It’s September, so dust off your satchel, sharpen your pencils and straighten that tie…no wait, that’s school, isn’t it? Wrong one. Forget that. You don’t need any of those things to take in the comedy this month. Just bring yourself and your laughing shoes.
As Manchester thrusts itself back fully into the comedy scene, the two dedicated comedy clubs kick off the month with their usual full weekends of professional comedy acts with The Best in Stand Up at the Comedy Store and Barrel of Laughs at the Frog and Bucket. Ever popular with the returning students, the Frog’s amateur night, Beat the Frog is every Monday. Meanwhile the Store’s amateur night King Gong is on Sun 3 with MC Stephen Grant at the helm, plus Alex Boardman presents some of his favourite New Comedians on Sun 17.
Established comics test out their fresh material at the Store on Sundays 10th and 24th under the supervision of MC Toby Hadoke. This month at the Frog there’s also improv from Discount Comedy Checkout on Sun 17, as well as a couple of solo shows. Already sold out but check for returns is American Owen Benjamin on Sun 3. Then there’s the as-seen-on-Britain’s-Got-Talent Jonny Awsum appearing on Sun 24 with Honey I Promised The Kid.
Plus, there will be a special charity gig, Forever Funny, raising money for Forever Manchester who support local community projects. The night will see performances from three headline level acts – Kiri Pritchard McLean, Tez Ilyas and Carl Hutchinson.
Comedy @ Chorlton Irish Club, Fri 1 Sept, £12 /£10 adv
This month at the local gig in Chorlton MC Mick Ferry introduces a fine line up of acts – Stephen Grant, Brennan Reece and Rahul Kohli.
Queens of Comedy, O2 Apollo, Sat 2 Sept, £41.55
Hosted by gla Del Rio, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race and featuring fellow glamourpussies Alyssa Edwards, Katya, Bendelacreme, Lady Bunny and Charlie Hides.
The Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club, £7 & The Heatons Comedy Evening, The Heatons Sports Club, £7.50, Sun 3 Sept
It’s double up Sunday again, this month Brennan Reece and Gary Delaney get the bus between venues while MC Andrew Ryan comperes in Didsbury with another act to be announced and Brian Bell and MC Justin Moorhouse are at The Heatons.
Let’s See What Happens, Kings Arms, Sat 2 Sept, £3
One ‘monologist’ tells a story from their life as the rest of the players create scenes to help tell the tale. As brought to you by improv troupe Comedy Sportz.
Tim Heidecker and Neil Hamburger, Gorilla, Sun 3 Sept, £25
This incredible bill sees performances from two legends of the American comedy scene. Heidecker of Tim and Eric fame and ‘anti’ comedian Neil Hamburger.
XSMalarkey, Pub/Zoo, Every Tuesday, £5 (£3 members)
As the students file back into town XS sets about entertaining them (and the rest of us) with this fine lot. On Tues 5 it’s award winning Aussie Laura Davis, the following Tues 12 it’s bombastic multimedia comic David Trent. The gig on Tues 19 is yet to be announced but then rounding off the month is the birthday do, celebrating an incredible 20 years of XS. Given the club’s knack for attracting fantastic acts over those two decades the surprise line up is bound to be a particularly impressive one.
Alex Boardman, The Lowry, Wed 6 Sept, £10
‘As Storm Doris raged, Alex Boardman was in Lidl, worrying about his wheelie bin. Then the phone rang and everything changed for the better.’ Long-time favourite on the Manchester comedy scene (and beyond) Boardman in his one man show about life, football and spending a week as Man utd legend Eric Cantona’s warm up man.
Justin Moorhouse, The Lowry, Thu 7 Sept, £15 (£5 conc)
Performing in the Roundabout space in Little Hulton is the loveable Mancunian comic with his Edinburgh show from last year, People and Feelings.
Barbara Nice, The Lowry, Sat 9 Sept, £12 (£10 conc)
There’s little more uplifting than a Barbara Nice show. The Stockport mother of five and lover of a bargain with her latest show Raffle, about chance and luck.
Group Therapy’s 5th Birthday, Albert Hall, Sat 9 Sept, £25
Incredibly Group Therapy Comedy is 5 years old already. Even more incredible is this line up. The star of Catastrophe Rob Delaney, award winning poet Tim Key, the legendary godfather of alternative alternative comedy Simon Munnery, acclaimed Aussie comic Laura Davies, armed with his Power Point David Trent and Group Therapy’s first ever headliner, rock god Andrew O’Neill.
WAHALA Comedy Clash Jamaica v Africa, RNCM, Sat 9 Sept, £22
The Caribbean island takes on a whole continent with a great line up of Slim, A Dot Comedian, Will E Robo plus many more.
David Sedaris, The Lowry, Sun 10 Sept, £33.50
One of America’s favourite and most incisive writers of satire. An audience Q&A will follow the reading.
The Wedding Reception, The Lowry, Wed 13 Sept, £42 (includes your dinner!)
From the makers of Faulty Towers the Dining Expereince comes another immersive show, The Wedding Reception. Kate and Will planned a small affair but Kate’s mum had other ideas…
Trapdoor comedy, The Old Monkey, 13 Sept, £5
No line up was available at the time of going to press but given the line ups the club has presented in the past it’s bound to be a good one.
Bilal Zafar, The Lowry, Fri 15 Sept, £12 (£10 conc)
Zafar is on tour with last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Newcomer nominated show Cakes. Both testing and teasing the water on Twitter, he posed as a Muslim cake shop claiming to only serve Muslims. This was the response.
Rose Matafeo, The Lowry, Sat 16 Sept, £12 (£10 conc)
Fresh from a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, acclaimed Kiwi comedian Rose Matafeo returns with an hour of sketch and stand-up about her 25-year struggle with being the Sassy Best Friend in her own life.
Morgan and West, The Lowry, Sun 17 Sept, £12 (£10 conc)
The Time travelling magicians, not content to restricting themselves to the nineteenth century wow a 21st century audience with magic, mystery and uncanny forsight.
Tongue in Cheek Comedy, Morley Cheeks, Tue 19 Sept, £3
Jay Hampson presents the no-holds-barred Freddy Quinne and cheeky Chester comic Danny McLoughlin at this lovely little gig down the back at Morley Cheeks.
Horne Section, The Lowry, Wed 20 Sept, £18.50
Alex Horne and his musical pals are more likely to be seen at the Edinburgh Fringe or heard on Radio 4, but here they are on a trip to Manchester. Fun fact: they are the only band to ever host Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
Abandoman, Gorilla, Thu 21 Sept, £12
The improv hip hop duo explore their Life and Rhymes. It’s 1993, the pair have destroyed Ireland’s rural talent show circuit, now it’s time for international stardom.
Vir Das, The Dancehouse, Fri 22 Sept, £15
The Indian stand up takes in the UK on his Boarding Das World Tour. Expect stories of growing up in India and studying in America via world politics and flying an Air India plane.
Lettuce Laugh, Slug and Lettuce Didsbury, Fri 22 Sept, £12 (£10 conc)
With Dan Nightingale and Dave Williams.
Robin Ince, The Lowry, Sat 30 Sept, £17.50
Finally returning to stand up after three years off, Pragmatic Insanity looks at the creativity in art and science.