Interview: MM discuss ‘Tales From Northern Britain’ with Stan Wallace ahead of Greater Manchester Fringe

At a time where the country has never been more divided, Stan Wallace is bringing his show ‘Tales from Northern Britain’ to the Greater Manchester Fringe.

The comedian, 24, will make his Fringe debut in July with a set about identity, politics and the chaos that is post-referendum Britain.

Despite only performing for a year, Stan, who is originally from Crosby, has already toured clubs around the country with his unique take on comedy.

“It’s not straight-up comedy which is possibly to my detriment,” Stan told MM with a laugh.

“It’s basically about things that are fucked up but we can have a laugh about them.”

After years of encouragement, he finally took the plunge last year by contacting the local Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool.

“My narrative is probably similar to quite a few comics,” he said.

“Thankfully that night I did really well and I thought ‘Oh my god, this is my vocation’.

“Ever since then, there’s been highs and lows – ultimately it can be a bit of a depressing slog especially in my kind of comedy which is based on identity and politics.”

As a member of the Labour party, Stan’s politics are certainly left-wing but he describes his personal take as “cack handed socialism” in a similar vein to the late Mark E. Smith.

With a hatred towards both Leavers and Remainers, the comedian draws inspiration from both the EU and Scottish independence referendums and their divisive outcomes. However, this is definitely not a show about Brexit.

“They need to get on with [Brexit] because what else are we going to do now?”

“There are so many Remainers on the left who belittled people that voted Leave,” he said.

“Whether we are in or out of Europe, you’ve got kids eating out of fucking bins.

“We’ve got so many people using food banks with or without Europe – that’s happening anyway.”


The show takes its name from ‘Songs from Northern Britain,’ an album by Teenage Fanclub, one of Stan’s favourite bands.

“I like that idea of shifting the borders and boundaries so it’s from Northern Britain – both England and Scotland.

“Historically, the North and Scotland had a very similar voting pattern and obviously, that’s changed in the past 10 to 15 years.”

“I feel more affinity to being Glaswegian or Mancunian than I do to anyone else in England, so I thought it was interesting.”

Questions about identity are likely to resonate with an audience in Manchester, a city that has always been overwhelmingly on the left. Using some personal anecdotes, there will be a general “guided flow” to the set.

“With music, comedy and art in general, things tend to be better when times are shit and people want light relief,” he said.

“I just want people to come to the show and have a laugh. They may hear me take the piss out of someone who voted Leave or Remain, and they’ll say, ‘You know what? I know someone who talks like that’.

“If someone comes away thinking that this whole Leave/Remain debate is tedious, or not as important as they thought, that would be a bonus.”

You can catch Stan at the following dates throughout the Greater Manchester Fringe.

  • Saturday July 13 at International Anthony Burgess Foundation

  • Monday July 22 at Gullivers Lounge

  • Saturday July 27 at Hope Aria House

“I accidentally put a fiver but it’s three quid. Tell ‘em all to get a three quid concession ticket,” he said.  

The Greater Manchester Fringe is in its eighth year, showcasing a range of arts performances across the city.

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