Russell Howard

Russell Howard trials material at HOME's new outdoor venue Homeground ahead of Frog and Bucket's Barrel of Laughs comedy night on Sunday.

Homeground is the new outdoor venue located on First Street near theatre and arts centre HOME, whose shows have been sorely missed during lockdown. The calendar of events for Homeground runs all the way through the summer, offering up live music, DJs, theatre, stand-up comedy and children’s activities alongside a host of food and drink stalls.

Autotrader showground stage, where Russell Howard
Autotrader Showground stage at Homeground. Photo: Drew Forsyth

Homeground is a venue which lets you know that it was thrown together in a hurry. Shipping containers, sports cars, astronauts and guitar playing cross eyed dragons make you feel like you’re in a maverick hoarder’s junkyard. Russell Howard’s take on the junkyard decor wasn’t the most complimentary as he joked about how random everything was but the general vibe from both Russell Howard and the audience was that we were just happy to be out of the house – relieved to hear laughter again. They say laughter is the best medicine. And to hear a converted car park full of socially distanced groups of no more than six people laugh with you for two hours is the best night out I’ve had for more than a year.

The gig was designed to allow Russell Howard to trial new material ahead of the recording of his upcoming Netflix special, though the most memorable moments of the night lay in his interaction with the audience. Its been so long since being at the comedy clubs that I almost forgot how much I love the spontaneity of a live show. Russell Howard was on top form and offered up his signature style of silly childlike wonder of the weird world mixed with his own takes on social and political orders of the day.

There’s more live comedy to come at Homeground! Starting on 13 June Manchester’s legendary Frog and Bucket are bringing their flagship Barrel of Laughs comedy night to Homeground with big names such as Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Lucy Beaumont on the bill. Tickets are selling fast, so get on the Home website if you don’t want to miss out.

Homeground is also hosting live music, DJs, theatre and children’s activities all through the summer. For a full calendar of events – click here.

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Feature Image: David Venni

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  • Eddie Toomer-McAlpine

    Eddie is from Manchester and will be starting an MA Multimedia Journalism course this year at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has a background in music, poetry and theatre and is interested in how the arts can help to strengthen our communities. Eddie also likes to read and write about local working class history and natural science.

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