The Comedy Store is located at the heart of Manchester: sandwiched between the nightclub ARK and the Japanese restaurant Sakura, this comedy round-up is the perfect compère to a night out in Manchester.
I visited on Saturday, the ‘Best in Stand-Up’ night, and paid £15 for my student ticket. Standard tickets cost £24.50 (including fees). The night was comprised of five comedians: I was surprised because the website did not mention that the compère is included in the number of acts. There is also the À La Carte ticket option (£44) as well as a ticket which provides guests with a glass of Prosecco for an extra £5.
So, is The Comedy Store worth the price on the ticket?
The atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive: groups of people milled outside the store and around the bar chatting and drinking. The decor is understated, the most striking design being the bright red lips which make The Comedy Store’s logo. Pictures of previous comedians are pinned to the wall, which gives an indication as to The Comedy Store’s long running history and pride.
There is a charming authenticity to The Comedy Store. The audience sits in a basement in close proximity to the low stage, occasionally straining to hear the comedian over the rumble of the overhead train.
The comedians (Danny Mcloughlin, Dane Baptiste, Eleanor Tiernan, and Mike Gunn) tackled the issues of today: insane uncles, the differences between men and women, and inheritance after a bereavement. Mike admitted that when his father buys something, he despairs, wondering what use he will have for it in the future.
Danny, Dane, and Mike handled the hecklers well. In conversation with one of the audience members, Dane said that he did not smoke weed to which the man shouted, ‘Liar!’ His girlfriend turned to look at him accusingly, until the audience member shrugged his shoulders.
Eleanor was far more nervous than the other performers. Her jokes did not land in the way that the other performers’ did. Her one liners seemed to ramble on so much that I forgot the beginning. Her set was just that: a list of one liners, the stories in them not really linked together, at least not as effortlessly as the other comics’.
Mike was by far the best performer. His bawdy, crude humour had the crowd in stitches. He struck a cord by mentioning the sort of things children make at school: egg cartons covered in glitter, lop-sided drawings with the world’s smallest calendar stuck on the bottom. He summed his thoughts up in one question: ‘What the fuck is that?’
Despite a few bumps in the road (short silences, and moments where I wondered if Eleanor had forgotten her next story) The Comedy Club is well worth the price on the ticket. The comedians were so funny, and the atmosphere was so easy, that I felt like I had only been there for ten minutes (the event runs for two and a half hours with a fifteen minute break). If you are still indecisive, there are cheaper tickets. On ‘Stand Up Thursday’ night, standard tickets are just £12, and concessions are only £8.
My only regret is not buying the T-shirt.