There are plenty of nervy-looking comedians about town this month. This is because there are more Edinburgh Fringe preview shows in Manchester than there are people who claim to have been at that Sex Pistols gig in the Free Trade Hall in 1976. Be sure to check out their wares (the comedians, that is, not the Sex Pistols) across the city as well as the rest of the scene.
Aside from the glorious comedy at the weekends here’s what’s on at the Frog and Bucket and the Comedy Store this month.
Frog and Bucket
There’s an abundance of Edinburgh Fringe previews at the Frog this month kicking off on Tue 4th with Geoff Norcott’s Right Leaning But Well Meaning and Ray Bradshaw’s Deaf Comedy Fam.
On Wed 5th Glenn Wool goes it alone with Viva Forever then on Sun 9th Sophie Willan road tests Branded and Tez Ilyas Teztify. Plus, on Wed 19th it’s Spencer Jones’ The Audition and John Kearns’ Don’t Worry They’re Here.
Mondays of course see the amateur gong night Beat the Frog but on Wed 12th there’s also work in progress night WIP, Indian comedian Sorabh Pant performs an afternoon show – Rant of the Pant – on Sat 22nd, and the month rounds off on Sunday 30th with all female comedy club Laughing Cows which also presents an Edinburgh preview show in Kiri Pritchard McLean’s Appropriate Adult and a solo show from Kerry Leigh.
The Comedy Store
The Store also has extra gigs with amateur night King Gong on Sun 2nd, new material night New Stuff on Sun 9th and 30th, and the Alex Boardman curated New Comedians on Sun 16th and 23rd. Plus on Mon 3rd the Store is taking part in the first ever Jewish Arts Festival For All with an all Jewish line up including Adam Bloom and Sol Bernstein.
Comedy at The Kings Arms, Throughout the month
Plenty of comedy activity at the Kings this month as a part of The Greater Manchester Fringe. There’s improv with Let’s See What Happens on the 1st, Abi Roberts presents her latest show Anglichanka on the 2nd, Ruth E Cockburn’s Love Letters from Blackpool is on the 6th, Phil Jupitus performs as Porky Poet in Survivalve and Actung!/ Acting! on 13th and 14th respectively. George Zach’s Ugly Babies Make Me Laugh is on Mon 17th and on Sun 30th Jo D’arcy’s D’Arcehole rounds off the month.
Lettuce Laugh, The Didsbury, Sat July 1, £10
For one month only, the Slug and Lettuce gig moves to The Didsbury. With brilliant one-liner merchant Gary Delaney, sharp observations sometimes on her dwarfism from Tanya Lee Davis and MC Jonathan Paylor.
Sophie Willan, Contact Theatre, Sat July 1, £13 (£7 conc)
Gearing up to the Edinburgh Fringe with her latest show Branded. Given the success of last year’s On Record this will be a show to catch from Bolton’s sassiest.
The Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club, £7, The Heatons Comedy Evening, The Heatons Sports Club, £7.50, Sun July 2.
A double bill of Edinburgh Fringe preview shows at both Didsbury and The Heatons with star of I, Daniel Blake Dave Johns with I, Fillum Star, and the delightfully acerbic Jo Caulfield with Older. Wiser. Smarter. Meaner.
Eddie Izzard Book Reading, The Lowry, Sun July 2, £31.50
Izzard reads from his memoir Believe Me, probably entirely in English and whilst not running on the spot. But frankly who knows from such an unexpected performer and fella in general.
Edinburgh Previews, Gullivers, All month
More Edinburgh Fringe previews at Gullivers during the Greater Manchester Fringe. As well as the Delightful Sausage gigs (see below), Stephen Bailey presents his latest show Can’t Think Straight on Mon 3rd. On Wed 12th Katherine Ferns is in Stitches and Katie Mulgrew presents a non-Fringe show too. On 27th there’s Jay Hampson’s Terrified and David Trent’s Here’s Your Future, then James Meehan presents As If I Hadn’t Slept on Sun 30th. Plus, there’s a performance from Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer just for the pure hell of it on Mon 17th.
XSMalarkey, Pub/Zoo, Every Tuesday, £5, £3 members
Oof more Edinburgh previews! XS continues with the shows this month starting with Michael Legge’s Jerk and Jordan Brookes’ Body of Work on the Tue 4th. Tue 11th sees shows Phil Jerrod is Submerged and Phil Ellis and gang give Funz and Gamez its third outing. Then Tue 18th has John Hastings’ Audacity and John Robertson’s Dominant. To end the month on the 25th it’s Paul Sinha Shout Out To My Ex and Jessica Fostekew’s The Silence of the Nans.
Delightful Sausage, Gullivers, Wed 5 & Wed 19 July, £4 each or £6 for both
Two servings of sausage this month (missus) with two nights of Edinburgh preview shows the first will see Harriet Dyer in Dyergnosis Murder and Edy Hurst showcases Theme Show and on the second Sunil Patel presents Titan and Gledhill and Cantrill in Cold Hard Cache.
First Thursday Comedy, Bury Met/Ramsbottom Civic Hall, Thu July 6, £10
This month doubling up are Irish Iranian Geordie Patrick Monahan and choirboy and aspiring goalie Lloyd Griffith.
Group Therapy, Deaf Institute, Every Thursday, £5
More Edinburgh shows! Frankly you don’t need to go up there at all. So (deep breath) Thu 6th sees previews from Carl Donnelly The Nutter on the Bus and Matt Ewins Adventure Man 7: The Return of Adventure Man, Thu 13th will have Joe Lycett warming up to and Friends and Fern Brady’s Suffer, Fools! On Thu 20th it’s the turn of Danny McLoughlin 01/02 and John Luke Roberts Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair! (All In Caps) plus on Thu 27th ending the month is Sean Patton with Number One and Garrett Millerick’s The Devil’s Advocate.
Comedy @ Chorlton Irish Club, Fri July 7, £12 /£10 adv.
More Edinburgh previews with Paul ‘The Chase’ Sinha presenting Shout Out To My Ex
and Dave ‘star of Ken Loach films’ Johns with I, Fillum Star.
Dead Cat Comedy, Sand Bar, Wed July 12, Free
With zombie flick Evil Dead 2 reinterpreted through the music of Elvis in The Elvis Dead and an hour of amusing nonsense from the equally as tall as he is funny (he’s very tall) Rob Mulholland.
Tongue in Cheek Comedy, Morley Cheeks, Tues July 18, £3.50
Jay Hampson’s cosy gig at the back of one of Chorlton’s best bars. This month with the bombastic loopings of Vince Atta and the wittily bemused by life Richard Massara.
Sarah Kendall, The Lowry, Sat July 22, £12 (£10 conc)
Acclaimed storyteller Kendall road tests her Edinburgh Fringe show One-Seventeen before heading up there at the end of the month.
Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, The Lowry, Sun July 23, £29.50
The legendary BBC radio quiz takes to the road once more. Jack Dee is at the helm and joined by Barry Cryer, Jeremy Hardy, Tim Brooke Taylor and Tony Hawks. (There’s an additional matinee performance for those who like to go to bed very early)
John Bishop, The Lowry, Sun 23 & Mon 24 July
Everyone’s favourite Scouser and one of the best in the biz warms up to his latest big live tour Winging It. Catch him prepping in the smaller room at The Lowry while you can. Or not, as it’s currently sold out, so try for returns.
By Marissa Burgess, Comedy Editor