Tuesday 05 Dec 2023
[@]Our Guide to Manchester’s Comedy Clubs - Laughter, A cure for all
Published: Guide No.18 - August '23
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 the 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.
Chorlton Comedy Club
Where better to chortle than Chorlton? For all your chortling needs then Hough End Centre is the place where laughing isn’t a chore but a ‘c-ho’ okay, you get the point.
But in all seriousness, or lack of, in the circumstance of looking at comedy clubs, this venue celebrates the very best of local talent.
You can tram it there, to St Werburgh’s, and back from Manchester city centre and in between you will be treated to a whole host of hilarity.
Held every first Friday of the month.
Address: Hough End Centre, Mauldeth Rd, M21 7SX
ComedySports is something of an unknown gem and has been making audiences laugh since first staged outing in 2001.
Sort of an improvised competitive comedy show; where two teams battle it with quick-witted gags, games, sketches and even songs inspired by the audience.
The ‘matches’ referee has their work cut-out trying to keep it all in order and issues penalties for bad behaviour or bad jokes.
Held regularly at the Waterside Arts Centre this extremely funny event is usually run twice a month, check website for full details
Address: The Waterside Art Centre, Waterside Plaza, Trafford M33 7ZF
The Comedy Store
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, The Comedy Store is a well-oiled machine creating laughter in the city since 2000 and was originally located at Deansgate Locks.
Today, the shows are hosted by the Bierkeller, in the Printworks.
It’s weekly shows are held on Friday and Saturday and it continues to deliver Stand Up comedians by the truck load, often featuring comics at the top of their trade.
The Bierkellers large stage and seating arena offers the audience plenty of laughing room!
You can also experience this famous club at Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, often on Thursday (tickets available online and check website for details)
Address: Bierkeller, The Printworks Withy Grove M4 2BS
Address: Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring Street M1 2PZ
The Frog & Bucket
Forget barrels of laughs, here you will have buckets, and why not chuck in a frog for good measure.
With shows four nights a week you are spoilt for choice and their ‘Beat the Frog’ night will help you fight off Monday melancholy. Each month ten acts compete for your laughs at the open mic night.
One scouser John Bishop, yes him off the telly, happened to be watching here before he found himself on stage ‘completely by accident’. He only had one joke, claims four laughed and described the feeling ‘like losing your virginity’. Whatever floats your boat John...
If you’re watching those purse strings then ‘Thursday Night Live’ will accommodate but the showcase nights are Friday and Saturday. Should you feel pekish then the Frog’s Pizza and Burgers will certainly help to keep your energy levels up for more laughter.
With its large auditorium and the seated balcony, all the chairs afford great views towards the performance stage and hopefully the funniest comedian in town, well that night...
Address: 102 Oldham Street, M4 1LJ
The Laughienda Comedy Club
A relative new-comer to the Manchester comedy scene ‘Laughienda’ is held at the Lions Den Bar within the Great Northern Complex Deansgate every Thursday, plus free entry too!
Even though the venue is somewhat small it still holds 80 people without much elbowing required, so getting there early is a good idea.
The club mostly focusses on new and emerging talent, honestly with such a small audience space you’re unlikely to see big names there.
That said it is well worth checking out and the bar has a good selection of beers and spirits too, this normally helps if let’s say the stand is really new...
Address: Lions Den Bar, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Far from a load of nonsense, XS Malarkey is simply the best comedy night on a budget you could ask for.
Held on Tuesday, at 8pm, with an entrance fee of just £6, or £3 with a Malarkey Card if you’re stopping in the area a while, there is no better Tuesday night out than at CANVAS on Oxford Road.
The award-winning club 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.
XS Malarkey was established in 1997, is a not for profit club and has won the Chortle Award for Best Comedy Club more times than anyone else!.
Address: CANVAS, 1 Circle Square, 3 Symphony Park, Oxford Road M1 7FS
Read Our Guides
Unlock Manchester visitor guides are available in hotels and magazine racks across the city. You can also read them for FREE online at issuu.com
What's On in Manchester?
Cinema, Theatre, Music and Events: find out what’s on in Manchester today, this week and coming soon with our FREE listings
Manchester Transport Services
Buses, Trams, Trains and Private Hire Taxis: Manchester has a solution for you to get where you need to be.
Manchester a City of ‘Quarters’
Only 30 minutes by Tram from the City Centre, Bury and its attractions make a good day trip
Nestled between the Irwell and Medloack rivers Castlefield is where the Romans established 'Mamucium'. Experience the old and modern and explore its attractions
China Town, a stone's throw from Piccadilly Gardens, offers restaurants, specialist supermarkets and entertainment all in one space
Connecting most parts of the city, this mile-long road is worth a stroll along and offers some great shops and places to eatRead About All Manchester‘s Quarters