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Sweet sixteen comedy gigs to check out in June

Written by
Marissa Burgess

Ah Leeds in June, the beginnings of summer and the onslaught of comedians scrabbling to get their Edinburgh Fringe shows written and tested out in time for August. There's a few previews here as well as some big touring shows, regular club gigs and a celebration of the Magna Carta.

Comedy Cellar, Verve, Tue June 2 (and every Tuesday), Free
You know the drill by now, get down there, grab a beer (or a lemonade if that's your bag), kick back, chill out and give some of those new acts your love (no not like that naughty!).

Lee Nelson, Leeds City Varieties, Wed June 3, £20.60
Simon Brodkin's most famous creation has ditched the trackie and instead opted to be 'Suited and Booted' for his latest tour. Quite a turn up, but then it's not likely that the scally lad will let the shirt and tie change him too much.

Manford's Comedy Club, Pryzm, Fri 5 & Sat 6 June, £15
Lost Voice Guy, despite not being able to talk, is surprisingly chatty. The comedian uses an aid, not unlike the one Stephen Hawking uses, to communicate and perform his stand up. He's sharply witty and surprisingly quick off the mark. Mandy Knight comperes and Chris Washington and Dave Johns are also on the bill.

Paul Merton Impro Chums, Leeds City Varieties, Tue June 9, £21.60
Merton hits the road with his mates playing Whose Line is It Anyway? style improv games. Expect plenty of mucking about, probable corpsing and a lot of impromptu and accidental funnies. Many of the members have been in the Comedy Store Players for years so it'll be pretty slick.

Sitting Room Comedy, The Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, Thu June 11, £10
The monthly comedy night from the Sitting Room. This time around there are performances from the larger than life funnyman Jarred Christmas, kooky homemade laughs from Bec Hill, the deadpan wit of Dan Bland and Preston boy Dan Nightingale comperes.

Joe Bor, Carriageworks, Sat June 13, £10.50 (£8.50)
Jasper Cromwell Jones: This is Not A Holiday, sees a second outing for Bor's hapless upper class twit. Last time around the bumbling buffoon was heard to be on a precarious mountaineering trip. This time around it's the turn of the Australian outback for him to almost get himself nominated for a Darwin award in.

Comedy Sessions, HiFi Club, Sat May 16, £12 (£11 conc) on the door £10 (£9 conc) in advance
The weekly, quality comedy night at the HiFi club. Malawian comedian Daliso Chaponda began performing stand up in Canada but these days he's resident in the UK – the moving around bodes for plenty of cultural difference inspiration. Dan Nightingale has been tickling audiences for a while now with his upbeat material then there's Irish act Keith Farnan with some thoughtful musings.

Comedy Kaiju, Wharf Chambers, Wed June 17, Free
Edinburgh preview season continues at Kaiju with the 'Larger than Life' Monty Burns and the 'Larger than a lamp post' Rob Mulholland. There's additional chaos from Lincolnshire's Ed Craefae and Sheffield's Rich Milner. Host Dave Rivers is celebrating his birthday so expect more anarchy than usual. Last month, everyone went home with a free set of kitchen scales. That's true. Expect at least pastries. And maybe some pickles.

Jongleurs, Tiger Tiger, Fri 19 & Sat 20 June, £16.50
Kevin Gildea began his stand up career at the International Bar in Dublin performing in a trio called Mr Trellis with Barry Murphy and someone called Ardal O'Hanlon (sometimes known by the name of Father Dougal). Like most Irish comedians who were about in the nineties Gildea even had his own priest to portray, Father Cave. There's not likely to be any dressing up as priests here though.

Manford's Comedy Club, Pryzm, Fri 19 & Sat 20June, £15
Exuberant Aussie Damian Clark comperes this weekend at Jason Manford's club. It's really hard to feel glum with Clark around. Benny Boot has some delightful idiosyncracies in his set – often acting out his stories in a measured, assured and off beat style. The charming Brennan Reece and loveable Dan Nightingale make up the bill.

Kevin Bridges, Grand Theatre, Sun June 21, £28
The young Bridges rose fast through the comedy circuit on account of being one of those rare natural talents. Despite being a household name these days – especially in his native Scotland – he's not lost his edge, here he is with his latest show 'A Whole Different Story' in which he will no doubt create funny out of whatever has happened to him.

How Now Mrs Brown Cow, First Direct Arena, Tue 23 – Sat 27 June, £22.50
Not the most original comedy in the world, granted, but you can't underestimate the power of Brendan O'Carroll for making people of a certain age (and the rest) pee a bit when laughing. And it's always hysterical laughing too. That said O'Carroll's creation Mrs Brown, her asides to the crowd and sheer sense of fun are simply joyful. You might want to take a Tena lady for your mum though.

Kill for a Seat, SevenArts, Wed June 24, £11, £9 (conc)
Silky's lovely monthly gig in the cosy theatre space of the hip arts centre in Chapel Allerton. This time around there are performances from two fine acts on the circuit. Seymour Mace starred as both twin brothers Steve and Craig in BBC's 'Ideal', meanwhile his brilliant stand up has a fantastic surrealist edge. Complimenting him is relative newcomer, the very promising Peter Brush who also has some kooky one liners.

Mark Thomas, Carriageworks, Thu June 25, £10 (£8 conc, £7 seniors)
As a part of the British Library's Magna Carta celebrations, comedian and activist (or 'general rabble rouser' as he calls himself) Thomas travels the country finding out what people think should be in a modern bill of rights. He will collate, debate and consider all suggestions before a show at the British Library where a new bill of rights will be created. Silliness positively encouraged.

Ray Peacock, Carriageworks, Sat June 27, £10.50 (£8.50 conc)
Over the past few years Peacock has had plenty of opportunity to cultivate his naughty side. Paired with Ed Gamble the pair's live performances and podcast have always seen Gamble take the unlikely father role over Peacock. In 'Here Comes Trouble' St Helens' Peacock goes solo once more, collecting all his naughtiness up into one whole show all of his own.

Alan Carr, Grand Theatre, Sun June 28, £33
A clear famous telly name these days but Carr was another of those comedians who was funny from the very start. Even his third gig in the heat of a comedy competition in the upstairs room of a pub in Manchester was a tour de force of a set. Simply hilarious. He's still at it, not having exhausted himself with the chatting on TV. 'Yap, Yap, Yap!' is his latest show.

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