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Out top three comedy choices for the week

tony law press

Another busy week in the autumn comedy schedule with a first birthday, a charity night at a club that's a bit off the beaten track and a visit from one of the coolest men in comedy.

Thu November 13
Sham Bodie – The Castle Hotel
This quirky night isn't made up of pure comedy, it's more a cavalcade of eclectic entertainment that is heavy on the laughs but it's one that always seeks out the unconventional. This is its first birthday so the folks behind Sham Bodie have gone all Willie Wonka on us issuing 50 golden tickets (it's a small venue) for their birthday bash. The comedy on the celebratory bill is provided by Dan Lees and Liam Bolton. Lees is a clown, not the red-nosed and big-shoed types of your worse nightmares but the kind that leave you looking at the world from a slightly different perspective. Bolton is an off the wall, prop-loving performer - check out Danger Precinct on YouTube which he co-wrote with comedian George Cottier to get an idea. In addition there's magic from Andrew James and jazz from Kirk Mcelhinney.

Sat November 15
Off The Rails – The Royal George
Unless you happen to be a Saddleworth resident you're gonna have to get the train for this one but it's well worth making the trip out of Manchester. Run by seasoned promoter Rob Riley for the past 12 years Off The Rails has become a fixture for both the locals and the Greater Manchester comedy scene as Riley is a discerning booker. The night is usually on the last Sunday of the month but often plays host to one-off solo shows and charity nights like this one in aid of Oldham Mountain Rescue. There's musical daftness from Duncan Oakley, the wide-eyed coiled-spring that is Rob Rouse and affable Welshman Dan Mitchell while Riley himself comperes proceedings.

Sun November 16
Tony Law - The Lowry
Law has been both confounding and tickling comedy audiences across two decades now. The former farm boy from rural Canada is a true random gem. Though some of us have had him pegged as an absurd genius from day one, recent years have seen his glorious nonsense form itself into something that almost passes for coherence - though not too much or that would be disappointing. The development won him plaudits from critics and award nods - winning Amused Moose Laughter Award at the Fringe in 2011 and he was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award the following year. This time he knots a 'distraction' into his hair and slips into his beloved unitard to dance expressively, tell a sad story and do something beautiful with a beach ball. It'll make you cry almost as hard as you laugh.

Words: Marissa Burgess