Nina Conti | The Lowry | Mon 16 Sep | £15 | 8pm
Making it OK to like ventriloquism again, Nina Conti brings her cast of characters to The Lowry to show dolls are not just to be used to show where you were touched by your uncle. After a turn in Family Tree, the best sitcom of the year, as a repressed sister who uses her monkey puppet to share her true feelings, Conti is second only to the muppets in the business of bringing felt creations to life via prostate exam. Read our full preview here.

Dead Cat Comedy | Sandbar | Mon 16 Sep | FREE | 8pm
After a mad run at the Fringe this year, Dead Cat Comedy returns to its part-time home at Sandbar where the irrepressible Red Redmond introduces you to some of his favourite comedy friends. This week sees the lively Rich J Wall, absurd and dark Sean Morley, and headliner Chris Brooker, a fine comedian on the up and up. Always a fun night filled with energy and great performers in an intimate venue.

Tree | Royal Exchange | Tue 17 – Sat 21 Sep | £12/10 | 8pm
Believe it or not there are still as few tickets available for a show consisting of the Salinger-lite Daniel Kitson and ‘so hot right now’ Tim Key, in their play Tree. Go grab them before someone else does, for it is gaining rave reviews – and if we don’t love Kitson just right, who knows when he will return? Read our full preview here.

Stand-Up Thursday | The Comedy Store | Thu 19 Sep | £10/5 | 8pm
A trimmed down version of the Friday and Saturday flagship shows at the Store, Stand Up Thursday still features the brilliant Rob Rouse as MC, as well as New Zealand’s abstract Jarred Christmas and the prolific Chris McCausland, who are both performing at the weekend. As well as an open spot from a young up-and-comer who is sure to be a treat. Or a car crash. Depends on your predilections.

Matt Richardson (pictured) | The Lowry | Sat 21 Sep | £12 | 8pm
Since gaining the ‘coveted’ spot as co-host of the Xtra Factor, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding Matt Richardson. This is his debut tour, coming off the back of a successful month at the Edinburgh Fringe – another debut. Richardson is one to catch before he shoots into the stratos, and you lament the time you refused to pay only £12 to see him.

Michael J Dolan | Jabez Clegg | Sun 22 Sep | £5/£3 | 7pm
A brilliant but terribly misanthropic comedian, Michael J Dolan has been letting everyone know his musings on life and death (mostly death) for some time, and frankly you really should be paying attention because he is hilarious. Billing itself as even less accessible than his last critically acclaimed show, Dolan will have able support from the wonderful Kiri Pritchard-McLean who will be much more accessible, one would hope.

Thanks to @johnwinsagain

Sat 21 Sep - Sun 22 Sep
John Stansfield
Published on:
Sat 21 Sep 2013