Patrick Monahan & Harriet Dyer | The Lowry | Fri 20 Jun | 8pm | £12
As Edinburgh preview season hits its stride, Manchester’s comedy power house Gag Reflex gives a test run to two of its favourite acts, Patrick Monahan (pictured) and Harriet Dyer. Monahan may be the more recognisable from his antics on ITV’s ironic bomb Splash, but don’t hold that against him. The Irish-Iranian Geordie is a consummate performer and a Fringe stalwart. Harriet Dyer, though lesser known, is no lesser comedian. Rooting out the fine line between odd and insane, Dyer’s show Barking At Aeroplanes is sure to be a hit at this year’s Edinburgh festival of funny.

Will Franken & Jon Hastings | Fuel, Withington | Sun 22 Jun | 8pm | FREE
Will Franken and Jon Hastings have both featured quite heavily in these picks of late. Firstly because they’re bloody good, and secondly because they’ve been fine tuning their respective Fringe shows. So if you’ve followed every one of these tips to the show then we suppose you don’t need to pay attention to this. But you probably don’t so listen this time, as these are two amazing comedians for the price of absolutely none. And there’s the added bonus of seeing Quippopotamus ringmaster Jack Evans lose his mind in a swirl of military history and whatever foul beasts he finds in the netherworld. Always a treat.

Dan Nightingale | Bar21 | Mon 23 Jun | 8pm | FREE
Preston’s favourite son Dan Nightingale is also previewing his Edinburgh moves, and he arrives at the newly refurbed Bar21 (formerly TV21) for Red Redmond’s Dead Cat Comedy. A versatile comic, Nightingale can bend his style to any room, not losing any charm or his stellar wit. Joining Nightingale is another Manchester Wire favourite in Kiri Pritchard-McLean, who will be testing the waters with her sexist and racist material for her Racist, Sexist Comedy Show. Intelligent, insightful and downright hilarious, Kiri’s show is much more than the tongue-in-cheek title suggests.

Comedy Balloon | Ape & Apple | Wed 25 Jun | 8pm | FREE
The Comedy Balloon is Manchester’s oldest free comedy night, the progenitor for the other free comedy facilitators that comics love and promoters hate. A night where new acts can try their hand in front of a friendly crowd, and more established acts can figure out what works and what doesn’t for their new material. With eight acts taking to the stage with varying degrees of experience, it is the familial nature of the night that makes the Comedy Balloon such a mainstay on the Manchester scene. An easy going and experimental air makes it a must-see for any comedy fan.

Danny McLoughlin | Mary & Archie, West Didsbury | Thu 26 Jun | 8pm | FREE
Being named after one of the greatest Simpsons characters, Thrillhouse Comedy has a lot to live up to right off the bat – and with its fourth show it is showing no signs of diminishing returns. Headlining this month is the audacious Danny McLoughlin, with yet another Edinburgh preview (tis the season!). The amiable McLoughlin is as confident on the bigger stages as he has for this free show in Didsbury. Also on the bill is Callum Scott who recently starred at Group Therapy’s Magnificent Seven show and is sure to follow McLoughlin on to the bigger stages. Compere for the evening is the ever-combustible Victorian bare-knuckle boxer and all round lugubrious gent that is Liam Pickford. Anyone that saw him host Family Fortunes at this year’s Sounds From The Other City will know this is sure to be an absolute shambles. But what a beautiful shambles it will be.

Thanks to @johnwinsagain

Fri 20 Jun - Thu 26 Jun
John Stansfield
Published on:
Fri 20 Jun 2014