Round about now, the arts scene generally starts to wind down for the summer – but not the comedy. Here people are gearing up to the Edinburgh Fringe next month. But if you’re unlikely to get up to Scotland, then watch these talented comedians in Manchester. Elsewhere in the diary there are plenty of regular comedy nights, which is a good job because we need a laugh more than ever.
Greater Manchester Fringe, various venues, until July 31
It’s GMF time of the year and this year’s fringe fest incorporates plenty of comedy in its line-up. There are Edinburgh Previews from the likes of Justin Moorhouse and Ria Lina, Monkey Cage’s Robin Ince, Scottish sock puppets, double acts including Norris & Parker, skits from Sketch Men, improv in Let’s See What Happens and even Rik Mayall makes a posthumous appearance in voiceover form for Short Tails and Tall Stories.
Frog and Bucket and The Comedy Store, from July 1
As ever both the Frog and Bucket and The Comedy Store have a great line-up of comedy all month. Thursdays through to Saturday are stand-up nights for both clubs. Then the Frog has an amateur gong night in Beat the Frog every Monday while the Store’s King Gong is the first Sunday of the month and Alex Boardman introduces some of his favourite new acts at New Comedians on the 17th.
New material is showcased at the Store at New Stuff on the 10th and 31st whereas the Frog’s Work In Progress night is on the 20th. The Store has new night Panelbeaters where four acts battle it out on the 27th, meanwhile at the Frog John Hastings and Carl Donnelly Edinburgh previews are on the 13th, Lip Synch Battle is on the 26th and rounding off the month on 31st is Laughing Cows’ all-women comedy night.
Sham Bodie, Eagle Inn, Salford, Sat July 2, £5
The loveable SB oddballs return for a summer party and their annual hot dog eating competition. With Manchester’s own Brennan Reece, Chris Cantrill, Amy Gledhill and music from Sally Mason.
Joe Lycett, The Dancehouse, Sat July 2, £14 (£12 conc)
The tour continues for the former Manchester University student who started his comedy career in this city. Expect a homage to his native Birmingham as well as some mischievous fun-poking of big companies in a tightly penned show, That’s The Way, A-ha, A-ha, Joe Lycett.
Group Therapy, Gorilla, Sat July 2, £12 (£10 members)
They really don’t let up do they? Another great act from the GT guys. The amazing Tony Law who was brilliant back when he was still splitting rooms with his brilliantly crazy sets. Now everyone’s on board and quite right too. And what’s more he’s joined by the magnificent talents of Felicity Ward and Phil Ellis.
Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club, £7, Heatons Comedy Club, Heaton Sports Club, £7.50, Sun July 3
Rob Riley’s gigs also play host to Edinburgh Previews this month with Rob Rouse bobbing between the two nights to showcase Roboscopy, meanwhile Justin Moorhouse performs People and Feelings in Didsbury and Danny McLoughlin is at Heatons with Philip Was Right.
XSMalarkey, Pub/Zoo, every Tuesday, £5 (£3 members)
Malarkey has a month of Edinburgh previews. With Danish comedian – and winner of last year’s newcomer award – Sofie Hagen on the 5th, local Irish talent Ciamh McDonnell on the 12th, Portsmouth wit Suzi Ruffell on the 19th and Denton’s finest Justin Moorhouse on the 26th.
Barking Tales, Zombie Shack, Wed July 6, £5
This month at BT local boy and English Comedian of the Year Brennan Reece showcases his Edinburgh show Everglow plus support is from Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2015 Tom Little.
Group Therapy Edinburgh Previews, The Deaf Institute, £5
The GT previews continue throughout July with more great acts honing their Edinburgh shows. The innovative John Luke Roberts and laid-back Canadian Glenn Wool on the 7th, Chester comic Danny McLoughlin and one-liner merchant Gary Delaney on the 14th, the wonderfully off kilter John Hastings and the irrepressible Brendon Burns on the 21st, prop humour from Spencer Jones and the legendary Josie Long on 28th.
Guinea Pigs, Sand Bar, Wed July 13, pay what you want
Dead Cat Comedy presents their new material night. Testing out new stuff this week is a star of Russell T Davies’ Cucumber and Doctor Who – Bethany Black. With support from John Porter and Tom King. Red Redmond comperes.
Jim Jefferies, Apollo, Sat July 16, currently sold out
The ever edgy, and former resident of Whalley Range, Jefferies returns with his latest tour the aptly named (given the current climate) ‘Freedumb’. Though never afraid to take on a controversial topic or relate a dodgy anecdote Jefferies always undercuts it with his own vulnerability.
MACE, Kosmonaut, Mon July 18, £3
At Manchester’s Alternative Comedy Emporium this month is Chris Coltrane with a fine line in passionate political comedy and Bisha K Ali and Chris Cantrill are on the bill too. Red Redmond keeps order.
Luisa Omielan [main image], The Lowry, Sat July 23, £16 – £27
If you didn’t catch Omielan’s breakthrough show What Would Beyonce Do? now you have a chance to read the book – here she is on the book tour. A tale that is uplifting, moving and very funny.
Jack Evans, The Castle, Mon July 25, £3
Quippodrome’s Jack Evans finds out if his debut Edinburgh show is ready for the Fringe. Showcasing Melancholy Poontang and its wide variety of characters.
Sidekick Comedy, On Bar, Mon July 25, £2 (free for students)
Continuing their residency in the upstairs room of On Bar, this month with uber Morrissey fan Gabriel Ebulue, the very silly David Stanier and Harry Potter parody Pottervision. Plus Kate McCabe comperes.
Funny Women, The Lowry, Fri July 29, £12
The Manchester regional final of the long running all-women comedy comp. Previous contestants have included Sarah Millican, Katherine Ryan, Bridget Christie and Susan Calman.
Lettuce Laugh, The Bowling Green, Fri July 29, £9 (£7 adv)
In the pub tucked at the back of Chorlton Green, MC Jonathan Paylor introduces the Lettuce summer show with the very naughty Lou Conran, full support and some strawberries!
DAFT, The Dancehouse, Sat July 30, £8
Once again extraordinary lovey Sir Randolph Tempest showcases some of the most bats acts around in the intimate surroundings of the studio. He’ll be close. You have been warned…