Phil Ellis | South West Manchester Cricket Club | Fri 16 May | 7.30pm | £5
As part of the Chorlton Arts Festival, the burb where hipsters go to procreate’s best comedy club ‘Chorlton Chuckles’ is holding a three night bonanza of comedy with a gong show to follow on Saturday night and culminating in Mrs Barbara Nice’s show on Sunday evening. This first show at Chuckles’ spiritual home of SW Manchester Cricket Club is a fine line up of ‘artists’ with the loose cannoning of Phil Ellis, the smooth gun show of Adam Staunton, and a fine arsenal of Brennan Reece, Gabriel Ebulue and Bisha K Ali. Resident MC Alex Perry will be overseeing proceedings, so get down for a great night of comedy and booze that you can totally pass off as supporting the arts.

Austentatious | The Lowry Studio | Sat 17 May | 8pm | £12
If you love improv and he novels of Jane Austen then we’ll probably never get married. Sorry, we’re from two different worlds, it would never work out. But you can find solace in the arms of Austentatious. One of the most talked about shows on the UK comedy scene it has faired well through two Edinburgh festivals and now its first national tour. A comedy play spun in the style of Austen and based entirely on audience suggestions no two shows are ever the same, though the result is always hilarious. See full preview.

Mrs Barbara Nice & Maxine Jones | South West Cricket Club | Sun 18 May | 7.30pm | £6
If you’ve paid close attention to these comedy picks over the last few months, and we really hope you have, you’ll be aware of a soft spot that we have for Stockport housewife Barbara Nice. Having raised five teenagers, no crowd is too boisterous for her, and hecklers have never been guilt tripped quite as well than by this hilarious comic creation. Support comes from Maxine Jones, who offers up her show ‘Embarrassing Mother’. Two mums for the price of one. Take your own. She’ll have a great time. As will you. And if everyone goes to see Barbara Nice, we can stop banging on about how amazing she is. See full preview.

Thom Tuck | The Pub/Zoo | Tue 20 May | 7.30pm | £5/3
XS Malarkey is about to go on a run of Edinburgh previews from some of the biggest future and present comedy stars in the UK, but before all of that they’ve got one of the stars of Edinburgh past (having said that, he’s only 32, and looks like a drunk 12) with Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominee Thom Tuck. A charming performer who makes up one third of sketch behemoths The Penny Dreadfuls, Tuck has hit his comedy stride in the last few years as a lone performer. Support comes from Alastair Clark, Eddie French and Kiri Pritchard Mclean. A cracking line up once more from XS headed by the always excellent Toby Hadoke.

Hayley Ellis and Lou Conran | Taurus | Wed 21 May | 7.30pm | FREE
Speaking of Edinburgh previews, two of Manchester’s best comedians who also happen to be of the female persuasion will be putting on their works in progress for you. For free. Hayley Ellis presents ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’, which is just as harrowing as the book of the same name, but is about her dog. He’s called Kevin. Lou Conran will be performing her Edinburgh offering ‘Subject Matter’, which is a little more open ended, which is not to be unexpected from one of the city’s most versatile performers. A free night with two great stand ups. What’s not to love. Nothing, that’s what.

Fri 16 May - Thu 22 May
John Stansfield
Published on:
Fri 16 May 2014