Comedy Playground | Mon 8 Feb | Contact | 7.30pm | £13/7
As part of the ongoing Queer Contact 2016 program, Comedy Playground is a night of almost too many great acts where anyone of them would be worth the price of admission. MC Jonathan Mayor introduces Suzi Ruffell (8 Out of 10 Cats), recent I’m a Celebrity contestant David Morgan, star of Channel 4’s Cucumber Bethany Black, So You Think You’re Funny and BBC New Comedy Award winner Tom Allen, ‘Loose Ends’ Rosie Wilby and hotly tipped rising star Ruth E Cockburn. There aren’t many better ways to spend a wet and windy Monday evening.

Mark Watson | Tue 9 Feb | The Pub/Zoo | 7.30pm | £5/3
When I was at Salford University in 2002 the student union (the now defunct ‘Pav’) put on a comedy night that only had two performers. A young Mark Watson opened, and ran on a little before the headline act came on. A comedian I can’t quite recall the name of since she ran off after 30 seconds to be sick due to food poisoning. Mark Watson then came back on stage to apologise and proffered that he just did another set. The audience said why not and Watson did an off the cuff near hour long set of half formed ideas and crowd work. It was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. You should go and see him. He’s only gotten better since.

Guinea Pigs | Wed 10 Feb | Sandbar | 8pm | FREE
Red Redmond brings the return of his new act/new material night to Sandbar under a different guise as Guinea Pigs trots out this Wednesday. Forever a champion of new Manchester talent Red re-introduces this free night that looks to give old voices the chance to try new things and offers fresh faces a friendly room to command/die comfortably in.

Rachel Fairburn and Hayley Ellis | Wed 10 Feb | Eagle Inn | £3.50
Though it still might seem a little early to be thinking about August, comedians are already gearing up for the Edinburgh Fringe and inviting you to give feedback via laughter at their works in progress. Two such comics are Rachel Fairburn and Hayley Ellis, a duo of Manchester’s finest who are asking for folk to come down to The Eagle Inn Salford to check out what they have for the world’s biggest arts festival later in the year. It’s also a cracking pub that might just be a natural fit for comedy shows like its sister venues Gullivers and The Castle have proven themselves to be.

Steve Hall (pic) | Sun 14 Feb | The Lowry | 8pm £12
As a main writer for one of Britain’s sources for televisual satire in Russell Howard’s Good News Steve Hall has marked himself as a voice that needs to be heard. And at least this time he will be the one speaking it. After supporting Howard and Lee Mack on their respective tours it is time for the ‘best-educated’ one from sketch group We Are Klang to break out on his own. With a host of great reviews from last year’s Edinburgh show ‘Zebra’ it would seem Hall might be stepping out in front of the camera before too long.

Mon 8 Feb - Sun 14 Feb
John Stansfield
Published on:
Tue 9 Feb 2016