Ed Gamble (pictured) | The Pub/Zoo | Tue 26 May | 8pm | £5/3
Kicking off its Edinburgh Fringe preview in style, XS Malarkey welcomes along the skinny half of comedy duo Peacock and Gamble to test his wares against the delightful comedy crowd that amasses once a week at The Pub/Zoo. Bringing his latest work-in-progress show Lawman to the table, from the sounds of the blurb he has given to the festival, Gamble himself doesn’t seem too sure what it’s about. Though this is where he operates at his maximum level: with a rare gift for spontaneous hilarity, Gamble works best when on the back foot. A phenomenal supporting cast comes from Joe Lycett, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Jenny Collier. Probably the best line-up you’ll see all week.

MACE// 3 Angry Men | Kosmonaut | Thu 28 May | 8pm | £5
A close second in those stakes is that of Red Redmond’s answer to the recent election down in the basement of the Kosmonaut. One of the upsides of a Conservative government is that it brings out a vitriol in comedians that makes for fascinating comedy. Whereas Labour induce such torporific malaise it seems pointless to rally against, there is an anger caused by such selfish goverments as those formed by Cameron and the Bullingdon crew that helps create more angry and hilarious political comedians. So, erm, thanks Dave. Here for your delectation are three of the angrier, somewhat political comedians (in that they’re all very smart and no doubt have opinions on such things) in Michael J Dolan, Eddie Hoo and Alfie Brown. Go get angry with them, you’ll find it quite cathartic.

Gein’s Family Giftshop & Mitch Benn | Chorley Little Theatre | Sat 30 May | 7pm | £10
A little further afield here, taking place as it does in Chorley Little Theatre in Chorley. It’s also little, in case you were wondering. One of the nicest venues to see live comedy in, it has gathered quite a reputation with comics to try out their Fringe shows before they might 100% ready. An intimate venue that still has the old world charm of a proper theatre, it is gearing up for a great summer before all the stand-ups and sketch acts run off to Scotland. First up here are last year’s Best Newcomer nominees and Wire faves Gein’s Family Giftshop – plus the musical comedy stylings of Radio 4 regular Mitch Benn. A top double bill for a Saturday night – and not too far on the train to the delightful village of Chorley.

Laughing Cows | The Frog & Bucket | Sun 31 May | 7pm | £7
Manchester’s finest showcase of female talent lands with another amazing line up this weekend headlined by Stockport’s ordinary housewife extraordinaire Mrs Barbara Nice. A blissful mix of mum-next-door and aggressive alpha female, Mrs Nice puts the world to rights on matters such as the British economy crumbling as if she was talking about her sister-in-law’s Wonga loan. Also saddled on the back of the Laughing Cow are musical maestro Vikki Stone, the softly spoken sass of Nina Gilligan, and the colourful and charming Dotty Winters. All held together by rising star Sophie Willan as mistress of ceremonies, this is another smashing line up from one of they city’s best club nights.

Rob Delaney | The Lowry | Sun 31 May | 8pm | £23
Twitter is a wonderful thing, ain’t it? The micro-blogging site has been responsible for amassing millions of pounds for charities, helping topple despots during the Arab spring (though it has been shown to be little more than a whiny echo chamber in the country) and letting us see what celebrities eat first hand (OMG they’re just like us!). Arguably the greatest thing to come out of Twitter though is the disgusting and irony drenched comedy of Rob Delaney (and perhaps Megan Amram but she’s not on this week). When he first opened his account, Delaney was a jobbing actor and occasional comedian; now he has a best-selling book, a worldwide comedy tour and is responsible for the best hashtag ever in #christiandadswhovape. Disgusting and ingenious in equal measure, Delaney’s risqué material is carried along by his wonderfully sunny demeanour and graphic physical comedy. There are only a few single tickets left for this show but if you’re a comedy fan, he’s definitely worth going it alone. It’s what Rob would do.

Thanks to @johnwinsagain

Mon 25 May - Sun 31 May
John Stansfield
Published on:
Mon 25 May 2015