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A massive 19 comedy things to do this month

Written by
Marissa Burgess

Stop sunbathing, you'll only get tan lines and grass cuttings in your pants. Put that wooly back on and get into a sweaty overcrowded dark room and take in some of this little lot. There's news of a festival too, don't be scrolling down prematurely though...

Manford's Comedy Club, Pryzm, Fri 1 & Sat 2 May, £15
Kicking off the month at Jason Manford's club is a fine line up of acts. St Helens' cheekiest Dave Twentyman introduces double act (though you could've probably guessed that) Raymond and Mr Timpkins – who have props and daftness in equal measure, innovative thinking from relative newcomer Nick Dixon and the promising Rob Mulholland who is as tall as he is funny (he's very tall).

Mitch Benn, Carriageworks, Sat May 2, £13 (£12 conc)
Regular Now Show songster Benn presents his latest musical comedy show Don't Believe a Word where 'he debunks myths, exposes nonsense and grapples with the very nature of knowledge itself extolling the virtues of an evidence-based approach to life'. Not that you should believe what he says, you might want to check it on google it afterwards...

Luke Wright, Carriageworks, Thu May 7, £10.50, £8.50 conc
Ok, ok comedy purists, he's technically a poet but he's pretty funny too. A dynamic performer and wannabe Stay At Home Dandy. Wright likes nothing better than to have a flounce in a frilly shirt but unfortunately the kids need taking to school and there's jam butties to make.

Richard Herring, Leeds City Varieties, Sat May 9, £15.60
Herring has produced a witty but weighty solo show (almost) every year since 2001, tackling topics such as death, religion, the horrors of turning 40 and even conducting extensive research into the penis. Twice. This year's show, Lord of the Dance Settee, throws out all that intelligent researched material and instead embraces the silly - both metaphorically and literally bouncing up and down on the sofa with glee.

Carly Smallman and Tom Allen, Carriageworks, Sat May 9, £10.50, £8.50 conc
A double header of solos shows. Carly Smallman, the sassy lady with a guitar, thought she had it all - house, boyfriend, ITV2 show, then she read the tweets…with Made in Penge she sticks it to the haters. Tom Allen, the slightly posh, measured raconteur, shares the wisdom of adapting to what life has given you and how to ride it with style.

Reduced Shakespeare Company, Leeds, City Varieties, Sun May 10, £17.60
Having already rendered to miniature form the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible the Reduced Shakespeare Company tackle The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged). You're certainly guaranteed your money's worth that's for sure.

Manford's Comedy Club, Pryzm, Fri 15 & Sat 16 May, £15
There's something instantly recognisable about Seymour Mace. Though his part in BBC3's Ideal wasn't huge people would still stop him in the street. Maybe it's the slightly goofy, bespectacled face and the mellifluous Geordie accent. Behind it all though is a sharp comedic mind, an often off the wall gem of the comedy circuit who deserves to be much better known. Still, us connoisseurs will keep him to ourselves for now...

Comedy Sessions, HiFi Club, Sat May 16, £12 (£11 conc) on the door £10 (£9 conc) in advance
Pippa Evans is one versatile comedian. A queen of improvisation when she's not performing actual improv with the likes of Showstoppers, she's using the skill to keep her stand up fresh. She's also created an arsenal of comedy characters. Who knows who she'll be tonight. Sharp witted Geordie Barry Dodds is also on the bill.

Rich Hall, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sun May 17, £18
The American comedian who splits his time between the UK and the vast landscapes of Montana. Before he headed over here his grouchy, sardonic approach led Matt Groening to base the character of Mo in The Simpsons on him. He's partial to a bit of country too having banged out a few award winning tunes as his wonderfully crafted alter ego - several times married to a woman named Brenda - Otis Lee Crenshaw.

Comedy Kaiju, Wharf Chambers, Wed May 20, Free
The monthly comedy night at the cooperative begins the season of Edinburgh Fringe previews. Costing no money at all and within short travelling distance of your own bed afterwards it's definitely a cheaper option. Flexing their Fringe muscles are the reigning English Comedian of the Year Jack Campbell and BBC Comedy Award Finalist Dan Nicholas with their solo shows. Compere Dave Rivers hosts and provides the cup cakes.

Tim Vine, Leeds City Varieties, Wed 20 and Thu 21, May, £21.60
He bloody loves a good pun does Vine. And they'll be plenty here, you can guarantee it. Even the title of his show Tim Timinee Tim Timinee Tim Tim To You gives away his love of a play on words. Remarkably this is his first tour in four years so we've got him back from mucking about on the telly with Lee Mack. For the time being at least.

Katherine Ryan, Leeds City Varieties, Fri May 22, £15.10
With the sad demise of Joan Rivers last year, there's a space for a queen of the cutting remark and Ryan could easily fill it. The sardonic Canadian is fast becoming a familiar face to UK audiences has already popped up on plenty of panel shows; she's sharper and more acidic than a citrus fruit convention – she'll go far.

House of Fun, The Original Oak, Fri May 22, £7 advance, £8 on the door
The monthly Headingley based comedy night. This month with Phoenix Nights' 'tiger face' Justin Moorhouse, musical comedy from Andy Askins and the ever cheery Dan Nightingale. Get down there and support your local comedy club Headingley.

Leeds Comedy festival, Various venues, Sat 23 – Fri 29 May
A week long celebration of comedy with the likes of Nick Helm, David Trent and Chris Ramsey. Watch this space. I mean it, don't go anywhere. Not even to put the kettle on. Or to the loo.

Milton Jones, Leeds Grand Theatre, Tue May 26, £27
Another one-liner merchant on tour, but whereas Tim Vine is silly, Jones is a touch other worldly - as well as sporting electric plug socket hair and a bad shirt. With Milton Jones … And The Temple of Daft he may well be sporting a fedora and a bullwhip too. Supply your own pit of snakes.

Little Howard's Big Show, Carriageworks, Tue May 26, £9.50 £8.50 conc
Yes, technically it's for kids but… Read has been performing with his six year old animated fella for ten years now (it's best you don't try and work that out) putting on shows that are a mix of stand up, computer animation and downright silliness. It's a concept that works. If you haven't got any of your own grab a child and drag them along – though you might want to mention it to their parents first.

Kill For a Seat, Seven Arts, Wed May 27, £11 (£9 conc)
Silky's monthly gig. Here he introduces former circus performer Martin Mor who can fire a pistol with his nipple (and you never know when that might come in useful) as well as sporting an impressive beard and being very funny. He's joined by Kate Smurthwaite who performs witty topical humour from a feminist perspective.

Jeremy Hardy, Leeds City Varieties, Fri May 29, £14
Still touring after 31 years in comedy, sadly due to the continuing political turmoil in the world the satirical comedian isn't short of something to say. Still, at least that's a silver lining. So off he trundles packing his favourite cardi and Thermos flask in the boot of the car. But don't be deceived by the knitwear – his sharp tongue is fearless.

Jongleurs, Tiger Tiger, Fri 29 & Sat 30 May 
Carey Marx has never shied away from causing a bit of offence. Not that his comedy is massively controversial just that he has an impish sense of humour, ever teasing and pushing at boundaries of taste. In the last few years though his material has turned a little more personal, having suffered a heart attack he decided to write new stuff about his dance with death.

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