Marissa's Manchester Comedy Festival Diary - Soup Kitchen - 20th Oct

Back in the Northern Quarter again tonight for a couple of gigs at Soup Kitchen. Despite it having been open in the NQ for a while I'd never been in so next time will sample the food there I reckon too. But tonight just the comedy.

First up was another show I missed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Brett Goldstein Grew Up In A Strip Club. Despite the slightly salacious sounding title this one man comedic monologue is a sensitively written story of the year he came of age. In 2001 Goldstein's father had a spectacular mid life crisis leaving Goldstein's mother and buying a strip club in Marbella with a friend. At a loose end after University Brett found himself installed as the junior manager and having to 'man up' pretty quickly when things got a touch hairy on the Costa Del Crime. It's a thoroughly engaging hour and Goldstein's background as a trained actor shows in his use of theatrical nuances. The narrative itself is well written with frequent repetition of phrases to emphasise a point. Goldstein effortlessly conjures empathy and evokes the tale so effectively you can picture it – strippers and all.

Also with a beautifully crafted turn of phrase is Nick Sun, watching him is a unique and utterly unpredictable experience. I saw him in Edinburgh last year and he amused and scared me in almost equal measure – as all good comedy should. He won So You Think You're Funny back in 2004 and it's easy to see why. In Golden Showers of Love Sun cuts a misanthropic figure, one who likes nothing more than to disconcert, provoke and his audience rather. He creates an atmosphere where anything could happen - though it will probably involve him asking you to look into his belly button as it can see into the future. At his most conventional he offers helpful tips on how to keep nutters away on the bus and offering himself as a human exhibit at the zoo, elsewhere he rails into the mic, full of self loathing and if the gig's going too well he plonks himself down in the front row to heckle himself. Playing around with notions of race (he's of mixed ethnicity and origin) he eventually declares himself a black woman. Brilliant, rule breaking comedy.

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