously random Christie begins her book tour celebrating A Book For Her. Also a Wonder Women event.
Mark Thomas, The Lowry, Thu Mar 10, £17
Somehow Thomas has spent the last few years managing to relate the world’s most shocking injustices in an entertaining, engaging and funny manner. Trespass promises more mischief.
Sham Bodie, Soup Kitchen, Thu Mar 10, £5
The usual unusual eclectic mix of off the wall entertainment from the Shamsters. Ben Tonge introduces the pulling no punches Fern Brady, more comedy from Goose and Edy Hurst, music from O>L>A plus a chance to play Snare the Hare.
Fred’s Comedy Club, Fred’s Ale House, Thu Mar 10, £5
As a part of Manchester Irish Festival, Fred’s sees a set from Dublin comic Kevin Gildea plus support from Aideen McQueen and MC Andy Kind.
Katherine Ryan, The Lowry, Fri Mar 11, £20.50
The Canadian comedian now resident in London shares her sharper-than-a-bus-load-of-lemons observations in Kathbum. Great, intelligent stuff.
Chris Ramsey, The Academy, Fri Mar 11, £17.50
The star of BBC’s Hebburn on the road with his latest show All Growed Up. Teetering on the brink of 30, he ponders whether it’s time to grow up. Also at The Lowry on Mon 7.
Kim Noble, Contact Theatre, Sat Mar 12, £13 (£7 conc)
It’s debatable whether Kim Noble counts as comedy as he’s in a unique category of his own. But we’ll claim him anyway. In the darkly comic You’re Not Alone he ponders friendship while working in B&Q.
Brendon Burns, Group Therapy 2 at Tiger Lounge, Sun Mar 13, £5
GT’s second gig this month with a headline set from the intelligent, visceral force of nature that is Aussie Burns. With support from Danny McLoughlin.
Stephen Bailey, The Lowry, Wed Mar 16, £10 – £12
Should Have Been a Popstar is one fun debut solo show from relative newcomer Bailey. Here he shares his world view and stories of his family. And he will probably flirt with the front row.
Shazia Mirza, The Lowry, Sat Mar 19, £10 – £12
The Kardashians Made Me Do It is an insightful look into the nature of offence and “the terrifying intrusion of ISIS on the lives of young British Asian women”.
Mark Watson, The Lowry, Sun Mar 20, £20
Watson’s follow up to Flaws, I’m Not Here, was triggered by a small problem that occurred at the airport. Expect an endearing, slightly bumbling presence in a greatly funny show.
Justin Moorhouse, The Comedy Store, Sun Mar 20, £14 (£10 conc)
As with the Frog, the Store has some great regular gigs most of the week. Here’s an extra one from Gorton’s finest Justin Moorhouse who takes a humorous ponder at his life after a hip op in Destiny Calling.
Comedy Night, Antwerp Mansion, Sun Mar 20, Free
The monthly night with a special mystery TV headliner and support from the darkly witty Rachel Fairburn and funny grandad Ben Lawes.
Stuart Goldsmith, XSMalarkey at Pub/Zoo, Wed Mar 23, £8 (£7 members)
An extra XSMalarkey gig this week as the former street performer Goldsmith brings his latest hour to Manchester. Effortless, pacey humour with just a bit of pathos. Make sure you catch him.
Work in Progress from Rachel Fairburn and Hayley Ellis, The Kings Arms, Thu Mar 24, £ TBC
The two local comedians test out their new material for future exciting comedy projects. Come along and see them figuring it out. It’ll be funny. They may have notepads. And highlighter pens.
Dillie Keane, RNCM, Thu Mar 24, £21
Keane temporarily leaves her Fascinating Aida pals to go solo for a tour. Her songs are a mixture of wit, pathos and sheer musical skill.
Laughing Cows, The Frog and Bucket, Sun Mar 27, £10 (£7 adv, £5 early bird)
A fine line-up of local talent with the first transgender woman to play a transgender character on TV (In Russell T Davies‘ Cucumber) – Bethany Black, the deliciously dark Kiri Pritchard McLean and support from Zara Jones. Kerry Leigh hosts proceedings.
Daniel Kitson, Group Therapy, Sun Mar 27, SOLD OUT
This event is sold out but I’m sticking it here as an example of the great reputation this gig has built up, so much so that it attracts the likes of Kitson whose reputation among comedy-goers is frankly godlike.
Sidekick Comedy, Via, Mon Mar 28, £2 (Students free)
Round off the long weekend chocolate fest with some comedy at this lovely little gig. With Kieran Lawless, Beckie Fox, Barnaby J Thompson, James Meehan and your host Kate McCabe.
Lip Sync, The Frog and Bucket, Tue Mar 29, £6 (£3 adv)
Comedians, celebs and audience members battle it out miming, gurning and strutting like their life depended on it to win a prize and the acceptance of the room.
Ed Aczel, The Lowry, Thu Mar 31, £12
Possibly one of the most downbeat and dour stand-ups about. Aczel also happens to be one of the funniest. ‘Anti-comedy’ at its finest.
By Marissa Burgess, Comedy Editor
Main image: Mark Watson, The Lowry
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