Halloween is so far away. Whatever are we to do before we can dress up as monsters and scare children into eating fruit? Oh hang on a minute…why not check out this lot and treat yourself to a glittery spider from Sainsbury’s in anticipation?
XSMalarkey, The Bread Shed, every Tuesday, £6 (£3 members)
The popular comedy night in the heart of studentland heads off into October. This month we have the consummate stand-up Steve Bujega on the very first Tuesday of the month. Tuesday 8th sees the fairy Gothmother on the scene Bethany Black headlining, then on 15th it’s the turn of the brilliantly kooky Harriet Kemsley. The gloriously smutty Jenny Collier appears on 22nd and the fast up-and-coming Sean McLoughlin rounds off the month on 29th.
Barking Tales, Zombie Shack, Wednesday 2 October, Donations at the end.
The safe space mental health comedy night this month with the laidback charms of Carl Donnelly. Hosted as ever by the wonderful Harriet Dyer.
Women in Comedy Festival, Various venues, 3–13 October.
This year sees the seventh annual Women in Comedy festival, the only one of its kind in Europe. Celebrating females, and those who identify as female, on the comedy scene. This year the festival welcomes the likes of American comedian Desiree Burch to The Bread Shed while JoJo Sutherland, Rachel Creeger and Susan Murray are among the acts reprising their Edinburgh Fringe shows, plus there are works in progress from Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Kathryn Mather and Harriet Dyer among others.
It’s a full month for both the Frog and Bucket and the Comedy Store this October.
As well as all the regular events, The Store referees a Wahala Comedy Clash: Jamaica v England on Sunday 6, followed by new act night King Gong hosted by Paul Thorne. Pro acts trying out New Stuff hosted by Toby Hadoke is on 13th and 27th and New Comedians hosted by Alex Boardman is in between on Sunday 20th. Then Aussie Issac Butterfield drops by on his international tour Why So Serious? on Tuesday 22nd and Comedy Store for Kids is on Saturday afternoon 26th.
The Frog and Bucket is one of the venues that plays host to the aforementioned Women in Comedy Festival and includes Prichard McLean and Rachel Fairburn’s serial killer podcast All Killa No Filla and Fairburn’s solo show People’s Princess.
Elsewhere, the annual Beat the Frog World Series starts on Monday 7th with all the heats on each Monday throughout the month.
The creator of Barry the Blender and the northern Irish comic Colin Geddis drops by on Wednesday 15th and on Sunday 20th Desi Central bring a full line-up headlined by Blackburn’s own Tez Ilyas. Then on Sunday 27th Paul Daniels’ nephew, and a fab magician in his own right, James Phelan brings his Troublemaker show to the Frog.
Bill Bryson, Palace Theatre, Saturday 5 October, £39.40
Famous for his travel books, for the past three years Bryson has been boning up on science. Here he takes a long look at the human body.
Trapdoor Comedy, Solomons, Tuesday 8 Oct, Old Monkey Wednesday 9 Oct.
The lovely comedy club run by relocated Hartlepool native Tony Basnett has two gigs this month. Line up to be confirmed.
Josh Widdicombe, The Lowry, Wednesday 9 October, £23.50
The co-star of The Last Leg and a master of irritable pedantry on tour with Bit Much…
Nick Helm, Dancehouse, Friday 11 October
In Phoenix From The Flames, the force of nature that is Nick Helm returns to the live arena with his most personal show to date. There will, however, be pathos and singing.
Ray Bradshaw, The Lowry, Sunday 13 October, £12 (£10 conc)
Brought up by deaf parents but able to hear himself, Bradshaw tells a heart-warming and funny tale of growing up with parents who can’t hear you. This performance will be signed, in part by Bradshaw himself.
Frisky and Mannish, The Lowry, Saturday 19 October
The force of nature musical duo twist the lyrics to popular song and mash them into freakish hybrids in Poplab. Their talents know no bounds.
Lost Voice Guy, The Lowry, Sunday 20 October, £14.50-£16.50
The winner of Britain’s Got Talent in 2018, Lee Ridley’s cerebral palsy means that he speaks with the aid of a computer. But that doesn’t stop him from performing tack-sharp stand-up.
Paul Smith, Opera House, Sunday 20 October, £23
Hot Water comedy’s Paul Smith whose popularity arose out a stonking set that went viral. Here he takes on the Opera House.
Fawlty Towers Live Themed Dinner Show, The Lowry, Friday 25–Sunday 27 October, £55 (including your dinner of course)
Another chance to be abused whilst drinking your soup, the Dinner Show gang bring the spirit of the classic sitcom to life as you’re eating your dinner.
James Acaster, The Lowry, Friday 25 October
The tour of Acaster’s randomly titled show Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 continues.
Ellie Taylor, The Lowry, Friday 25 October, £18.50
Star of The Mash Report, her own Netflix stand-up special and various notable comedy TV appearances, the brilliant Taylor reveals what will happen if one more person tells her ‘you got this’.
Jason Byrne, The Lowry, Saturday 26 October, £23
After 23 years on the comedy circuit, the Irish comedian is a bit frazzled but still managing to channel his livewire self. He’s Wrecked But Ready you might say.
Austentatious, The Lowry, Sunday 27 to Monday 28 October, £18
The acclaimed improv troupe who use the work of Jane Austen as their inspiration. Surprisingly riotous and a lot of fun.
Count Arthur Strong, The Lowry, Sunday 27 October, £26.
Everyone’s favourite self-aggrandising old fella, this time the Count has decided to share what he knows about the universe in Is There Anybody Out There? Which as you might expect is not very much – but that never stopped him before. Wonderful character comedy from Steve Delaney.
Abigoliah Schamaun, The Lowry, Sunday 27 October, £14 (£12 conc)
The American comedian explores her paradoxes in Do You Know Who I Think I Am?! A ‘yoga bunny with squishy thighs’, a girl growing up in the mid-west who became a liberal comedian.
Kill the Beast: Director’s Cut, The Lowry, Wednesday 30 to Thursday 31 October, £7.25 – £14.50
Freaky fun for Halloween as they set out to shoot the worst film ever made.
By Marissa Burgess, Comedy Editor
Main image: Abigoliah Schamaun