Laughs a plenty guaranteed as mental health charity gig returns with stellar line-up

Manchester-based comic Harriet Dyer’s mental health comedy night Barking Tales returns next month with another stellar line-up.

Bethany Black, who has appeared in a number of different TV roles, Stephanie Laing and Scott Walker will all be joining Harriet 

The night, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at the Zombie Shack in central Manchester, has been going since 2015 after Harriet herself discovered her own mental health issues.

And between her and a constant stream of other comedians they cover the risky topics of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and more.

Last year, she told MM that the awakening to her own issues came at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

She said: “I always thought that I was just eccentric but when I did my last Edinburgh I started to think that I had mental health issues.

“I didn’t really feel any different because in a way I’d always been like that.

“I had lots of people coming up to me saying how they could relate to me and there have obviously always been lots of things in the papers about performers suffering from mental health.”

With that in mind, Barking Tales brings light to dark issues and is there to help people who suffer with their own mental health by providing a safe place for them to relax and enjoy comedy.

Bethany will be headlining the next show on March 2 with support from Stephanie Laing plus Scott Walker and Harriet as the MC.

A comedy circuit favourite, Bethany has appeared in the E4 shows Cucumber and Banana and also guest starred in the ninth series of Doctor Who.

She has suffered from depression from the early days in her childhood and uses her unfortunate suicide attempts for material in her act, for example she once tried to hang herself until the ceiling gave way.

Described as ‘Britain’s only goth, lesbian, transsexual comedian’, Bethany discusses her transition through sex reassignment surgery in her stand-up act.

She started her comedy career when she was 25 and previously assumed a Fairy Gothmother style as she performed her act. The majority of her comedy is a mixture of observational comedy and innuendo.

The 37-year-old also started performing in her own show called Beth Becomes Her telling the story of her childhood.

After previous doubts about how the audience would react, Bethany’s show went down well with the majority of the audience and was nominated for the Best Debut award at the Leicester Comedy Festival.

For more information or to buy tickets, which cost £5, click here

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