Gein’s Family Giftshop’s Bargain Basement | The Kings Arms | Mon 3 Mar | 8.30pm | FREE
Ed Gein’s bastard offspring bring more dark and surreal sketches to Salford’s Kings Arms and invite some of their friends to perform too in their bargain basement, which is in fact on the first floor. Hotly tipped for massive things this year by pretty much anyone that’s ever laughed at something they weren’t supposed to, Gein’s are a horrific treat who are literally giving it away for free here. You’d be unhinged to miss. Especially since they are joined by serial killer afficianado Rachel Fairburn and the surreal storytelling of Mike Newell.

Will Franken | The Pub/Zoo | Tue 4 Mar | 8pm | £5/3
XS Malarkey follow last week’s sublime and ridiculous Ben Target with the rapid fire character comedy of Will Franken. The American ex pat manages to transport himself from one body to the next with the flick of a wrist and scarily accurate representations of the fringe players in life. A wonderful satirist and mimic Franken performs at a breathless pace that doesn’t let up from start to finish. A must see performer.

Quippopotamus | Odd Bar | Tue 4 Mar | 8pm | FREE
You can probably decide whether or not you would like to go to a night like Quippopotamus if you like the sound of the following act; Detective Inspector Horsehand. Still with us? That’s good. You shan’t regret it. If Ronseal made character sketches, Detective Inspector Horsehand is a cop with a lot on his mind, and a horse on his hand after an experimental procedure went wrong. He is Roboclop and he has 24 hours to solve the case. Added to this slice of madness is ex heavy metaller and current very funny comedian Callum Scott, and radical Scottish anarcomedian Will Setchell, possessor of the sharpest wit and cheekbones in the city. All rounded out with a Bill Hicks séance you’ve probably never been to a comedy night like Quippopotamus.

Real Life with Ben Kewin | Gorilla | Thu 6 Mar | 8pm | £8.50
Housing amazing monthly night Group Therapy has turned Whitworth Street’s Gorilla into the place in Manchester for hip and daring comedy. Enter Ben Kewin who plans to explain all the things about real life you might not understand unless you’ve seen a play about it. Using all of the performance styles ‘The Artist’ presents a series of staggeroingly beautiful plays, films and readings to get the audience through those difficult situations in life. A one off show that promises to be quite insane, Kewin will take his congregation on an emotional journey, one which he hopes will make them cry, for that will show important his work is. A piece of left field genius.

Andrew Ryan | Royal Exchange | Fri 7 Mar | 6pm | FREE
What better way is there to end your working week, or begin your drinking weekend than by going to see some free comedy? Nothing, that’s what. So head down to The Royal Exchange and try not to feel too dirty and working class whilst in a theatre and enjoy some quintessentially Irish storytelling from one of the best loved acts on the comedy circuit, Andrew Ryan. A quick witted, fast paced performer he gained rave reviews for his Edinburgh Fringe debut show in 2012 and is ably supported by Manchester Wire favourite Rich Wall.

New Stuff | The Comedy Store | Sun 9 Mar | 7.30pm | £3
With Edinburgh preview season upon us, nights like Toby Hadoke’s New Stuff are even more important for comics to try out the material they’ve been working on since the last fest. Hadoke welcomes his funny friends to test their new gags on a friendly audience. It could be deep fried gold, or it could be the opposite of that, shallow, frozen lead. The comics on show are more than adept at dying though and can turn even the least well received bit into a good night.

Mon 3 Mar - Sun 9 Mar
John Stansfield
Published on:
Mon 3 Mar 2014