July Comedy Picks: How Ju-like that?

John Stansfield

Our comedy picks for Manchester and Liverpool in July – including Tim Key, Gein’s Family Giftshop and (more) Edinburgh previews…

Tim Key at Gorilla

Group Therapy plays host to Edinburgh darling and the hardest working poet in comedy Tim Key. Perhaps best known for his runs as Alan Partridge’s sidekick in Mid Morning Matters and Alpha Papa, Tim Key is a smart, subversive stand up that really is one not to miss. Sat 4 July, 7pm. Tickets £13/£11 Conc.

Gein’s Family Giftshop & Michael J Dolan at Tiger Lounge

Two of Manchester’s great hopes for Edinburgh Festival success put on a double bill of previews for just a fiver. Gein’s Family Giftshop were nominated Best Newcomer at last year’s Fringe, before going on to win the same accolade at the Chortle Awards earlier this year. Michael J Dolan regrettably had to cancel his Edinburgh show last year – but this time he’s taking up new show Miserable Guts in which the delightful misanthrope explains why we should all just give up, but you know, with jokes. Thu 23 July, 7pm. Tickets £5

Ben Kewin at Royal Exchange

Late year Ben Kewin presented Real Life at Gorilla and what followed was one of the most engrossing pieces of live comedy we’ve ever seen. A play in several parts, Kewin takes on the role of storyteller, as well as every other acting role in the play. With fantastic stage direction, inspired madness and wayward self-confidence he creates a morality tale nobody should pay heed, to but all should watch. Take a look at this Garth Marenghi style promo to get a taste of what to expect. Fri 24 July, 7.30pm. Tickets £12 / £10 Conc.

Foxdog Studios at The Lantern Theatre

Information technology and comedy rarely go in hand – neither does computing and rock ‘n’ roll. Try telling that to Foxdog Studios, self-described ‘I.T. rock and roll superstars’ and genuinely the most unique comedy experience you will ever attend. Interactive (using smart phones and Foxdog’s special brand of digital know-how, they sing), they dance and make you laugh, all whilst making you wonder how the hell they’re managing to do any of it. Wed 8 July, 8pm. Tickets £3 adv. / £4 OTD

Tez Ilyas & Johnny Pelham at Hot Water

Just one of a series of fantastic Sunday night double bills from Hot Water Comedy at The Holiday Inn as some of the area’s best comedians road test their Edinburgh shows. We’ve chosen this one in particular due to the excitement already amassing around these two acts. Tez Ilyas’ TEZ Talks and Jonny Pelham’s Before and After are both met with high expectations as the pair are both former finalists of the prestigious BBC New Comedy Award. At only £3 you can check out tomorrow’s talent today. Sun 19 July, 7pm. Tickets £3

Glenn Wool & Markus Birdman at The Unity Theatre

Glenn Wool and Markus Birdman will be previewing their works in progress entitled Creator, I am But A Pawn and Grimm Realities respectively. Canadian Wool will be dissecting the role God has in his life, but with more of a mind that there’s got to be someone pulling the strings up there otherwise he wouldn’t do so many ridiculous things. Markus Birdman, meanwhile, tackles the Grimm Fairy Tales with his hitherto unseen artistic side thanks to his preacher man father making him draw bible stories as a child. They’re performing on the same evening but are ticketed separately. Tue 21 July, 7pm & 9pm. Tickets £5 for each show

Culture Guides

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!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella

Literature

There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.

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.

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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Compass Festival 2022
Activity Until 27 November 2022, FREE

Compass Festival 2022

sunny bank mills
Activity Until 27 November 2022, from £2.00

Sunny Bank Mills Christmas Art & Makers Market

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