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Cathy’s comedy column

Welcome to the new Manchester Confidential comedy feature and to Cathy Elliott, who will be keeping you up-to-date on all the events, gossip and goings-on in Manchester’s comedy world

Published on March 1st 2007.

Cathy’s comedy column

Hello there,
If you’re a dedicated follower of live comedy or just like a good laugh, I hope I can uncover the delights and degenerates of Manchester’s Comedy World for your enjoyment. For this month, I’m focusing on a North West Comedy Award winner and gig highlights for March. So, first up is the Frog & Bucket Comedy Club…


Winner of the 2006 North West Comedy Awards ‘Best Comedy Club’, the Frog & Bucket has grown from a back street pub set-up to the smooth operating, but still down-to-earth venue that celebrates all that comedy has to offer.

Owned by the cigar aficionado David Perkins, the club has become somewhat of a legend in the city, along with him too. When I moved to Manchester over 12 years ago, the Frog was a popular haunt for me as a student because they served sandwiches at 11 o’clock (for licensing reasons). This was very welcome fodder, although in return my mate and I had to accept that we were going to have the right royal taken out of us for living in Owens Park and paying for take-aways with a cheque. Well, just the once.

The most bizarre night I have spent in the Frog was a Christmas gig around four years ago. The show was headlined by Johnny Vegas, who stripped down to his underpants and staged an alternative nativity play with members of the audience. Money can’t buy that kind of entertainment, nor the uncomfortable feeling of seeing a half naked, sweaty Johnny Vegas in such close proximity.

The Frog & Bucket has deservedly won the Best Comedy Club for 2006 as it celebrates comedy in all forms; from their nerve-wracking open mic spot on a Monday, to their accessible night for disabled comedy fans, and from their double New Year’s Eve events with one of the few midnight balloon drops in town (according to David) to their premier weekend nights, which showcase national and international acts - thankfully including a number of Manc-grown comedians.

Next month you can enjoy some of the country’s best female comedy talent at the Frog, including Jo Enright who you may know as Brian Potter’s shot-lived girlfriend in Phoenix Nights, and a Laughing Cows Sunday night headlined by Barbara Nice, who appeared as the religious Phoenix Nights barmaid. Weekend acts for the Irish Comedy Festival (16 & 17 March) include the energetic and irresistible John Ryan and the impish, Irish charm of fast-talking Janice Phayre, all kept in order by local long-haired favourite, Mick Ferry.

Don’t Miss Manchester Irish Comedian of the Year 2007!

This competition aspires to find the next Father Ted for this year’s Manchester Irish Festival. The final heat is on Wednesday 8 March at M19 Bar on Stockport Road, Levenshulme (£3 entry) and the Grand Final takes place on Monday 19 March at the Pack Horse Pub (£5 adv) also on Stockport Road, which will feature local comedian and radio presenter, Jason Manford. Oh, go on, go on, go on…

In comedy? Then get in touch!

If you’re working in Manchester’s comedy world, let me know what you’re up to by emailing me at here

So, have a good March and if you have any comedy celebrity spots or quotes, let me know. Enjoy! Cathy 

Cathy Elliott

Email me

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