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Leicester Comedy Festival 30th Year Celebration Anniversary Feb. 8-26


The 30th Anniversary of Leicester Comedy Festival launches with a huge line up of comedians performing across Leicester from 8th – 26th February 2023. The Festival is also announcing Eshaan Akbar, Jo Brand, Sikisa and Stewart Lee joining Tony Slattery, as new Patrons. Rosie Jones and Michael Rosen are announced as new patrons of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival.

Stewart Lee says:

"Comedy makes us see light in the darkness. And it helps us to understand the mad world we live in through the lens of laughs. There's rarely been a time comedy has been needed more, and Leicester Comedy Festival continues to deliver it. From big names that help make it a must see to the kind of new talent so deserving of its support, Leicester Comedy festival's program lands all across the social spectrum. I am honoured to be a patron of this vibrant event that has made the name of Leicester echo for ever in the caves of comedy history!"

Rosie Jones says:

“It's a great honour to be a patron of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival. As a comedian who also writes children's books this could not be more up my street! I love making people laugh, especially kids, so here's to lots more daft events where we can be funny and very, very silly!”

Big Difference, the charity behind the festival, outdoes itself yet again to deliver a memorable and entertaining experience by shining a light on the future generation of comedians, working with both young and old communities, and cultivating laughter and comedy in people’s heart, as they celebrate with both staples and rising stars of the industry.

2023 will welcome hundreds of comedians and shows, taking place in venues, pubs, bars and every conceivable nook and cranny of Leicester and Leicestershire – this year’s exceptional hosts line-up include: Seann Walsh hosting the Gala Preview Show on 6th January at De Montfort Hall and Thanyia Moore hosting The Big Comedy Fundraiser on 16th February at De Montfort Hall – headlining Milton Jones, Nina Gilligan, Emmanuel Sonubi and Scott Bennett. In addition, Curve Theatre will host Q&As with Seann Walsh on 19th February, and Nish Kumar on 26th February. Finally, Nish Kumar will headline Comedy Heaven at Curve Theatre on February 26th.

As part of the celebrations some anniversary events will also be held, events such as 30 acts for £30 at Hansom Hall on 18th February; the 30th anniversary exhibition at Hansom The Old Library Café and Galleries; and a 30th anniversary celebration at the Sue Townsend Theatre on 25th February, featuring a Q&A between Arthur Smith & Geoff Rowe, the founder of Leicester Comedy Festival, and many more to discover in the Festival Brochure.

In February 2023, Leicester Comedy Festival will again stream events online, directly from the festivals with their official streaming partner Next Up.

Comedians performing at the various venues in 2023 include Chloe Petts, Colin Hoult, Darren Harriott, Adele Cliff, Fern Brady, Gary Delaney, John Kearns, Ignacio Lopez, Richard Herring, Ahir Shah and Sophie Duker, Josh Pugh, Emmanuel Sonubi and Sarah Keyworth.

Comedy has grown up in Leicester and continues to grow. Big Difference will ensure that this brilliant cultural event continues to thrive into the next 30 years.

Leicester Comedy Festival main partners are De Monfort University and Leicester City Council. The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival is sponsored by De Montfort University and NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

About Leicester Comedy Festival

Leicester Comedy Festival is Europe’s biggest and longest-running comedy festival.

Leicester Comedy Festival returned in 2022 with a fantastic line-up of hundreds of shows! The line-up featured over 560 shows, over 800 performances and 64 venues. As always, the festival hosted TV names, performing solo shows and the 2022 line-up saw a veritable who’s-who of comedy stars take to stages across the city – including Angela Barnes, Ahir Shah, Catherine Bohart, Ed Gamble, Henning Wehn, Katherine Ryan, Maisie Adam, Mark Watson, Nabil Abdulrashid, Nick Helm, Pam Ayres, Rachel Parris, Ria Lina, Richard Herring, Rosie Jones, Ross Noble, Seann Walsh, Simon Brodkin, Stewart Lee, Suzi Ruffell, Tim Key, Tony Slattery and many, many more.

About The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival.

The UK’s only comedy festival for kids is celebrating its fifth year in 2023. The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival’s key focus is to engage children in creative and social contact with others and provide shows for all the family to enjoy. With educational and participatory events to enable children to build self-confidence, make friends, have social interaction, and enhance creative development, there will be a series of workshops and events

About Big Difference

Big Difference is the charity which grew out of the hugely successful Leicester Comedy Festival. They are the same dedicated people, who work year-round with communities across Leicester and Leicestershire, producing programmes, projects and events to improve people’s lives through comedy, laughter and the arts

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