Friday nights at the Manchester’s comedy store plays host to the best in stand-up. The venue is situated on the stunning Deansgate Locks, Friday evenings are very popular with most of the 500 seats in the auditorium taken. There is a great choice of packages for the evening of food and entertainment, regular seating and Premier seating are available at a great price.
The MC for the evening was Rich Wilson wearing his Levi jeans and waistcoat warmed the lively crowd up with his interactions with the audience getting to know them by asking questions ad hoc, with a stag party presents on the second row it was destined for an evening of banter.
Five acts were lined up for the evening three in the first half and two after the interval.
First up was Carl Donnelly wearing his black jeans, orange jacket and long necklace a 34-year-old comedian who started performing stand up in 2005 and quickly established himself as one of the U.K.’s most exciting young comedians. Carl has performed at the Edinburgh fringe, Melbourne International comedy festival and Sydney comedy festival. Carl has appeared on various TV shows and is a regular and radio.
Carl immediately latched onto the Stag party and delivered some fantastically funny jokes regarding “the right one”, “Haribo kid”, “breaking wind”, “fifty shades of grey” and sex toys made from swimming armbands. The audience clearly enjoyed Carl’s performance and he had been hungry for more as the MC Rich Wilson took to the stage to introduce the second act.
Second up was a comedian who wasn’t on the original bill called Rahul from Newcastle wearing his chequered shirt, jeans and Nike trainers told jokes regarding “integration”, “politics”, “EU”, “political correctness”, “paedophiles”, “refugees” and “Isis” all very risky and a little too controversial at times. This young man wasn’t one of the favourites and his act was a little too topical but the audience did find some of his material funny.
Third up before the interval was Roger Monkhouse a very funny and confident comedian dressed in his white shorts, T-shirts and sandals had the audience belly laughing as he described himself and his bald lookalikes. Roger’s original and quirky performances has made him one of the hottest names on the comedy circuit. His performance was slick and perfectly timed with a stunning content of jokes ranging from “you look like a thumb”, Glasgow jokes from diet, alcohol, drug abuse, Jihad and Glasgow on fire had the audience in stitches. Again using the stag as bait he continued to describe marriage as a cage fight to the death, with good days and bad days ending his hilarious act with his tales of divorce, masturbating and crying at the same time finishing off with global warming. Roger was clearly the standout performance of the night with his quick whit and ability to ad hoc throughout.
During the interval you can get yourself another drink and if you want you can buy one of the comedy store’s delicious home-made 12 inch pizzas if you are feeling hungry. The staff at the comedy store enhance the evenings experience as they are always so friendly and very welcoming, the bar is well staffed so you never have to wait long to be served. The seating area in the bar is adequate to allow you to sit down if you wish during the break. The toilets are situated downstairs in the restaurant which is the only disadvantage as you have to negotiate your way down a spiral staircase to access that the facilities, ladies wearing high heels and consuming alcohol can prove all too risky at the end of a evening but the toilets are clean and have lots of cubicles which is a great advantage not having to queue as so many of the venues do not have adequate toilets for the visiting clients.
After the break first up was Alistair Barrie dressed in his chequered shirt, red pants and trainers, Alistair has performed all over the world and is in demand as both as a headline act and MC. Alistair is a member of the cutting edge team at London’s comedy store and has made numerous radio and TV appearances. Alistair’s jokes were very topical regarding things like Pokémon Go and the Nice lorry attack leaving the audience slightly unsettled. Alistair’s act remain topical and very politically orientated, the audience enjoyed some of this material but for me it was too close to the knuckle for my liking.
The final act of the evening was Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue the double act dressed in matching blue velvet jackets with one wearing his pants inside out and back to front performed fabulously using only props and a medley of songs. This act was not only cleverly put together but seamless and hilariously funny ending the evening on a high.
The comedy store is a fantastic venue to spend an evening in, as the staff are fabulous, the food is delicious and the entertainment is outstanding.
Reviewer: Katie Leicester
Reviewed: 15th July 2016