May comedy picks: The best comedy in Manchester this month

John Stansfield
Tom Wrigglesworth with ice cream

Our comedy picks for Manchester in May – including Tom Wrigglesworth, Sam Simmons and Graeme of Thrones.

Tom Wrigglesworth at Chorlton Irish Club

Weekend comedy clubs can be a tricky mistress; you head into town to watch some of the best in the business and they end up having to grapple with between five and ten hen and stag dos for the whole evening. It comes as a relief then that there is comedy at Chorlton Irish Club once a month, meaning that you don’t have to brave the city centre to see top quality stand up. Tonight the surreal storytelling of Tom Wrigglesworth is paired with the automated wonder of Lost Voice Guy and local legend Mick Ferry, all overseen by the keen wit of Caimh McDonnell. Fri 6 May, 8.30pm, tickets £10 

Sam Simmons at Gorilla

As the first comedian to win back to back Edinburgh and Melbourne comedy awards for the same show, Sam Simmons is arguably the hottest stand up in the world right now. That is of course if you can call what the antipodean whirlwind does ‘stand up’, as Sam jackknives from nonsensical gag to props to drawings to anything that pops into his head. One thing’s for sure: he’s a comedic tour de force well worth checking out, with a supporting bill of great up and comers such as Peter Fleming, Chris Cantrill and Ivo Graham. Remember these names for future reference. Sat 7 May, 7.30pm, tickets £10/£8

Graeme of Thrones at The Lowry

If your one hour dose of Game of Thrones just isn’t enough then head to The Lowry for this loving pastiche in which a man (Graeme) tries to recreate the popular HBO program with no budget and two hapless pals. Since debuting in London’s West End the show has since toured Australia and the seven kingdoms, gaining great reviews along the way, and heralded as a must for any fan of the mythical world of Westeros. The cast consists of three alternative comedy heroes in Weirdos Comedy Collective’s Ali Brice, Mr Susie himself – as in Mark Davison – and one half of Twisted Loaf Libby Northedge so although the night may be dark and full of terrors, it’ll also be full of some big laughs. Tue 10 May, 8pm, tickets £21

John Hastings at Sandbar

For fans of free and cut price comedy, it’s coming up to the most wonderful time of the year as Edinburgh preview season gets into full swing, with young hopefuls pedalling their new wares for a comedy savvy audience that can give immediate feedback via mouth braying. With a string of TV appearances and rave reviews from his previous stints at the Scottish capital’s premier arts festival, John Hastings is a real coup for the new(ish) free night Guinea Pigs at Sandbar. A wryly observant comic Hastings is tipped for very big things, so to see him in the back room of this excellent pub for free is nothing short of a dream. Wed 11 May, 8pm, free entry

Michael J Dolan at Kosmonaut

Watching Michael J Dolan is an oddly sobering affair; such is his disdain for human nature and modern society, you feel as if you shouldn’t really laugh as he is clearly nothing short of a prophet for the world’s eventual implosion, but you just can’t help yourself. It’s all so perfectly crafted and he’s often exactly right. Comedians often aim for darkness, in the same way that the later Harry Potter films told you they were dark, but you knew they still had wizards in them. Michael J Dolan is dark; if he’d have been in charge instead of Voldemort then the story of the ‘Boy Who Lived’ may have come to a very different conclusion. Mon 16 May, 8pm, tickets £5 

Culture Guides

Cinema

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

Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield

Exhibitions

Enjoy these brand new exhibitions (and hide from the late summer downpours) opening this month in Manchester and the North.

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.

Author Thea Lenarduzzi

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

We head into August with a whole lot of musical goodness to look forward to, from massive indie gigs to inner city electronic festivals.

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

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North as we head into autumn.

Tours and Activities

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

Things to do right now

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