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Big Value Thursday Fun

The Frog and Bucket offers four comedians and dancing at a laughable price

Published on February 6th 2008.

Big Value Thursday Fun

Two frogs are sitting on a lily pad, one turns to the other and says “time’s fun when you’re having flies!”

Alright, that was lame but it was the best I could come up with. As comedy icons go, frogs just aren’t up there with the elite, such as lightbulbs or mother-in-laws. As for buckets, I couldn’t think of anything remotely funny without having to refer to Keeping Up Appearances.

One frog, however is a comedy icon in the city, the whole country in fact. The Frog and Bucket, if you didn’t know, is Manchester’s top comedy club. Tucked away at the end of Oldham Street, it offers it’s punters a full bill of comedy talent in the relaxed and friendly surroundings of a local boozer. The atmosphere is as unpretentious as you’ll find anywhere in the city centre, with everyone, perfomers included, seemingly there to just have a great time.

The evening’s compere was Scotsman John Scott, a Frog favourite who kept the whole night hopping along nicely after his own short set. The Frog is a popular spot for group nights out, not something I’m usually a big fan of, but with guys like Scott the Scot it can make for hilarious moments of audience-baiting.

Stand-out acts on the night were Leigh based comic Mike Wilkinson, whose easy-going style made you feel like one of your mates was simply holding court, despite the fact that he had a microphone in his hand.

Headliner Nick Wilty was the other comic who made a great impact. It was a shame that some of the audience had moved on by the time he took to the stage, his brash Londoner act cleverly punctuated with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it witticisms and subtle remarks (my favourite being ‘I organized a trip to Egypt with my girlfriend, which was difficult ‘cos she’s fictional’).

Not every act was quite my cup of tea, but with four comics and an MC on offer, if you’re not too keen on one, it won’t be long before someone else is on tickling your funny bone. The Frog and Bucket gets some great acts on stage, from across the country, as well as the odd surprise. Pitching up a few months ago on the off-chance, I was lucky enough to catch the legendary Mick Miller on the mid-card.

So whether it’s on Big Value Thursday, ‘Beat The Frog’ (the weekly evening dedicated to amateur comics) on a Monday, or one of the weekend shows, give the Frog and Bucket a try for some laughs on a drab winter evening.

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