A Funny Turn

“It’s like being at a party that you don’t have to organise or clear up afterwards.” We talk to Jen Harris from Tickle Your Fancy.

Tickle Your Fancy, Chorlton’s gem of a bimonthly cabaret night, was established in 2015 by female comedy singing act, Doolally.

“Doolally began in 2012,” says Jen. “We wanted to make people laugh with our original songs about things everyone can relate to. We gigged all over – at open mics, acoustic nights and comedy clubs. One promoter said we’d go down well on the cabaret circuit, so we looked around for cabaret nights we could play. We couldn’t find anything local, so then we thought we could set up our own – why not?”

So Jen, along with Beth and Caz, started Tickle Your Fancy in the room upstairs at Dulcimer Bar in Chorlton.

“The idea behind it was simple: offer a range of good-quality acts – music, singing, magic, spoken word and sometimes the downright unusual – we’ve featured a one-man band, a clogger and lots of others on the bill. The evening is compèred by Doolally, and we sing some of our songs too.

“We thought we’d maybe get 30 or 40 people in to see the show, so Dulcimer seemed a great choice. But then we started to regularly get 50 to 70 – so we had to move on. After Dulcimer, we relocated to the Irish Club on High Lane and were there for two years: every gig pulling in a larger and larger audience.

“Just over a year ago, we found our current home at the Edge Theatre – and we love it! It has a great feel for our night and we’ve been selling out each time there. “We’ve taken the show on tour too, including nights at Gorse Hill Studios in Stretford, Touchstones in Rochdale, Radcliffe Market and the LIT festival in Macclesfield.

“We have well-established links with some really great acts, which means we’ve got some fantastic regulars now, including poets Toria Garbutt, Dave Viney and Marvin Cheeseman; funny character act Stew Lodge, and the singing group The Lovenotes (featuring Open Up’s Katherine Watson) to name a few. We’ve become a night where new acts can perform alongside more established ones, so it works really well.

“We run Tickle Your Fancy Headliners nights too, where we invite back some of our most popular acts, giving them a longer set – and that’s very successful.

“Alongside the acts, we’ve developed a number of Doolally signature turns – like the Tickle Your Fancy writing competition, which boasts some very tacky prizes! We also challenge ourselves to write a topical song each time, which is an easier task some times than others!

“Our act has grown during this time: we now have fantastic singer, Midge, and amazing musician Helen to add to the mix. We’re very excited about more Tickle Your Fancy nights when the virus crisis has passed.”

“One of our audience members described our cabaret nights as like being at a party you don’t have to organise or clear up afterwards. We really liked that.

“The bottom line is that we just love tickling people’s fancies!”

If you have an act and would like to perform at a Tickle Your Fancy night, then get in touch.

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