Tuesday 05 Dec 2023
[@]Manchester's Comedy Scene
An under-qualified doctor once told me that laughter was best medicine – and perhaps he was right.
Greater Manchester is the birth place to some of the country’s best-loved comedians, from Peter Kay to Steve Coogan, from Victoria Wood to Bernard Manning.
While you may be familiar with most of these names from the TV, before they were on screen most cut their teeth on the comedy circuit, starting out in Manchester. You can visit the very clubs that the greats started out in.
So here’s your chance to swap the settee for the real thing – you never know, you might just be the first to see the next Victoria Wood. Here’s some places around the city not to miss.
ComedySportz is the all ages, all action, all improvised competitive comedy show that sees two teams battle it out for laughs with quick-witted gags, games, sketches and songs inspired by your suggestions.
There’s a referee on hand to ensure a good clean match – it’s a family friendly show after all – with penalties for bad behaviour and bad jokes. Who wins? You decide!
Frog & Bucket
Over the years both the weekend shows and the amateur night have seen performances from the now famous names who came through the northern comedy scene.
Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay were regulars often compering the weekend shows. At one time they even formed a double act together.
The club is open at least four days every week. Friday and Saturday nights are the fun-packed end of the week shows.
Then, there’s Thursdays for a more sedate, connoisseur led show. Mondays is the amateur night where they compete to stay on stage for 5 minutes without getting ‘croaked off.’
Plus, many special nights every month including solo tour shows and charity nights.
Manfords Comedy Club
Putting some of the best comedians from the UK comedy circuit in front of some of the best crowds.
The Club's audiences have such a wonderful reputation within the business that we even on occasion get special guests dropping in, John Bishop, Sarah Millican, Russell Kane and even Michael McIntyre have all played a Manford’s gig and I’m sure will again in the future!
The Comedy Store
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, The Comedy Store is a well-oiled machine that has produced laughter for 14 years now.
Situated on Deansgate Locks, this established venue offers a long weekend of fun and every first Sunday of the month for the open mic night ‘King Gong’, where wannabe funnies will have to beat the gong and win the audience over with their unheard quips and quibbles.
Though this club is somewhat pricier, the side-splitting atmosphere amongst the 500-strong crowd is contagious and it is easy to see why revellers head in their droves every Thursday through Sunday.
You can tuck into two courses prior to the show for an extra £16 – or £10 on Thursdays – while the extensive drink’s menu will aid your giggle fits throughout the evening.
Far from a load of nonsense, XS Malarkey is simply the best comedy night on a budget you could ask for. With entrance at just £5, or £3 with a Malarkey Card if you’re stopping in the area a while, there is no better Tuesday night out than at The Breadshed on Grosvenor Street.
The award-winning venue has welcomed Jimmy Carr, Russell Howard and Peter Kay through its doors so the next big stand-up comedian may play in front of your very eyes this year.
While that will entice you in, the extensive menu will keep you satisfied – with two meals for £7.45 featuring some pub classics.
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