Marissa's Manchester Comedy Festival Diary - Soup Kitchen - 29th Oct

So the penultimate night of the festival and a return visit to the lovely Soup Kitchen venue. After some actual soup – I can recommend the beetroot and horseradish, lovely. In fact the recommendation comes from Nick Sun last weekend so you can thank him.

Anyway back to the comedy I'd popped in to catch Manc based Preston comic Phil Ellis' tea time show and bumped into comedian Susan Vale beforehand in the bar/café upstairs. Armed with a cream cake she was to have a small part in Ellis' show. Come show time, though the number in for the teatime show was reasonable many already knew Ellis. His shtick is largely to chat to the crowd and improvise off them little difficult if you last saw said audience member last Tuesday. So gathering together his pink post sticks everyone retired to the bar instead. I never did find out what the cake was for.

Thom Tuck's show however went ahead as planned. This year at the Edinburgh Fringe the acclaimed Victorian gentlemen sketch troupe The Penny Dreadfuls parted company to put on solo shows. Each of their shows garnered great acclaim too and Tuck was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for best newcomer (as it was his first solo show it still counts as a debut solo). It's easy to see why. Like Goldstein's show here the week before, Tuck draws on his theatre training for a show that mixes stand up with relatively straight theatre. On one hand Tuck chats to his crowd about the 'Straight to DVD' of the title Disney films; those extra flicks made by the company to squeeze as much money as possible out of the original cinema released movie. Then he pauses to withdraw into a series of poignant monologue pieces about all the girls that have broken his heart. It's a effective and moving device making for a show that's not simply about trawling through a load of largely bad animated DVDs. Though I do worry for his sanity after all that research.

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