Live Comedy coming to Liverpool venues in 2023
Liverpool’s been called a capital of comedy and has certainly punched above its weight when it comes to giving the world funnymen and women.
So it’s perhaps no surprise we love having a laugh – and that comedians from across the country – and beyond – bring their live shows to the city’s many venues.
Along with bespoke comedy hot spots like Laughterhouse, Hot Water Comedy Club and Liverpool Comedy Club, star names and rising talents also perform at mainstream locations like the Philharmonic Hall, Epstein Theatre, Royal Court Studio and M&S Bank Arena.
The next 12 months are no exception, and comedy fans are in for a treat with a host of names heading for the city with their latest live stand-up shows.
Here’s who you can catch where during 2023.
As we reel from one global crisis to another, why not join comedian Russell Howard (the ‘uplifting comedy king’) as he puts the world to rights in his own unique way over three nights at the Liverpool Empire.
Howard’s latest Liverpool visit is part of a wider UK tour with his new stand-up show.
Frankie Boyle brings his new show Lap of Shame to the Empire for one night only.
Buy a ticket, because by the time he arrives the currency will be worthless, and you and your neighbours part of a struggling militia that could probably use a few laughs.
Warning (if you need it): The show will include strong language.
John Richardson: The Knitwit
Fans of the diffident comedian have had to wait to see him – this show was postponed from November, but such is Richardson’s popularity that demand means he’s also now playing an extra date.
Will the recycling be put out on the right day? Who is going to smooth over the top of the margarine? And how many lights are on upstairs when everyone is downstairs? Watch Richardson pretend these aren’t his main concerns as he heads out on tour.
Harry Hill: Pedigree Fun!
Harry Hill is back with new jokes in an all-singing, all-dancing one man spectacular which he’s promised will be a ‘very silly show’.
The Liverpool audience will meet Hill’s new baby elephant Sarah and Ian the information worm, while the doctor-turned-comedian will also be joined by his famous sidekick, Stouffer the Cat.
Stewart Lee: Basic Lee
After decades of “high concept shows involving overarched interlinked narratives, massive sets and enormous comedy props”, Stewart Lee enters the post-pandemic world in streamlined stand-up mode.
Expect one man, one mic – and one mic in the wings in case the one on stage breaks! Pure, simple, classic, basic Lee. Apparently.
Babatunde Aleshe: Babahood
March 24 (Music Room)
Comedian – and multi award-winning star of Celebrity Gogglebox – Babatunde Aleshe (pictured) talks family and fatherhood in what is a highly-anticipated debut tour.
If you’ve seen him on TV (Jonathan Ross’s Comedy Club, Mo Gilligan’s Black, British and Funny) now’s the chance to see Aleshe in the flesh too. But only if you’ve already got a ticket as his Music Room show is already a sell-out.
Sara Pascoe: Success Story
Pascoe decided at 14 that she wanted to be famous and since then she has auditioned for Barrymore, scared Pete Burns and ruined Hugh Grant’s birthday. But look at her now!
The comedian, writer and actor wrote and starred in the recent BBC2 sitcom Out of Her Mind, and when she’s not writing best-selling books and creating successful podcasts, you can find her on the Great British Sewing Bee.
Laughterhouse returns to the Philharmonic Hall after a successful Christmas show, promising a fantastic line up of top comedians to tickle its audience’s ribs.
David O’Doherty, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Clinton Baptiste, Mick Miller, Emmanuel Sonubi and Paul Sinha are currently on the bill, with Chris Cairns acting as MC for what should be a hilarious night of comedy.
Phil Wang: Wang in There, Baby
Hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed Netflix special, David Letterman appearance and role on Life and Beth with Amy Schumer, Phil Wang is bringing a new stand-up show to the Philharmonic Hall.
Expect the comedian and writer to chat race, family, nipples…and everything else that’s been going on in his ‘Philly little life’.
Chris McCausland: Speaky Blinder
Liverpool comedian Chris McCausland (pictured) brings his acclaimed live show Speaky Blinder to the Epstein for not one but two nights.
Expect plenty of gags about life, family and loads of other nonsense as well from the star of a myriad TV shows including QI, Would I Lie to You, Live At the Apollo and not forgetting the Royal Variety Performance.
Ray Bradshaw: Deaf Com I
Following his ground-breaking 2018 show Deaf Comedy Fam, international award-winning comedian Ray Bradshaw returns to the stage with a new show charting recent fatherhood, teaching his young son sign language and a disastrous trip to Bahrain.
Bradshaw, who spent 2021/22 supporting John Bishop on tour, is raucously funny – in both English and British Sign Language, both of which are used in all his shows.
Lloyd Griffith: One Tonne of Fun
Griffith’s biggest tour to date sees the warm and charming funnyman bringing his unique style to Liverpool which incorporates stand-up, dubious impressions and a sprinkling of his singing.
Griffith has been a show off since his school days, doing everything he can to make people laugh, and 20 odd years later nothing has changed.
Axel Blake: In Style
Britain’s Got Talent winner Axel Blake is heading out on his first tour In Style in 2023.
From the wilds of…Dunstable, Blake burst on to TV screens as Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer and his observational comedy – along with his witty charm – propelled him to become 2022 champion of the ITV hit show, also winning him a slot on the Royal Variety Performance.
Tim Key: Mulberry
Tim Key (Alan Partridge, The Witchfinder, Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme) is back with an all-new show, featuring ruminations about the great outdoors with a bit of stamping around, velour tracksuit, continental lagers...some ‘poetry’.
The poet, comedian, actor and writer’s latest anthology of poems and conversations is titled Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.
Royal Court Liverpool
Rob Newman Live on Stage
Fresh from his BBC Radio 4 series Rob Newman On Air, the award-winning comedian is promising a stand-up epic of a new show which goes from cave paintings to car-free cities to ask who are we? Where are we going? And do spiders fly?
The 58-year-old tells a story of how dancing in step saved prehistoric humans, and how new scientific discoveries may help us take the right steps to a life after oil.
Mike Wozniak: Zusa
Hirsute comedian, writer and actor Mike Wozniak (pictured) (Man Down, Small Scenes, Taskmaster) comes to the Royal Court Studio with his new touring show Zusa.
Ever wondered how Wozniak’s great-aunt Zusa made it from Poland to Luton with a war nipping at her heels? Well, here’s your chance to find out.
Edinburgh Comedy Award best show nominee Glenn Moore brings his acclaimed live show – Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, Glenn I’m Sixty Moore – to Liverpool in 2023.
Expect a high-energy barrage of the most jokes you’ve ever heard humanely fit into one stand-up show from one of the best joke writers around.
Josie Long: Re-enchantment
Humanity, compassion and some brief political rants infuse Josie Long’s new stand-up show Re-enchantment, which has been inspired by the words of feminist writer Lola Olufemi who said: “After defeat, re-enchantment is necessary.”
Expect musings on the changes wrought by time, passion, moving to Scotland and loving the world under difficult circumstances.
Eddie Fortune: Single
Fortune is single, ageing and desperate. In 2019 he dated a Margaret Thatcher-loving Tory while at the height of his career, playing a crab in panto in Bolton. It didn’t last.
From dating musical theatre producers to evil maths teachers from Dudley to red headed spiritualists from Rock Ferry, Fortune shares a life reliant on wine, one night stands and red flags.
Rachel Fairburn: Can I Be Awful?
What’s wrong with saying how you see it, why is Fairburn’s ‘truth’ not accepted…and why are you so annoying?
Probably because nobody tells you that you are. Until now that is.
Catch the comedian – and co-host of comedy podcast All Killa No Filla – as she brings her solo tour to the Royal Court Studio this February.
Simon Munnery: Trials and Tribulations
Twenty years ago in Edinburgh, Simon Munnery was arrested for “being German in a built-up area”. It wasn’t an early brush with cancel culture, but it did lead to a trial.
Now for the first time the British Comedy Award nominee tells the story of this trial, a second more recent court appearance – and various other distressing life occurrences which he will turn into comedy gold. There may even be a song.
Fern Brady: Autistic Bikini Queen
Comedy reviewer-turned-comedian Fern Brady opens the Unity’s comedy programme for 2023 with an additional date for her fifth solo show Autistic Bikini Queen.
The fearless funny woman has been seen on a host of TV shows including Live at the Apollo, Jonathan Ross’s Comedy Club and Frankie Boyle’s New World Order. Now catch her live.
Sophie Duker: Hag
Comedian and writer Sophie Duker’s favourite things include breaking hearts, taking names and telling jokes with the confidence of a straight middle-class white man.
Her Edinburgh Fringe show Venus saw her nominated for the ‘best newcomer’ award and garnered five-star reviews, and she’s been garnering fans ever since.
TV appearances include Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week and Taskmaster.
Jayde Adams: Men, I Can Save You
Jayde Adams (pictured) steps off the Strictly dancefloor and back on to the comedy stage with her new (postponed from last October) stand-up show Men, I Can Save You.
Change is always hard, and what better person to lead the men selflessly by the hand into the new world than multi award-winning comedian and actress Adams?
Everyman and Playhouse
Guz Khan Live
Coventry’s finest brings his big-screen persona and BAFTA-nominated hilarity to Liverpool Playhouse for one night only.
Comedian, impressionist and actor Khan is the creator and star of the BBC’s Man Like Mobeen and has made appearances on shows including The Last Leg, Taskmaster, Live at the Apollo and Netflix’s Turn Up Charlie.
Suzi Ruffell – Snappy
Suited and booted multi award-nominated stand-up comedian, writer and actress Suzi Ruffell (pictured) makes her Liverpool Everyman debut in 2023 with her new live show.
Snappy is all about settling down (but not settling), becoming a mother (without being mumsy) and still worrying about everything – of course, have you SEEN the news?!
M&S Bank Arena
Peter Kay Live
Peter Kay has been overwhelmed by the response to his return to the stage for the first time in 12 years.
The Farnworth-born, Bolton-raised comedian, actor and writer comes to the M&S Bank Arena for two memorable nights with a show which is as reflective as it is funny.
His 2010 tour was a record-breaker, being seen by 1.2 million people, and with demand for tickets so strong for his return, this latest outing could potentially beat that.
Chris and Rosie Ramsey: S**ged, Married, Annoyed
Following the success of their podcast, which has had more than 100 million downloads, Chris and Rosie Ramsay are on the road with a new live show which is heading to arenas across the country.
The couple have been busy. Apart from the podcast, they enjoyed a sell-out Guinness World Record-breaking 2020 tour, a late-night BBC chat show and a number one best-selling book.