What’s on in August: Comedy in Manchester
In August, there are areas of Manchester where the tumbleweed roams free. It’s the school hols, families have headed off for more expensive climes and the students have given us Fallowfield Sainsbury’s back (just me on that one). Manchester’s cultural life may be taking a little rest between Manchester International Festival and the autumn season but the comedy scene of the city is certainly alive and well. Entertain yourself with this…
Early Doors, The Lowry, until Saturday 3 August, from £28
Another Lowry run out for the hugely popular live version of Craig Cash and Phil Mealey’s understated northern pub comedy. Cash and Mealey star alongside many of the original cast. A gem of a show.
As always, The Frog and Bucket and The Comedy Store never close up shop whatever month it is, continuing with strength throughout August with weekend shows full of professional stand ups at both clubs, and the Frog’s amateur night Beat the Frog every Monday. The Store’s newbie night King Gong is on Sunday 4. New Stuff is on Sunday 11, the kids’ show is on Saturday 17 and Alex Boardman showcases his favourite new acts on Sunday 18. Back over at the Frog hugely popular South African comedian, Kevin Fraser brings his unique stylings and international tour to Manchester on Wednesday 28.
Dead Cat Comedy, Seven Brothers Brewery, Friday 2 August
The Brewery gig from the Manchester-based comedy club. Red Redmond presents skilled storyteller Danny Deegan, the Chester-derived Danny McLoughlin and livewire Eddie Fortune.
Comedy @ Chorlton Irish Club, Friday 2 August, £12 in adv.
The suburban gig sees Britain’s Got Talent victor 2018 Lost Voice Guy take to the stage with seasoned favourite Roger Monkhouse support from Hannah Silvester and MC Mick Ferry.
Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club; Heatons Comedy Evening, Heatons Sports Club, £9, Sunday 4 August
Both gigs see performances from George Rigden and a secret special guest, then Jinx Yeo supports and Sally Anne Hayward emcees in Didsbury and at the Heatons Ellie Pollard is in the middle and MC is Danny McLoughlin.
Magic Goes Wrong, The Lowry, Tuesday 6 to Sunday 11 August, £20
Created in conjunction with the twisted uncles of magic, Penn and Teller, the Mischief company return to The Lowry playing a group of largely useless magicians presenting a charity event.
A long-running favourite gig of the scene sees another fine line-up. Here’s a hint of the headliners – the delightfully odd Richard Todd on Tues 6th, idiosyncratic clown Elf Lyons on Tues 13th, the not to be messed with Abigoliah Schamaun on Tues 20th. And the final headline act of the month on Tues 27th to be announced.
Comedy Balloon, Ape and Apple, every Wednesday, Free
See Worst Comedy Night in Salford below. This used to be the Worst Comedy Night in Manchester. More established acts try out material, new acts try, and the regular oddballs are loved.
Jimmy Carr, The Lowry, Sunday 11 August, £33
Each tour at least one of Carr’s gags gets picked up by a tabloid for being controversial. Of course, everyone’s fair game in a Carr show. But in Terrible Things he takes those criticisms head on and yes he will joke about those bad things that happen but they are just jokes – and perhaps we just need to laugh a little.
Founded, curated and kept right weird by the glorious Dave Turquoise, watch some acts try out new material and some have a bit of a breakdown in a room full of people. Either way it’ll be warm, fuzzy and magic.
Pride Comedy Special, Bar Pop, Tuesday 20 August, Free
Dead Cat’s LGBTQ night celebrates Pride with the utterly delightful Jonathan Mayor, American stand-up Kate McCabe and the up and coming Sam Serrano.
Eric Andre, The Dancehouse, Thursday 29 August, £22
US actor, comedian and TV host. Star of the Adult Swim’s top rated The Eric Andre Show (though you could have probably worked that one out…) Andre takes to the stage with his surreal style and right before he voices a hyena in Disney’s remake of The Lion King.
The hirsute star of Parks and Recreation and Mr Megan Mullally – I’m still waiting on word of whether they will adopt me or not. All Rise will no doubt see Offerman musing on meat, wood and probably some surprisingly common sense takes on the world.
Paul Smith, Manchester Palace, Saturday 31 August, £20.75
The compere of Liverpool-based Hot Water Comedy whose YouTube videos have gone viral. Here he takes on Manchester Palace.
Main image: Early Doors. Photo by Nathan Cox.
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Supported by funding from @HeritageFundUK, Betty’s Back! will explore James’s life and works in the context of the 1920s, when the portrait was painted, and will also reveal artwork by Betty Durden Green for the first time.