The Manchester Comedy Festival 2009 will provide some chuckles during October with dozens of gag-filled gigs all over the Greater Manchester region, from Stalybridge to Saddleworth and most points in-between. Heavyweights Michael McIntyre (MEN £30, 20th and 21st ), Arthur Smith (The Met £15 - 21st), Jimmy Carr (Apollo £22.50, 23rd and 24th) and Richard Herring (Frog & Bucket £9 - 20th) head up the chortles along with a clutch of free turns throughout the festival's run (mostly from Oct 15th to 25th). Please note that the Comedy Store in Whitworth Street will run a 'Best In Stand-Up' gig, featuring several new talents, on a near-daily basis - there are numerous ticket combinations so click on the "Best In Stand-Up" button, below to find out more. There are way too many other performers and venues to list here, but here are some of the highlights on offer:
Oct 15th - Rhod Gilbert appears at The Comedy Store for £15. He brings his "cat that looks like Nicholas Lyndhurst" show to this famous venue that will play a major part in the festival over the next 10 days (and beyond of course). The Tiger Lounge (Cooper Street) hosts Michael J Dolan (£5) as part of the ongoing Cat's Cradle productions in the festival (mostly cheap or free ones).
Oct 16th - Sir Arthur Conan The Barbarian is otherwise known as Peter Slater from BBC 3's "Ideal" - here he entertains as the master of horror at the XS Malarkey (Fallowfield - £5).
Oct 17th - Dutch master of vitriol, Hans Teeuwen, gets all confrontational for your pleasure at The Dancehouse (Oxford Road - £12). I have seen this man perform before and I can heartily recommend him.
Oct 18th - Brendon Burns is an aggressive and hilarious Aussie who has appeared on the "Eleven O Clock Show" (Channel 4). Here he twists the knife into many a subject at The Frog & Bucket (Oldham Street - £9)
Oct 19th - Paul Tonkinson (Big Brother, Sunday Show, oodles of TV comedy, Wigan FC supporter) brings his skilful delivery to the Comedy Store and shares the bill with Mr Sheepskin himself, footballer (he played for Southend) Terry Alderton. Tickets just £12.
Oct 20th - Lady Garden (oo-er missus, all girl Manc sketch-group) and Idiots Of Ants (all-boy London sketch-group) battle it out for laughs at the Comedy Store (£18)
Oct 21st - As well as Arthur Smith being all legendary as usual, 2 comedy production companies unveil their talents today. BBC Comedy Presents does exactly that at the Comedy Store (£7) with a welter of to-be-announced comedians and sketches while Manchester's excellent Cat's Cradle Comedy present several gigs during the course of the festival, one of the picks being this one at the Tiger Lounge (Cooper St £5) that will feature Graham Goring and Joe Lycett.
Oct 22nd - Phil Nichol with an evening of ridiculous poetry and sharp one-liners at the Comedy Store (£12)
Oct 25th - The last day brings you the vapid tongue of Aussie Jim Jeffries whose 2007 appearance at the Manchester Comedy Store brought about a certain amount of mayhem and an irate audience member (see 'Jim Jeffries vs Nutter' link, in the sidebar). He avoids the same venue, opting instead for the more sedate Royal Exchange....hopefully. Tickets £12.