Laughter at the double as comedy acts hit the coast

Phil Walker is set to make people laugh in his home town.
Phil Walker is set to make people laugh in his home town.
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If you need cheering up next week, you are in exactly the right place.

There are not one but two top quality stand-up comedy gigs on the Fylde coast - one in Blackpool town centre, the other along the coast in Lytham.

In fact the only downside is that these monthly events, pretty much the only professional stand-up nights in the area, are on the same day - the first Thursday of each month.

Ryan Gleeson runs Comedy Station Club at Viva, while Phil Walker - son of Catchphrase Roy - is the brains behind Woofers Comedy Club at Lytham Cricket Club.

Ryan and Phil are full-time comedians and play gigs around the country - but both are on a mission to bring some top-notch comedy to the Fylde.

A week on Thursday, the pair will do just that.

At Viva, the bill-topper is the popular Steve Royle, stars of Phoenix Nights and presenter of a show on BBC Radio Lancashire. Support comes from Sam Brady, who was Comedian of the Year at the Hull Comedy Festival and has appeared on a Radio 4 comedy show. Gleeson is the compere and there will be another two acts on the night.

Up in Lytham the headliner is the surreal but wonderful Steve Shanyaski, a regular set-closer at comedy clubs like Jongleurs and The Frog and Bucket and a man who had four-star reviews for his show at the Edinburgh Fringe. He’s supported by the highly-rated Phil Ellis, who has been performing in clubs throughout the country since 2008.

Walker will act as compere, with two comedy newcomers also taking the stage.

The only tricky thing is deciding where you want to go - Blackpool or Lytham, for both will be top quality nights from two men doing it for the right reasons.

“I’m not doing it for the money, it’s not a business. I earn a living by doing stand up all over the UK.

“This night in Blackpool is just about bringing quality comedy to the resort,” said Gleeson.

“In the 60s and the 70s the resort had some great comics on a regular basis but that seemed to die a bit of a death from the 80s onwards. We started this club because we wanted to bring it back.”

Walker agrees. “I live in Lytham and putting on a comedy night on my own doorstep was always something I’ve wanted to do - not least because I usually have to drive hundreds of miles to gigs so this makes a nice change,” he said. It is about putting on a really good, quality night in this area and making people laugh.”

Gleeson added: “It’s great that Phil has his club and the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned.

“I don’t see it as being in competition with each other - in fact it means comedians will see there is a comedy scene developing and it will be easier to get them here.”

Tickets for the Comedy Station Night at Viva on Thursday are £7 and can be purchased in advance with reserved seats at www.comedystation.co.uk or by calling 01253 297 297.

Tickets for Phil Walker’s Woofers comedy night in Lytham are £10 and can be booked on (01253) 734137.

Get a move on though - both nights are likely to be sell-outs.

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