Stanhope and deliver

Doug Stanhope
Doug Stanhope
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US comedian Doug Stanhope is back in the UK for a month-long tour which includes a date at the Lowry in Salford next Friday.

Highly opinionated, intellectually acute, and outrageously funny, his live shows see him deliver a social commentary that is shocking, vulgar, fearless and brutally honest about the life around him.

I go onstage, it’s like I’m leading you into battle. You’re not all going to be here at the end!

Doug Stanhope

Over the years, his popularity has seen him build up a cult status : “I go onstage, it’s like I’m leading you into battle,” he has told his audiences. “You’re not all going to be here at the end!”

TV appearances have seen Stanhope regularly deliver his diatribe as the Voice of America on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe covering subjects such as immigration, social media, violence and atheism in the US with his caustic humour.

Box office: www.thelowry.com

One of the most heart-warming dramas of the 20th century comes to Blackpool Grand next week. Adapted from the classic Frank Capra film, of It’s A Wonderful Life, it stops off in Blackpool for two days during its nationwide autumn tour to 33 venues.

It’s set in Bedford Falls, New York on Christmas Eve and tells of idealist George Bailey, whose dreams look set to be dashed by small-town scandal and big business.

Alone on a bridge he contemplates suicide, assuming that everyone would be better off without him…

Or would they?

The Bridge House production directed by Guy Retallack captures the magical story of Frank Capra’s iconic film retold as a radio play live on stage.

Complete with sound effects, this loving tribute to the golden era of the wireless is a fresh take on a heart-warming classic.

The 1946 film, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, is one of the most cherished Christmas films and one of the best American films ever made.

It’s on Tuesday and Wednesday including a Wednesday matinee. Box Office: 01253 743339 or www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk

Double Olivier-award winner Michael Ball stars in the tour of Mack & Mabel which comes to Manchester Opera House next week.

Based on the real-life romance between Hollywood legends Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, it tells the story of a group of pioneering filmmakers who changed the world, surrounded by the fun of the silent screen.

The classic Broadway hits include I Won’t Send Roses and Time Heals Everything. The show received eight Tony Award nominations when it opened on Broadway in 1974.

Michael Ball plays Sennett, the great comedy director of the silent screen. Recent credits include the BBC television drama That Day We Sang, which reunited him with Sweeney Todd co-star Imelda Staunton.

He’s delighted to be returning to Manchester Opera House: “It gave me my big break in Pirates of Penzance in 1985. To be returning with a show I’m just so excited about seems ideal.”

It runs from Monday to October 24.

Box Office: 0844 871 3018 or www.atgtickets.com

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Studio next week stages a thrilling and chilling story for anyone aged seven and over.

Gary Lagden and Christopher Preece perform in the critically acclaimed The Chair directed and written by Lewis Gibson. Sit down, stay a while and listen to the stories of local barber O.D. Sawyers. With live music, songs and a cut throat razor it’s a show that will keep all the family on their toes.

It runs from Wednesday to Sunday.

Box Office: 0161 833 9833 or www.royalexchange.co.uk