Lasting from the 20th-30th October, the Women in Comedy Festival has taken over Manchester – and I went down to the Nexus Art Café in the Northern Quarter to take a look for myself.

Almost a veteran in the comedy field, Joanna Neary took to the stage to perform a set that she called “the closest I’ll ever get to the mainstream” set.

In the cosy setting of the Nexus Art Café, Joanna told us she felt right at home at the venue, aa it was the kind of setting she would visit herself.

Joanna’s style was very off the cuff – and this was evident from the very beginning.

The comedian carried herself with an air of eccentricity which gave her presence on stage even more power, and looked very comfortable commanding the stage to herself, especially in such an intimate venue.

As the performance ensued, an evidently more relaxed, comfortable Neary began to appear and her desire to interact with her audience became more natural, and her audience bought into her personal approach which had brought her set to life.

Joanna’s routine was something out of the ordinary, but isn’t that what comedy festivals are for? The performance offered viewers a mixture of reality comedy and an avant-garde style of comedy – a very individualistic style, but the comedic timing was absolutely golden.

Part of her routine involved her special ‘Powerpoint presentation’ which she had prepared for her audience where she would do an A-Z based on everything regarding animals and men.

The whole concept behind it however was that there was no powerpoint at all – Joanna was just making up as she went along, and the audience loved it.

Independent comedy is more alive than ever, so finding your own niche is something which a comedian must do if they want to stand out.

One of the most surprising revelations after watching Joanna Neary is how she hasn’t received more acclaim for her work.

The star held the audience in her hand and managed to make every anecdote she told completely different from the last.

There was almost a feeling of intensity in her performance – something very real and honest came across in her style, something which should be cherished in the comedy world.

There may be many comedians on the industry circuit, but there isn’t many like Joanna Neary.

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