The Frog and Bucket comedy club sits on the far edge of the Northern Quarter and was one of the first venues to open in what has become the modern day NQ. Back in the nineties when Oasis were hanging out in Dry Bar around the corner, comedians who are now household names were honing their art at the only dedicated comedy club in the city at the time.
It all began in 1994 when Dave Perkin opened his first club back at the Britainnia pub on Newton Street with a capacity of just 60. Renamed as the Frog and Bucket, the club firstly just presented weekend shows then, a few months after opening, it took on an amateur night too. Three years later the club moved to its current premises at the end of Oldham St.
Over the years both the weekend shows and the amateur night have seen performances from the now famous names who came through the northern comedy scene. Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay were regulars who often compered the weekend shows. At one time they even formed a double act together. John Bishop‘s first ever gig was at the club’s amateur night. Consequently the club is mentioned in Bishop’s, Vegas’ and Kay’s autobiographies. Plenty of other famous folk have played the Frog too. At one time or another regular acts have included Lee Mack, Jack Whitehall, Dave Gorman, Chris Addison, Ross Noble, Lucy Porter and Jason Manford to name but a few.
21 years on and the Frog continues to be a family business with Dave joined by his daughter Jessica who runs the place which is open four days every week. Friday and Saturday nights are the fun packed end of the week shows then there’s Thursdays for a more sedate, connoisseur led show. On a Monday it’s still the newcomers turn as they attempt to Beat the Frog by staying on stage for 5 minutes without getting ‘croaked off.’ Plus there are many special nights every month including Laughing Cows all female comedy night, solo touring shows, themed and charity nights.
The Frog and Bucket continues to provide a place to nurture new talent (with a definite slant towards northerners for which they are proud), for Manchester to check out the stars of the future and to see those acts that though they aren’t necessarily a household name now they are at the grass roots of truly fantastic and exciting live stand up.
Here’s to the next 21 years…
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