June comedy picks: The best comedy in Manchester this month

John Stansfield
Sophie Willan sitting on stairs

Our comedy picks for Manchester in June – including Jack Evans, Sophie Willan and Todd Barry.

Jack Evans at The King’s Arms

For fans of alt comedy night Quippodrome, Jack Evans will be a more than familiar idiot ringmaster, and those of you who have been to the wild and surreal sketch and character night will be delighted to see Evans finally launch his first solo show. A work in progress for an upcoming assault on the Edinburgh Fringe, Evans will be showcasing some of his best characters including Maurice the pickup artist and Chief Inspector Horsehand (a more literal character name you will not find), as well as some of his own weird flights of fancy with his unique brand of stand up. Head to The King’s Arms and tell everyone you saw him way back when. Tuesday 7 June, 7.30pm, tickets £3

Sophie Willan at The Lowry

Another of the very healthy Manchester comedy scene’s rising stars, Sophie Willan has a two night stay at The Lowry with her show On Record. Raised in and out of care and foster homes for much of her young life, at 23 Willan was given her entire life’s records to pour over. So like any self respecting comedian she has made a show out of it. Willan’s wonderful Northern charm makes this both a hilarious and heartfelt exploration of the incidents that shaped the woman she is today. Friday 10 & Saturday 11 June, 8pm,  tickets £12/10

Todd Barry at The Pub/Zoo

Back in 2013 this American comedy legend went out on tour with absolutely zero prepared material. With Crowd Work he did simply that, worked the crowd and played on whatever inspiration he could find in a room full of strangers night after night. Now he’s bringing his razor sharp wit to the UK crafting jokes from whatever the audience has to say. Those worried about being picked on at comedy shows might want to stay away but those who wish to watch a stellar comic at the height of his power should head over in droves. Monday 13 June, 7pm, tickets £12

David Cross at Manchester Academy

The man known to most as mild mannered Tobias Fünke is anything but on stage, with his acerbic and some times even acidic tongue; David Cross is light years away from the hapless closeted character he portrayed so excellently on Arrested Development. His tour Making America Great Again touches on all things about the state of the country he calls home. Not for the faint of heart, we recommend watching one of his prior specials (The Pride is Back is excellent and on YouTube) before immediately buying tickets. He’s really very good and not a ‘Never Nude’. Saturday 18 June, 7pm, tickets £22.50

Sarah Kendall & Fin Taylor at The Deaf Institute

This is one of many Edinburgh Fringe previews that could have been in this list this month; this show in particular stands out for the combination of established and up-and-comer in globetrotting Australian Sarah Kendall and the rising star of Fin Taylor. For just £5 these shows are an absolute steal, especially for acts of this caliber, and for those not heading to Edinburgh this year it’s a chance to see some of the best acts in your back yard. Thursday 23 June, 7pm, tickets £5 

Culture Guides

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

As the new theatre season gets ready to launch, we champion some of the star performances happening over the next few months.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

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Cinema

David Bowie, Japanese classics and some early spooky screenings all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Exhibitions

Welcome the autumnal season with all of the art goodness that it brings – there are so many brand new exhibitions to see!

Families

As we say bye to the summer holidays and begin to welcome in the cooler months, Manchester’s events and activities continue to bring joy and fun to families.

Kamila Shamsie. Photo Alex von Tunzelman

Literature

There are plenty of online readings and live launches as Manchester and the North welcomes some great writers with book festival season getting underway, and there are loads of new spoken word nights and open mics to check out…

Music

Autumn’s a fine old time for gigs in Manchester and the North. From otherworldly folk to life-affirming soul, here are our top picks for October onwards.

Tours and Activities

Every season change is an excuse to try something new, and when it comes to tours and activities, autumn delivers!