Ok, I have a confession to make. After firstly confusing Rob Delaney with Rob Beckett, and then watching his performance on Netflix to prepare for this evening, I was really dreading this show. His humour is not to my taste at all, and his Bowery Ballroo, material for a US audience was almost excruciatingly unfunny. I'm glad to say tonight massively exceeded my expectations.
Chris Ramsey has been making big waves in comedy over the past few years and that's evident here at the Lowry, when he started off in comedy, he was performing in the Lowry studio theatre which only sat 150 people and progressed all the way tonight to the main theatre.
If there was ever an entry in the dictionary for all-round entertainer, without question the definition would be Brian Conley. Tonight at the Lowry Conley proved without a shadow of a doubt he is the master of his art. He is the consummate entertainer with every weapon in his arsenal on show tonight in front of a capacity audience in Salford.
Starting with a video montage of his many television appearances it was clear from the outset that this was to be an evening of silliness and song. It is difficult not to instantly like Conley and from the moment he stepped on stage after being announced as the “best comedian in his price range” he wasted no time in interacting with the audience.
The idea of King Gong is very simple; a number of wannabe stand-up comics get their chance to entertain a capacity crowd for five minutes. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will last the full five minutes. Three people in the crowd are handed red cards which they must hold up in the air when they have heard enough. When all three red cards are in the air, a gong is sounded and the comic must leave the stage. Anyone that is lucky enough to last the full five minutes is invited back to the final at the end of the night.
The Frog and Bucket comedy club sits on the far edge of the Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre. Over the years both the weekend shows and the amateur night have seen performances from the now famous names that came through the northern comedy scene. Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay were regulars often compering the weekend shows, and John Bishop's first ever gig was at the club's amateur night. Plenty of other famous folk have played the Frog too included Lee Mack, Dave Gorman, Chris Addison, Ross Noble, Lucy Porter and Jason Manford.These days the club is open four days every week. Friday and Saturday nights are the fun packed end of the week shows then there's Thursdays for a more sedate, connoisseur led show. On a Monday it's still the newcomers turn as they attempt to Beat the Frog by staying on stage for 5 minutes without getting 'croaked off.' Plus there are many special nights every month such as the Laughing Cows all-female comedy night. Laughing cows showcases female comedians on the last Sunday of each month.
I was genuinely looking forward to seeing Paddy live. My affection born out of a love of his wingman roles in Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, Phoenix Nights and most recently with Keith Lemon (please see the Batman vs. Bane skit).
I love comedy that is heartfelt, that has old school charm with a hint of subversion reflecting our shared anxieties, obsessions and the absurdities of the age we are in.
I was surrounded by an audience with an eclectic age range – reflecting Paddy’s appeal as the front of ITV’s Take Me Out and role in Corrie. The great thing about comedy is its broad spectrum but that does mean we all take our seats with very different expectations.
The Frog and Bucket comedy club sits on the far edge of the Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre and was one of the first venues to open in the now creatively bustling district.
Plenty of famous folk have played the Frog including John Bishop, Lee Mack, Dave Gorman, Chris Addison, Ross Noble, Steve Coogan, Caroline Aherne, Lucy Porter and Jason Manford.
Debra Stephenson is a jack of all trades. She cites herself as an actress / impressionist / comedienne / singer. Unfortunately she is a master of none. Stephenson gave herself a rather ambitious task of attempting 100 voices during the course of the show. I would applaud anyone who can do an impression of 100 people, and while Stephenson does try her best, some of them fail to hit the mark.
The first half of the show is a trip through the decades. Starting from the 1950s working up to the present day, Stephenson sings some classic songs from the eras and stopping to tell of us some of her celebrity friends that couldn’t make it. While I was aware of most of the impressions Stephenson did, there were a few I was baffled by as I couldn’t think of who they were.
It was all about new comedy this evening at The Comedy Store Manchester, where, on the third Sunday on every month, new comedians come to showcase their acts. The Comedy Store has a 500 seater auditorium although half of it was closed off, leaving the venue felling close and intimate. The venue was purpose built for stand-up comedy so the setting was perfect.
The evening was compered by Alex Boardman, a 43 year old comedian who had the audience eating out of his hands with anecdotes of his mundane life as a married man. He really connected well with the audience and found comedy value in all of the situations he was presented with. In his attempt to find someone celebrating something special, he came across a couple on their first date. It’s certainly one they are never going to forget.
The Comedy Store Manchester, The Best in Stand Up is a regular feature on the Friday and Saturday night entertainment rota.
Reviewing at the comedy store stirred a little apprehension for me, a middle aged woman, entering in to the hustle and bustle of Manchester city night life on a Saturday night. A place I naively viewed as exclusively for the young, as it is situated in Manchester’s’ fashionable and trendy Deansgate Locks. The Comedy Store is a TARDIS-like venue; its glass fronted entrance gives an illusion of a small intimate venue. On the contrary this vibrant venue has a wealth of space for casual and al la carte dining as well as a spacious bar area and a more than adequate theatre-styled auditorium with a seating capacity of 500.
It sounds like a very simple concept; pit two teams against each other and see who can make the audience laugh. However, I must have genuinely laughed about twice during the whole show. Before going any further it must be stated that this event is definitely targeted at children and therefore has a cringey pantomime feel to it. The kids clearly enjoyed it, but as an adult I was left disappointed. I was hoping that there would be a few jokes in there ‘just for adults’ but there was nothing.
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