Katherine Ryan | The Lowry | Sat 1 Nov | 8pm | £15
Feisty and foul-mouthed Canadian Katherine Ryan pulls no punches on her attack on pop culture. In a love/hate relationship with all things zeitgeisty, Ryan is adept at pulling apart the ridiculous nature of celebrité for laughs. A regular feature on a host of panel shows, she is setting her stall out as one of the country’s best stand-ups. Despite not being from here. Take that Ukip!

David Stanier’s Silly and Spooky Party | The King’s Arms | Sat 1 Nov | 8.45pm | £4
Falling the day after Halloween, David Stanier has decided to spookify this instalment of his Silly Parties at The King’s Arms. The event takes place as part of the Greater Manchester Comedy Festival, a 10-day celebration of the area’s thriving alternative scene -within which Stanier is marking himself as one to watch for future success. A mix of clever word play and outright and unabashed silliness, he is a pleasure to watch and one sure to be curating bigger parties in the future.

Jason Cook | The Lowry | Sun 2 Nov | 8pm | £12
As the creator, writer and star of BBC Two’s hit sitcom Hebburn, the mild-mannered and self-deprecating Jason Cook has managed to find himself in all manner of bizarre situations. When the genial Geordie tells how he manages to mess up all such social engagements it’s comedy gold. One of the country’s most dependable comedians, Cook is back doing what he does best: entertaining live crowds with his enjoyable and unbelievable schtick.

Russell Hicks | Odd Bar | Tue 4 Nov | 8pm | FREE
Quippopotamus have managed to pull of somewhat of a coup with the capture of US comedian Russell Hicks for his first Manchester gig. A big hit at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, he certainly made an impression on the Quipping boys as they were quick to snap him up for their monthly free show at Odd Bar. Support comes from ‘The Bard of Preston’ Freddy Quinne and ‘Already featured once in Manchester Wire’s Comedy Picks’ David Stanier. All for the price of a packet of air. Not bad.

Steve Bugeja | The King’s Arms | Wed 5 Nov | 8.45pm | £3
Winner of last year’s BBC New Comedy Award, Steve Bugeja brings his endearing naivety and anti-lad comedy to The King’s Arms in what will no doubt be an early dry run for next year’s Fringe. A fantastic writer and brilliantly awkward performer, Bugeja impresses with his observational routines about trying to be a grown-up. Solid work for such a young performer, his stand-up may alienate a slightly older crowd but the universality of some of his set will certainly recapture them. Make sure you get to The King’s Arms early to catch Liam Pickford’s first solo show, beginning at 7.30pm and only a pound.

Robin Ince (pictured) | The Dancehouse | Thu 6 Nov | 8pm | £13/£11
Presenting his ‘Blooming Buzzing Confusion’, Robin Ince will tackle all manner of experiments into the mind to discover whether any of us are true free-thinkers. Sure to be as depressing and existential as it is hilarious and mind-blowing, Ince’s show always bring something new to the world of comedy and leave you thinking more than other straight stand-up shows ever will. Go see for yourself why you had no choice in going to see him in the first place.

Laugh Local | Fri 7 Nov | Chorlton Irish Club | 7pm | £10 adv / £12 otd
Chorlton’s best comedy club returns, but without the talismanic presence of Justin Moorhouse. Refusing to be a rudderless ship, Laugh Local has recruited the excellent Barry Castagnola as stand-in MC and given him a great line-up to introduce. Gavin Webster has been back and forth to Manchester over the last few months to various clubs and his presence is always welcome. Mitch Benn is one of the best musical comedy performers in the country too, but it is relative newcomer Jonny Pelham that you should keep an eye on. Since announcing himself as a socio-political, self-deprecating voice to watch out for at last year’s 2014 BBC Comedy Awards, he has been gathering quite a bit of momentum and looks set to make a big name for himself.

The Den of Variety | Sat 8 Nov | Three Minute Theatre | 7pm | £10
Do you remember Bob Blackman? Probably not, but that’s almost the point the Bob Blackman Appreciation Society is trying to make. Mr Blackman was a variety act of the 1970s with a few TV appearances to his name who would hit himself over the head with a tea tray to music. It was a different time, and the BBAS aims to bring this love of the absurd back to variety shows. It mixes wordplay, sketch, ventriloquism and dark surrealism to great effect, unlike any show you’ve ever seen before. Unless you remember Bob Blackman of course. The Den of Variety also features music and poetry and is hosted by Kieren King. A unique night in a unique venue.

Mark Watson | Sun 9 Nov | The Lowry | 8pm | £19
Mark Watson is one of the finest stand-ups this country has to offer and here he presents Flaws, his darkest and most personal show ever. An incredibly smart performer who seems to just remember his routines as he goes about his business, he is a master of story-telling with boundless energy and intellect. You might recognise him from numerous panel shows – but it is on stage that Watson really comes to life. A must-see for any fans of comedy who are yet to see him.

Thanks to @johnwinsagain

Fri 31 Oct - Sun 9 Nov
John Stansfield
Published on:
Thu 6 Nov 2014