These dog days of summer – when there’s a constant whiff in the air of barbie sausages and coconuts and it’s perfectly acceptable to gloriously unveil those wobbly, pale body parts you’d completely forgotten about since the week you spent in Torremolinos in 2015. Anyway, come the evening why not squeeze your clammy bits in next to a stranger in the sticky, warm darkness and catch this lot?
In Manchester’s two venues entirely devoted to comedy, it’s the month of the year where there are Edinburgh preview shows for you to check out. At the Comedy Store, Gorton’s own Justin Moorhouse is showcasing his new show back to back with his mate, our adopted Yorkshireman, Alun Cochrane on Sun 22nd.
Over at the Frog and Bucket the second month of Edinburgh preview shows continues with Lloyd Langford’s Why The Big Face? and John Hastings’ Float Like Butterfly John Hastings Like a Bee on Wed 11th. Wed 18th sees Andrew Lawrence’s Clean and Dan Nightingale’s Sex, Drugs and My Nanna’s Bungalow. On Sun 22nd, it’s the turn of Ian Lane with Bodily and John Lynn’s Addiction Diction. Then the final one of the month is on Tues 24th with Rob Rouse’s Are you Sitting Comfortably and Josh Pugh in The Changingman.
Elsewhere in the month sees another outing for John Robertson’s The Dark Room on Sun 15th and, as ever, all-women comedy Laughing Cows rounds off the month on Sun 29th. Plus, of course Beat the Frog amateur night gong show every Monday and the professional stand up shows Thursday to Saturday.
As well as their pro shows Thursday to Saturday at the Store, there are a few extra shows this month too as Klub Kids present RuPaul’s All Stars 2 Winner Alaska Thunderf**k 5000. Then there’s a visit from political theatre collective Take Back Our NHS on Tues 17th and a performance from the legendary South African comic Barry Hilton on Wed 18th. And of course, the usual King Gong amateur night on Sun 1st, Alex Boardman’s New Comedians on Sun 15th and established comedians trying out new material at New Stuff on Sun 8th and 29th.
There’s plenty of comedy at this year’s Fringe from a supervillians tackling world domination in Pretty Evil at 53two, Maisie Adam – So You Think You’re Funny Winner 2017 with her debut hour at the Kings Arms, as well as comedian John Cooper professing his love for WordPress there too. Check out greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk for full show line-ups.
The Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club, £8; The Heatons Comedy Evening, The Heatons Sports Club, £8.50; Sun 1 July
Laidback Canadian Glenn Wool presents a work in progress at both Didsbury and the Heatons, doubling up with Kiwi powerhouse Jarred Christmas in Dids and one-liner merchant Gary Delaney over in Heaton Moor.
XSMalarkey, The Bread Shed, Every Tuesday, £5, £3 members
It’s Edinburgh preview season at XS this month too with two Fringe bound offerings each week. The line up looks something like this – the extremely middle-class Hal Cruttenden and improvising Canadian John Hastings on Tues 3rd, Wythenshawe’s own Brennan Reece and Texan comic Kemah Bob on 10th, the hyperactive Rob Rouse and Aussie Laura Davis on Tues 17th and the final one on Tues 24th is from acclaimed Aussie Felicity Ward and the up and coming Ahir Shah. Plus, the headliner on Tues 31st is yet to be announced but it’s bound to be v exciting.
Longform improv from the all-female team who take audience suggestions of recently watched films to create a brand new, freshly created musical.
Comedy @ Chorlton Irish Club, Fri 6 July, £12 (£10 adv)
This month in south Manchester’s cultural hub sees a performance by Blackburn’s own Tez Ilyas, plus support from Chris Kent, Simon Lomas and MC Alex Boardman.
Group Therapy, Gorilla, Sat 7 July, £10
July’s GT presents a headline set from one of the finest acts around – Glenn Wool. The idiosyncratic Harriet Dyer and the equally delightfully nuts Amy Gledhill are in support and the acclaimed storyteller Tom Wrigglesworth takes the hosting reins.
A fun look back at the long running cult BBC sci-fi series by Rob Lloyd, Doctor Who’s number one fan (aside from XS’s Toby Hadoke, they should partner up and have a Who Off).
Owen Roberts, The Lowry, Sun 8 July, £12 (£10 conc)
One third of the wonderfully lunatic sketch troupe Beasts escapes the asylum. After a severe case of writer’s block, Owen decides to let a six-year-old write his show.
Trapdoor Comedy, Old Monkey, Wed 11 July, £5 & Old Pint Pot, Fri 13 July, £6
The Old Monkey gig sees two Edinburgh preview shows from the acclaimed Brennan Reece with Evermore and after last year’s Evil Dead meets Elvis – Rob Kemp takes on Beatlesjuice. Whereas over at the Old Pint Pot, consummate Canadian stand-up Glenn Wool presents Viva Forever, his defence of free speech.
RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni and ‘international hateful clown in a gown’ graces Manchester with her divine presence.
Danny Baker, The Lowry, Sat 21 July, £26
After his ‘farewell tour’ the veteran broadcaster and writer heads out on a ‘series of one-night stands’ calling at ‘dozens of theatres around the country’ with Good Time Charlie’s Back.
Chris Ramsey, The Lowry, Sun 22 July, £23.50
Brand new show from the cheeky Geordie. Expect effortless stand up.
By Marissa Burgess, Comedy Editor