Feeling blue? Our top comedy picks for Manchester & Liverpool

John Stansfield
Red tinged photo of Briget Christie

No need to feel sad as winter sets in – well, not if you partake of our comedic highlights, anyway.

Noel Fielding

Embarking on his first solo stand-up tour after mammoth quests with The Mighty Boosh, everyone’s favourite goblin prince, Noel Fielding brings a show that is a mash-up of everything he excels at: sketch, stand-up, animation and characters. Always inventive and still showing an energy that belies his age (he turned 41 this year), Fielding continues to inspire with his surreal slant on the art of comedy. 21 November, O2 Apollo Manchester. Tickets £25.

Bridget Christie

The beauty of comedy is that when people are laughing they hang on your every word, and with such power there is a temptation to add in as much of a message as possible. Bridget Christie has managed to turn her indignation at the world’s treatment of women into some inspired comedy. The ludicrous nature of sexism in the UK alone is mined for a great wealth, and it’s no wonder that the first show she had at The Lowry sold out lightning quick, leading to this tacked-on end of tour encore. Go see her before this show sells out again. 22 November, The Lowry, Manchester. Tickets £14-16.

Sara Pascoe vs. History

Performing in the same building, on the same night, is Sara Pascoe. To say that she might profit from the run off of Bridget Christie’s gig would be massively unfair to this Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominee. Sharp, insightful and brimming with intelligent wit, Pascoe is marking herself out as one of the best comedians in the country. With an honest approach to the medium, she says what’s in her mind – which is a lot. Be it relationship anxiety, the candid way in which her mother taught her about the female body, or the impact that being a monkey has had on the human body, Sara Pascoe takes on history – and wins. 22 November, The Lowry. Tickets £10-12.

Hot Water Comedy

Liverpool’s most daring comedy club, Hot Water has a history of promoting new and more obscure acts, believing that the comedy, instead of a name, should speak for itself. Resident compere Paul Smith introduces three acts that you might not be aware of, but should certainly keep an eye out for. Pete Otway is a genial presence instantly at ease in the room. He riffs on modern problems that are instantly recognizable. Canadian comic Jon Hastings is fresh off the back of a very successful Edinburgh run, where he was handpicked by the BBC as one of the best young comics of the festival. And, finally, Liverpudlian Liam Bolton is a man who just has funny bones. Seemingly uninterested in the audience’s reaction, Bolton is there to amuse himself. Thankfully he manages to entertain the whole room by doing so. 28 November, The Holiday Inn, Liverpool. Tickets from £10.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Black and white classics and a Tarantino-scripted pop-thriller are amongst our Valentine’s themed picks for February.

Exhibitions

The world of art and exhibitions never quite stops, so we have lots of new shows to look forward to at the start of 2023.

The Spongebob Musical at the Manchester Opera House

Families

New year, new start, and what better way to welcome in 2023 than by planning and experiencing all sorts of exciting family events in Manchester and the North?

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie

Literature

From local writing to international talent, we have heaps of online launches and in real life readings not to mention some extra special festival events coming our way in live literature land.

Music

More brilliant gigs appear on the horizon as we inch further into 2023.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Queer Contact Festival, stunning physical theatre and intimate in-the-round performance top our eclectic list of drama, comedy and dance this month.

Classical Music

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

Food and Drink

Start 2023 as you mean to go on, with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Eat your way through Ancoats, build a miniature eco-system and immerse yourself in visual art in this month’s tours and activities guide.

Things to do right now

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