February Comedy Picks: The shortest month? You're having a laugh.

John Stansfield
Rob Auton's face

Our comedy picks for Manchester and Liverpool – including David O’Doherty, Eggs Collective and Mark Watson.

The shortest month of the year has managed to cram a whole heap of comedy into its 28 days. And, as the successful shows from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe begin to tour the nation, we pick our favourites for February –Manchester first, then Liverpool.

Eggs Collective at Contact

Another homecoming gig of sorts for this strange cabaret from the supermarket spirit aisle: Sara Cocker, Lowri Evans and Léonie Higgins are Eggs Collective, and they’re taking over Contact Theatre for three nights. After a very successful Fringe run they are back in Manchester to deliver Rosé-soaked performances as part of Queer Contact 2015. This smart and energetic threesome deliver a evening of smart satire, hilarious friendship dissections and an exploration of what it is to be kind – all set against the backdrop of one epic night on the tiles. 9.30pm, 5-7 February. Tickets £13/7.

David O’Doherty at The Dancehouse

Claiming he “Has Checked Everything” with his latest show, Ireland’s greatest keyboardist* David O’Doherty takes his musical musings to the Dancehouse Theatre as he goes in the pursuit of happiness. Whether or not this can be provided by a girlfriend, a pizza cutter or a North Face jacket is something you’ll find out at the end of this hour of meandering mindscape from O’Doherty. 8pm, 13 February. Tickets £14/16. *probably not.

Rob Auton at The King’s Arms

One for fans of more abstract comedy, Rob Auton invites anyone who has a face (or has seen someone with a face) down to his show at The King’s Arms in Salford. This might at first sound all inclusive, but Auton’s work is very much at the “cult” end of the comedy spectrum. A prolific writer and performer, the York-born comedian is a great crafter of gags, winning Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe back in 2013. This show is strikingly original – may make you wonder how and why faces are made. 7.30pm, 19 February. Tickets £8/6.

Mark Watson at Unity Theatre

Mark Watson is the kind of comedian who can just chat for hours and be hilarious. His most recent stand up show, Flaws, looks into what makes us human – and the problems we face in adulthood that we’d rather not speak of. Outrageously funny and heartbreakingly accurate, he maps out the deepest, darkest secrets you thought were yours alone. 7.30pm, 16-17 February. Tickets £17.

Silky at The Slaughter House

Self-described “Scouser in exile” Silky is back in his place of birth (well, close enough – he’s from Crosby) peddling his unique brand of musical comedy at The Slaughter House. A veteran of the scene, Silky came to prominence with the likes of Julian Barratt and Daniel Kitson in the early 1990s, with a more surreal style of comedy than the clubs were used to. He has since set up his own gigs across the country to show that stand up needn’t be a nasty and nihilistic affair. Fine support comes Marlon Davis, Tanyalee Davis and Chris Cairns. 7.30pm, 28 February. Tickets £17.50.

Culture Guides

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.

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!