Crikey, October just can’t get enough laughs (and here’s us thinking September was hysterical). Probably the busiest month in the comedy year, there’s touring solo shows, entire nights dedicated to pro stand up, improv, regular monthly nights, the opening heats of an institution of a comedy competition and one massive comedy festival celebrating female comic talent. It’s all here in this handy guide.
Matt Richardson, The Lowry, Sun 1 Oct, £12 (£10 conc)
Since he last toured back in 2013 the increase in telly appearances has resulted in some odd things happening to the young comic – not least ghost hunting with Craig Revel Horwood and being voted Heat’s weird crush of the year.
Ed Gamble, The Lowry, Sun 1 Oct, £15.50-£17.50
Over in the Quays on the same night is Gamble whose star just seems to keep on rising. An affable and exuberant performer, off the back of his successful tour of last year and the many telly appearances he too has clocked up, he reappears with Mammoth.
So, at the Comedy Store this month as ever there are the Thursday to Saturday shows as well as monthly new act night on Sun 1 King Gong with Paul Thorne as compere, plus Alex Boardman presents his favourite New Comedians on Sun 15. Then there’s the regular bimonthly New Stuff presided over by the legend that is Toby Hadoke. Extra special shows, too from The Unique Komedy Ukulele Orchestra on Wed 18, and Krazy Klub V Comedymania with Axel Blake and Aurie Styla on Sun 29.
The Frog and Bucket is this month the site of both the launch (Thu 19) and wrap parties (Sun 29) for the Women In Comedy Festival. Also on Mon 9 Oct Beat The Frog’s World Series competition begins and continues on the remainder of the Mondays in Oct. The competition pits all those who have ‘beat the frog’ over the year against each other to find the best of the lot.
Elsewhere there’s WIP work in progress night on Wed 11, Discount Comedy Checkout improv night on Sun 15, a comedy course showcase on Tues 17 and, Sunday Night Live, an extra stand up show in on 22 Oct. And on Tue 24 and Wed 25 Luisa Omielan of What Would Beyonce Do?! fame performs a solo show.
The Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club, £7; The Heatons Comedy Evening, The Heatons Sports Club, £7.50, Sun 1 Oct.
This month amiable gagster Paul McCaffrey and top musical comic Duncan Oakley double up, with Zahra Barri and MC Andrew Ryan in Didsbury and Ross Smith and MC Justin Moorhouse are over at The Heatons.
XSMalarkey, The Bread Shed, Every Tuesday, £5 (£3 members)
As this legendary club enters its 21st year there is a plethora of great acts here this month, and not just the headliners. On Tue 3 it’s acclaimed Blackburn comic Tez Ilyas and star of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Lauren Pattison and local legend Brennan Reece.
On Tues 10 seasoned act Marlon Davis, the up and coming Ian Lane and Keith Carter reinvents himself as Stacy Silcox.
Tues 17 sees high brow humour from Ivo Graham, high invention from Jordan Brookes
and the international James Allen. Tues 24 welcomes a return to heavy metal nerd Andrew O’Neill, dark humour from Alexander Bennett and the Benedict Cumberbatch obsessed Spring Day.
Finally on Tues 31 there’s sharp humour from Laura Lexx, breezy gags from Stephen Bailey.
Plus there will be many newer acts doing an open spots and small sets on the nights too. You never know what talent you’ll catch. Of course all will be hosted by the fabulous Toby Hadoke.
Jason Manford, Middleton Arena, Tue 3 Oct, £15 but currently sold out.
A work in progress show from Whalley Range’s own Manford as he warms up to his Muddle Class tour.
Comedy Sportz, Various dates across the month
These guys are improvising all over the place.
Tue 3 Oct – Bang Bang Adult Improv (no not that kind adult…) with improvised sketches in the first half. Salford Uni Aldelphi Campus, £2
Sat 7 Oct – Let’s See What Happens featuring a monologist telling stories from their life based on your suggestions while the rest of the team create scenes around them. Kings Arms, £3
Fri 13 Oct – Longform Friday. Like it says on the tin… Kings Arms £3
Sat 14 Oct – Comedy Sportz. Ramsbottom Civic Hall, £7 (£5 conc)
Thu 19 Oct – Improv Mullet. Shortform in the front, longform in the back (geddit?), TriBeca, £3
Sat 21st Oct – ComedySportz for Tots £5 (£3) and Comedy Sportz £7 (£5 conc) Sale Waterside Arts Centre.
Comedy @ Chorlton Irish Club, Fri 6 Oct, £12 (£10 adv)
The ever-idiosyncratic Phil Ellis introduces that rarity in comedy – the politically right leaning Geoff Norcott, plus support from the fantastic Andy Askins and Pete Otway.
Phil Wang, The Lowry, Sat 7 Oct, £12 (£10 conc)
Wang gears up for his début solo tour. A British Malaysian who was born and brought up in Malaysia who went on to become president of Cambridge Footlights and a part of sketch troupe Daphne. Already making waves, he’s one to watch.
Simon Day, The Lowry, Sun 8 Oct, £23.50-£28
The former star of the Fast Show and creator of the Elvis Costello-a-like Tommy Cockles here Day adopts the guise of no less than four characters including Geoffrey Allerton confirmed bachelor and Yorkshire poet, and Brian Pern, prog rocker and humanitarian. Read our interview with Day here.
Dead Cat Comedy, Sand Bar, Mon 9 Oct, Pay What You Want.
Headliner this month is the caustic, no punches pulled and very funny Scot, Fern Brady.
Trapdoor Comedy, Solomon’s Tue 10 Oct, Old Monkey 11 Oct, £5
This month at comedian Tony Basnett’s lovely club Jim Smallman – tattoo fan, wrestling promoter and Leicesterite – takes the headline spot at both gigs. But the Old Monkey is celebrating its birthday so there will be a number of surprises on the night to look forward to too.
Sham Bodie, Soup Kitchen, Thu 12 Oct, £5
The Shambles return. This month with Chris Cantrill and Amy Gledhill on their The Delightful Sausage tour, funny men Ben Kewin and Tom Lawrinson, plus music from B.C. Camplight. Your host, as ever, is Ben Tonge.
Ellie Taylor The Lowry, Fri 13 Oct, £12 (£10 conc)
Sharp stand up from Taylor, which will probably get somewhat frank as, in This Guy, she ponders whether to breed or not.
Jimeoin, The Lowry, Fri 13 Oct, £21.50-£22
The observational Irish comedian with his latest show Ridiculous. Massive in Australia.
Lee Nelson, Middleton Arena, Fri 13 Oct, £20
The scally prankster created by Simon Brodkin whose big scale practical jokes get him into more scrapes than a taxi driver in a blindfold. This is a date on an extension of his Serious Joker tour.
Hocum Pokem, Contact Theatre, Fri 13 & Sat 14 Oct, £25 (£20 conc)
Halloween comes early as Peaches Christ, Jinkx Monsoon and Holestar present their homage to Disney’s Hocus Pocus.
Paul Chowdhry, The Dancehouse, Sat 14 Oct, £20
Having popped into north Manchester last month, Chowdhry turns his attentions to the centre of town as his first tour in a couple of years, Live Innit, continues.
Comedy at The Lowry, Sun 15 Oct
Once again comedy takes over the Lowry in all three spaces Mitch Benn (£15, £13 conc) is in the Studio with Don’t Fear the Reaper. At a positively ancient 46 he’s confronting death head on with laughs and songs. In the Quays the only – and highly acclaimed – improv troupe inspired by the work of Jane Austen, Austentatious (£17.50) take your suggestions. Then in the big Lyric room Milton Jones is Out There. Putting on his best jumper Jones presents his latest set of inspired one-liners with more than a touch of surreal.
Scarlet SoHandsome, Kings Arms, Sun 15 Oct, £5
Dead Cat’s Red Redmond transforms into the most stylish of queens as he/she perform their first solo stand up show Recreational Drag Use, as seen in Edinburgh this August. Plus support.
Comedy for CAFT, The Lowry, Mon 16 Oct, £42.50 – £92.50 (with food and VIP offers)
Three of Manchester’s most notable funnymen – John Bishop, Jason Manford and John Thomson – lend their support to a fundraiser for the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT), which provides days out and fun activities for children who have terminal illnesses or complex disabilities and their siblings who help to care for them.
Tongue in Cheek Comedy, Morley Cheeks, Tue 17 Oct, £3
This month Jay Hampson introduces actor presenter and fine stand up Rahul Kohli as well as the glittering talent of Jonathan Mayor.
Joel Dommett, The Lowry, Wed 18 Oct, £19 – £22
There’s more to this man’s talents than just munching some grubs in the jungle, to many he may be better known as last year’s winner of I’m A Celebrity… but to the comedy scene he’s a fine comedic performer who has built up his skill over the past ten years.
Women in Comedy Festival, Various Venues, Thu 19 – Sun 29 Oct.
There’s so much going on this year at this celebration of women in comedy. There are solo shows – some of which are mentioned below, comedy shorts and compilation shows, talks, the Funny Women Award competition heats and of course a great launch and closing bash to bookend it all.
Check out www.womenincomedy.co.uk for the full line up.
My Dad Wrote A Porno The Lowry, Fri 20 Oct, £26
Jamie Morton’s dad really did. So, James decided to read from it. In public. With the help of his mates, James Cooper and Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine.
Katherine Ryan The Lowry, Sat 21 Oct, £23
The wonderful comedic talent that is Ryan appears as a part of the Women in Comedy Festival. More acidic than a bag of sherbet lemons, now that Joan Rivers has sadly gone surely Ryan is her worthy successor.
Nick Helm, The Dancehouse, Sat 21 Oct, £12
The force of nature that is Nick Helm is on tour once more with a call to arms to anyone (read ‘most’) who feel short-changed by the current state of the world. If you haven’t seen Helm live, you really should. It’s quite the spectacle.
Festival of the Spoken Nerd The Lowry, Sun 22 Oct, £17.50 – £22
Like sums and science? Like laughing? Then this is just for you. Comedian and physics graduate Helen Arney, experiments guy Steve Mould and mathematician Matt Parker present another celebration of finding the funny in geekery. In association with Manchester Science Festival.
Le Gateau Choclat, Contact Theatre, Tue 24 & Wed 25 Oct, £13 (£7 conc, £5 under 10s)
In his first work for all the family, Duckie sees the glamorous cabaret star re-imagine the story of The Ugly Duckling in a tale with ‘dress up, songs, Disney references and an important message of acceptance.’
John Culshaw, The Lowry, Thu 26 Oct, £23.50
The star of Dead Ringers and producer Bill Dare appear in The Great British Take Off, an unscripted evening of chat, anecdotes and impersonations no doubt.
Angelos and Barry, The Dancehouse, Thu 26 Oct, £15
Everyone’s favourite pair of weirdos promise to cure you of all ills with The New Power Generation.
Greg Davies, O2 Apollo, Thu 26, Fri 27 & Sat 28 Oct, £32.85
The star of Man Down, the headmaster that looks a bit like Rik Mayall in the Inbetweeners and the tall one from We Are Klang – Davies is also a brilliant stand up. Come and see where it all started in this incredible three-night run at the Apollo.
Lettuce Laugh, Slug and Lettuce, Fri 27 Oct, £12 (£10 adv)
This month at the lovely gig above the Slug in Didsbury there’s seasoned comedian and all-round livewire Simon Bligh plus full support. The as ever accomplished Jonathan Paylor is your compere and there are drinks and food offers on the night. And there are sofas too if you get there early to bag one.
Jackie Hagan, Contact Theatre, Fri 27 & Sat 28 Oct, £13 (£7 conc)
In This is Not A Safe Space comedian and ‘underclass amputee’ Hagan features ‘real voices of proper skint disabled people’, lyrical stand up and actual poetry as she explores the ‘complicated weirdness of being human.
Jo Enright and Jo Neary, The Lowry, Sat 28 Oct, £12 (£10 conc)
Both called Jo, two very different performers. Star of ITV’s The Job Lot Enright is a seasoned stand up who has regaled audiences far and wide for two decades. Then Neary shrugs on her wonderfully bizarre characters for Faceful of Issues her ‘village hall chatshow’.
A part of the Women in Comedy Festival.
Lee Nelson, The Lowry, Sun 29 Oct, £23.50
See Fri 13 for details.