Beat The Frog | Frog & Bucket | Mon 13 Jan | 7pm | £3 (FREE for students)
The Frog & Bucket’s weekly Beat The Frog is the best place to see the next big thing in comedy as they take their very first baby steps into the terrifying world of live stand-up. Worth going for the variety in acts (and talent), or if schadenfreude is your thing, then head down to laugh at those that struggle – but be aware that you’re also the worst person in the room. What makes this week’s comp even better is that it is being hosted by the ever incendiary David Longley, a great comedian who doesn’t see barriers, only hurdles.

Sketch, Drugs and Rock n Roll | Sandbar | Mon 13 Jan | 8pm | FREE
Dead Cat Comedy puts its paw in another comedy pie with its night for sketch- and character-based comedians. Hosted as ever by the ebullient Red Redmond and introducing the North West’s finest troupes and tropes to a friendly and warm crowd in one of Manchester’s best pubs, and at a time when great venues that support live art are closing down (Jabez Clegg, Lass O’Gowrie), it is heartening to see solid bills being touted for FREE. Joining Red will be ‘Academy Award-winning actor’ Sir Dickie Benson – though it’s not stated what academy awarded it – plus Liverpool’s premier sketch troupe Legion of Doom, and self-=proclaimed wheelie bin enthusiast Jonny F Monotone. Support local comedy and have a damn good pint while doing it.

Hal Cruttenden | The Lowry | Fri 17 Jan | 8pm | £15
Due to the sell out nature of his last excursion to The Lowry, tough luvvie Hal Cruttenden returns to the Quays to inflict more damage on his own reputation and the audience’s perceptions of him with his show. Consistently tipped as the ‘next big thing’, it’s only a matter of time before the current big thing is toppled by this very funny man. A Chortle Award and Perrier Award nominee Cruttenden is best seen live here before he is selling out bigger venues in the future. His shows are always a joy to behold as he lampoons himself as much as the audience with sharp with and a dollop of self depracation.

Mike Wozniak (pictured) | The Lowry | Sat 18 Jan | 8pm | £12
With Britian’s most show business moustache, and a nomination for best show at last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards, Mike Wozniak brings his tash and hit show Take The Hit to the Lowry. After his wife’s parent’s moved in to his house, permanently, Wozniak needed to find a reason to leave the house for the month of August, so promptly escaped to Edinburgh. Thankfully the show was a hilarious and a great success, which encompassed a tour of the nation, leaving him free from his in-laws for even longer. The perfect crime. Billed as ‘The New Comedy Hero’ by Time Out  ages ago, Wozniak aims to make good on that promise with his expert skewing of an old cabaret act, complaining about his mother-in-law with an inventive and elegant manner.

New Comedians | The Comedy Store | Sun 19 Jan | 7.30pm | £3
The Comedy Store gives back to those on the cusp of their main stage with this fun and friendly gig on a Sunday evening. New Comedians is introduced by the familial and fiery Alex Boardman who dispenses barbs with pinpoint accuracy – so best not to act up and heckle, just enjoy the ride and you shan’t get destroyed by Boardman. A night to discover those comedians that will be promoted to the bigger stages very soon, Boardman hand picks his favourite acts to showcase at this event, and they rarely disappoint. The three pounds entrance fee is worth it for the compere alone, let alone the extra four stand-ups vying for a wider audience.

Thanks to @johnwinsagain

Mon 13 Jan - Sun 19 Jan
John Stansfield
Published on:
Mon 13 Jan 2014