Over the years Wayne Williams and LOL! Manchester have put on plenty of comedy events around the area so it’s only proper that they should be part of the programme at the festival this year. Williams has put on a mammoth line up at Apotheca, the cosy bar in the Northern Quarter, as well as Moho Live and Simple in the same locality. So over a week into the festival I figured it was time to pay Apotheca a visit.
When I dropped in and caught the end of Leicester comedian Jim Smallman one man show where he was regaling with tales of what happened when he asked his audiences what’s the worst thing you’ve done when drunk.
Next show up was Ashley Frieze’s The Seven Deadly Sings. The show, which he performed for a couple of weeks run as part of the Free Fringe in Edinburgh this year, attempts to classify all the songs or sings into one of seven different categories – story, love, complacency, pain, attitude, novelty or commercial. It succeeds in displaying his musical talent and knowledge as well as his skills as a funnyman of course. Particular highlights include his pain song about a bad stay in a London hotel and how to diffuse a rap song.
Rounding off the night was The Great Big Comedy Picnic and Ian Fox joined Ashley Frieze in their double-header show that also ran at the Free Fringe this year. Fox told sharp one-liners featuring toaster revenge at the end of a relationship and a groping hiccup in the swimming baths. Then Frieze returned to the stage with an entirely different set of songs including a dedication to Manchester’s Lidl and his inadequacies in bed.


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