April Comedy Picks: April fools

John Stansfield
Milton Jones in cowboy hat

Our comedy picks for Manchester and Liverpool – including Milton Jones, the Found Footage Festival and The Green Party.

Barking Tales at Joshua Brooks

Aiming to start a conversation on mental health in this country, the whimsical Harriet Dyer is hoping that comedy will be the best route into what is quite the touchy subject for some. Barking Tales will have comics speaking about their run-ins with mental illness, be it their own or those that are close to them. The first show will feature turns from Michael J Dolan, Dean Mavros and Felicity Ward, all breaking the taboo of mental illness in comedy. Thur 2 April, 8pm. Tickets £5.

Big Green Comedy Show at The Dancehouse

In this day and age you can hardly call yourself a political party without an accompanying comedy tour. Although, the prospect of a UKIP stand up hour fills us with absolute dread… However, the progressive chaps at The Green Party have pulled together a great line-up to help people laugh through these awful times in which we live. Headlining is Guardian darling and King of the apathetic thinkers Liam Williams. Nominated for best show at last year’s Fringe for his show ‘Capitalism’, Williams riffs on modern life with an eloquent Yorkshire tongue. A comic to keep an eye out for, he is joined by Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, Red Redmond, Ben Van der Velde for a ‘political party’ that might not be an oxymoron for once. Thur 23 April, 8pm. Tickets £10/£7 conc.

Milton Jones at The Lowry

A whole show of one liners can get very tiresome, something Milton Jones is all too aware of –though this doesn’t mean he’s going to stop anytime soon. Like all great comedians Jones knows when to push his audience to the limit; he holds back at times, then comes back even more relentless with his puns, groanable word play and jokes as outlandish as his wardrobe. A master of his craft, tickets for this won’t stick around for long – so make sure you get yours before it’s too late. Sun 26 April, 8pm. Tickets £25.

Matchbox Comedy at Lantern Theatre

The third instalment of Matchbox comedy sees no dip in its comedic output, with a roster that brings together the best alternative acts from both Manchester and Liverpool. Surreal and awkward character-based comedy courtesy of Jayne Edwards and the majestic misanthropy of ex-child star Liam Pickford will be heading along the M62 to the Lantern Theatre, whereas Liverpool’s sketch dynamos The Legion of Doom and the diminutive charms of Adam Staunton provide the homemade flavours. It’s dead cheap, too. Wed 8 April, 8pm. Tickets £3.

Comedy Cellar at The Magnet

If you were to meet Benny Boot in a bar in Australia you might give his wide stare and intangible mind ramblings a wide berth, but when placed in front of a microphone it’s impossible to take your eyes off the jittery antipodean. Boot captures audiences with his bizarre tales and manic turns of phrase, which can form the basis of another madcap anecdote with killer punchlines. Able to break down the art of performing without sounding pretentious, he is one to keep a look out for. Fri 24 April, 8pm. Tickets £12.

Found Footage Festival at A Small Cinema

If you’ve ever stumbled across and enjoyed a retro VHS for an exercise class or instructions for ‘How to have sex on the internet’, this is the show for you, because you can’t possibly have as many videos as Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett. Friends since they were eleven, they’ve been collecting and swapping odd bits of film ever since. The Found Footage Festival tour shows off the good work of weirdos who thankfully had the good grace to film their own exploits.  From educational gems about ‘whelping’ to a video called ‘Screeching for Jesus’, they’ve found something for everyone. Fri 24 April, 8pm. Tickets £11.

Culture Guides

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean

Literature

There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.

Music

The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

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 for autumn.

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022

Cinema

Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry

Families

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £3.50

Knittaz with Attitude: Yarnbombing at Upside Down Coffee

Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME