Leicester is a city of festivals; every weekend, and sometimes during the week, there is always at least one festival in Leicester and Leicestershire.
Music, culture, dance, comedy… there is always an event going on to temp you into the city or out into the county.
Here is our our selection of what to expect in 2016
Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival is underway now; drawing people into Leicester’s venues, from all over the country.
The festival season kicks off at the end of May with the Glastonbudget festival held over the May bank holiday weekend. A host of bands and singers will gathered on the festival’s many stages to bring you all the best of new music from today and the most memorable tunes from yesteryear.
Friday 19th February and/or Saturday 20th February
at the LCB Depot in Rutland Street.
JAMJAR (Jews and Muslims Joined against racism) Presents….
Work-in-progress of new show
SAJEELA KERSHI: SHARIA’S L.A.W. (Little Asian Women)
Who’s the unsung heroine in your life?
A show celebrating the little invisible unsung heroines in every family. Bigging up those little women – Sometimes you need to visit the past to understand why you are who you are today? Partician, Refugees, sibling rivalry, misogyny and what on earth happened to the women of colour in the film suffragette? Will the real heroines please stand up and be counted?
Sajeela Kershi has been performing stand-up since 2006, getting her big break as part of Brendon Burns’s 2007 Edinburgh Comedy Award (formerly Perrier) winning show, So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now? She made her Edinburgh Fringe solo debut in 2009 and was a Hackney Empire New Act Award finalist in 2011. Her TV credits include appearances on Comedy Central and on ITV2’s Comedy Cuts, she has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends. Radio 4 Saturday Live, 2015 saw Sajeela win the Asian Women of Achievement Award (Arts and Culture section) and received the Brighton Argus Award for Artistic Excellence for her multi-bill storytelling show Immigrant Diaries, a show that Sajeela created and curates and that has played to full houses across the UK. Sajeela’s broadcasting experience as a pundit has ranged across numerous BBC radio stations, Sky news, ITV London News and an ITN Election Special. The Huffington Post named Sajeela in their Top 50 Funny Women to follow on Twitter (@SajeelaKershi). You can also find her on Facebook: facebook.com/SajeelaKershi.
Kafka or Magaluf
Part Rave, Part Nightmare, an immersive trip to a bureaucratic nightclub. Clipboard or waffle? Dance or cry? Kafka or Magaluf?
An immersive comedy show about finding out who to hate.
Malcolm Julian Swan presents Kafka or Magaluf
Saturday 20 February, 10.45pm
Age restriction: 18+
a unique free comedy-rave experience. Reserve free tickets from the Dave Leicester Comedy festival website.
A hilarious line-up of stand-up, theatre and kid’s comedy.
The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre will take part in Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival this February; hosting 12 new shows by local favourites and new emerging comedians.
In this programme, packed full of fresh new talent, we have a variety of comedy to make you giggle, laugh out loud and even question what is cool. In the first week of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival we’ve already witnessed a crocodile and a mannequin’s head falling in love, comedy from mental health service users, clowning from theatre company Fowl Humour and fast-paced comedy from participants on the What’s the Story workshop, some taking to the stage for the very first time!
The second week of the comedy festival is jam-packed and so is our line-up. We are offering comedy festival goers the opportunity to see two great shows at a discounted rate by Leicester-based comedian and self-confessed comedy diva Jack Britton, which sees him singing his heart out in this high energy musical comedy and Nottingham-based Lewys Holt who has created a semi-autobiographical show about what it means to be cool, expect music, dance and dress up!
Double bill tickets are available at http://www.attenborougharts.com for £8 to see Jack Britton’s greatest hits (debut album) at 7pm and Lewys Holt presents Of, Or, At A Fairly Low Temperature at 8.30pm on Thursday 11 February.
Comedy isn’t just for grownups; we have shows to keep children aged 3+ years entertained too during half term. As part of Leicester Mini Fridge in association with Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival we are hosting family shows, including Leicester Fridge presents Mini Fridge: comedy for kids. The even more Further Adventures of Shirley on Wednesday 17 February at 11am. This interactive show invites the audience to dance, sing and make crafts. The next children’s show has an exciting twist where visitors decide what happens next and watch as the magic unfolds in Lindsey and Ian’s Incredible Interactive Improv on Wednesday 17 February at 1pm. In Kids’ Court on Wednesday 17 February at 3pm, parents sit in the dock in the court where the kids are in charge! This is one not to be missed! Suitable for 7+ years.
Daniel Nicholas, Guest Programmer for Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, said ‘It’s been great to be involved in putting the programme together for Attenborough Arts Centre at this year’s festival, and there’s a real range of shows on for people to see, with comedians coming from all over the country, not just Leicester. We have The Book of Northern on the 20 February, exploring what it’s like to be Northern! The festival is a great time of year for Leicester and offers a wide range of comedy, something for everyone, and I think this year’s programme at Attenborough Arts Centre reflects that’
Karen Sherrard: A Fête Worse Than Death
Welcome to the village fête in Llanfairchwaraesboncen, nestled in the South Wales Valleys. Join your host, 76 year old village busybody Iris Evans, in a fun-filled romp complete with competitions, slide shows and audience participation. Also featuring guest speaker, Esme de Flange, a lascivious TV gardener providing advice on sowing seed, trimming your shrubbery and producing a prize marrow. But will you be able to contain yourself for the grand finale? THE RAFFLE!
This one-woman show, written and performed by Karen Sherrard (winner of Last Mic Standing 2014), debuts at the festival this year.
“Refreshing, wry, warm, witty and winsome…you want to bottle Sherrard and take her home” Colin Sell, BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.
Date : February 13th
Time: 10.30pm (doors 10.10pm)
Show length: 1 hour
Venue : Kayal
Info tel: 0116 255 4667
Tickets : £6 / £5 concs
Wisdom of a fool
WISDOM OF A FOOL – SATURDAY 13TH FEBRUARY
The Little Theatre is proud to include Wisdom of a Fool – Saturday 13th February 2016 7.30pm – in their programme of shows for Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival in 2016. Jack Lane’s portrayal of the great man (and of course patron of the Festival since its inception), received standing ovations when it opened at the Capital Theatre Horsham in September 2015.
Adrian Mole is back… only now he’s Woody Allen(ish)
Simon Schatzberger, who was chosen by Sue Townsend to play the
original Adrian Mole at Leicester Pheonix Arts Theatre and in the
West End, brings his Woody Allen show to Dave’s Leicester Comedy
Festival, uncannily performing his legendary 1960s stand-up comedy
(including ‘The Moose’). Following fantastically reviewed, sell-out
London and Edinburgh Festival performances, and before a series of
shows in New York and LA, this is a must see for fans of Woody and
classic American comedy.
Sat 13th & Sun 14th February 2016 at 615pm Just The Tonic at Hansom Hall
54 Belvoir St Leicester LE1 6QL
Comedy mind reader extraordinaire Doug Segal will be performing his 5 star, critically acclaimed show, How To Read Minds & Influence People, at the Leicester Comedy Festival on 4th February at 7.50pm at Kayal.
Have you ever wanted to read someone’s mind or implant a
subliminal suggestion? Doug Segal (as seen on BBC1 and BBC3)
can teach you that and more in his hit show How To Read Minds And
Influence People, all while making you laugh in the process.
After three sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs with improv troupe Fat Kitten Improv, 2010-12, James has turned his hand to stand-up with 2013’s “Ross vs Violich: Pistols at 3.55pm” and 2014’s “Unicornucopia”. He runs cult favourite monthly night Quantum Leopard, just off London’s occasionally trendy Brick Lane: a pay-what-you-like, bring-your-own-booze affair that vaguely evokes the DIY spirit of the squat party. He likes pina coladas and walking in the rain and dislikes timewasters.
High-energy, left field stand-up for people who’ve read a book, without pictures, and enjoyed it. Charming moustachioed comedian WLTM audience with GSOH for fun, maybe more. It’s my first full hour. I quite like it, I hope you will too.
Brewdog Leicester, 8 Friar Lane, Leicester, LE1 5RA
On 7th Feb 2016, Doors 1930, Show start 2000
Stand Up Comic, Zahra is a bit like the country of Turkey, in that she’s a mix of Eastern and Western culture, and also she is a bird. A fun look into Eastern and Kanye Western Culture. ‘Terrific’ Venue Magazine
How to pass the Englishness test, build a New Jerusalem and become UKIP’s worst nightmare – An immigrant speaks out
After a successful full Edinburgh Fringe run, shows at the Museum of Comedy London, Leicester Square Theatre, and Women in Comedy Manchester and Dave Comedy Festival in Leicester (Feb 2016) – Daphna Baram brings her “immigrational comedy” to Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival. “Masterful; Superbly refreshing” (Bunbury Magazine), Illuminating and poignant” (The List)
Daphna Baram, an Israeli human rights lawyer turned journalist (Ha’aretz, The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman, AlJazeera, BBC), invaded the UK in 2002. 13 years in, she now finally has an indefinite leave to remain. Her journey took her from suicide-bombing infested Jerusalem of the early 2000s to the dreaming spires and endless social rules of Oxford fellowships, then on to London’s media world of air-kissing and double-talk.
She studiously memorised pub etiquette, East-enders knowledge, dead royals’ wives, posh ways of causing offence and Christmas do-s and don’ts – in order to pass the ultimate test of Englishness (and the dread of all immigrants): the pub quiz – otherwise known as the Life In The UK Test.
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
Award-winning idiot and one-man comedy cult Joz Norris
presents potentially the most audacious, ambitious and
unique show at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival 2016 –
one idiot doing one comedy show in two places at the
same time. Quite whether it’ll work is anybody’s guess.
There are two audiences in two adjacent venues. One
man, via a bit of multimedia trickery, a lot of running, and
a series of enthusiastic comedy stunts that can be
performed in an endless series of variations, will attempt
to keep both audiences entertained simultaneously.
Whether it ends up a precisely engineered triumph of
intricate technical complexity, or a chaotic mess that only
just about holds together, it’ll be one of the silliest,
stupidest and most unique bits of nonsense in Leicester
Hilarity Bites present
BEST OF IRISH
Three of Ireland’s finest acts come to Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival for 2 special nights of top comedy.
Venue: Kayal, 153 Granby Street
Tom O’Mahony, an Irish stand-up and I will be performing for 2 nights (5-6th Feb) with a few other Irish comedian chums (it’s an odd word I know) at Kayla on 153 Granby Street. The shows will consist of Tom O’Mahony and Conor Drum on Friday 5th and Eleanor Tiernan joins us for the craic on Saturday 6th February.
Award winning comedian, Lost Voice Guy, is inviting comedy fans to take part in a stupid amnesty at the Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival this February, where he will host his new show ‘Disability For Dunces’.
Have you ever wondered how disabled people have sex? Or if disabled people have considered an exorcism? And just why are disabled toilets big enough to run around in? Lost Voice Guy will answer all these questions and more.
And, on the day that Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival begins, he is launching the stupid amnesty to invite the general public to submit their questions about disability so he can finally put the record straight on a few matters in his show.
‘Disability For Dunces’, will be at The Kayal on Granby Street at 6.30pm on Thursday 18 February and will feature the bizarre questions that Lost Voice Guy gets asked on an all too regular basis.
The world-renown comedy festival starts in Leicester today.
Here are the shows we will be going to
Friday 6th and Saturday 7th February
Lee told us: ‘I have had my own series on Channel 4 called Celebrity Bedlam (“Quite possibly the funniest thing that’s ever been on the telly” VIZ COMIC); have presented for Big Brother in the past; have voiced C4’s Modern Toss – and am currently writing and performing on E4 show Bad Robots with Michael Gambon, (“An absolute joy. I haven’t laughed so much for a long time” THE GUARDIAN).’
After not being nominated for a single AWARD LAST YEAR Tim FitzHigham is BACK at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival 2015. TWO SHOWS – both at Bob Slayer’s (insert your own adjective here) venue Heroes@LCB Depot 31 Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1RE
14th FEB VALENTINE’S NIGHT SUTRACULAR – it’s a one off revival of Tim’s legendary Karma Sutra Special unlocking the secrets of the greatest love book – come and laugh…the perfect way to spend the 14th
21st FEB HELLFIRE – the incredible TRUE story of a fan letter that leads Tim on a rapidly unravelling Da Vinci coded puzzle of his own, The Illuminate, The Knights Templar and near death await…and in the words of someone else ‘my is it funny’ (5 stars)
Tim will also be appearing in Fool Member’s Club – his late night nonsense of a…not so much a show more a travesty with Bob (insert your own made up surname here) and Comedy in the Dark on 20th Feb.
Tim FitzHigham is a multi-award winning expeditionary comedian, writer and water recycler. He invented the definitive joke about crows AND dislikes unnecessary capitalisation
Saturday 21st February
Funz and Gamez
This might be of interest to your readers with kiddies and grandkiddies? It’s a fantastic family comedy show which started in a tiny dingy room in Edinburgh last year as a bit of a laugh, it took the Fringe by storm and ended up packing out the houses, winning a Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award and transferring to the Soho Theatre for a month run over Christmas. It’s such a brilliant – albeit very naughty – experience for all ages. Amazing reviews and we had a ton of comedians come with their kids and rave about it on Twitter – Josh Widdicombe, Sarah Millican, Katherine Ryan, Micky Flanagan, Michael McIntyre to name a few.
We are still working our way through the hundreds of submissions we’ve received for our 2015 festival – the full programme will be announced on Monday 24th November so only a month or so to wait! There are some incredible shows and events being planned so get ready to laugh loads next February.
Our 2015 Preview Show has been announced as taking place on Friday 9th January at De Montfort Hall. The line-up is a closely guarded secret but expect the usual selection of big names and new acts, all gathered to give you a taste of what’s to come when the main festival rolls into town in February. Tickets are £25
Our friends at Leicester Theatre Group are producing their own version of hit musical Avenue Q just in time for Christmas. This lough out loud, adult themed spoof on TV favourite Sesame Street, tells the stories of the neighbours who live on Avenue Q and contains loads of strong language and adult themes! It runs from 2-6 December at the beautiful Hansom Hall in the middle of Leicester. Tickets are available from just £15 so check out their website
TRY TUESDAYS – TUESDAY 18th NOVEMBER
We’re working with our friends at Leicester Tigers to present a great comedy show, taking place on 18th November. Whether you’re a rugby fan or just enjoy an evening of excellent entertainment with your friends, family or work colleagues, ‘Try Comedy’ is a great night out guaranteed to be the highlight of your week. Held in conjunction with Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, Try Comedy offers top-class comedy with Lloyd Griffith (“The next big thing” FHM) as compere plus Marcel Lucont (Russell Howard’s Good News), Kate Lucas (Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2014) and Johnny Pelham (BBC Radio New Comedy Awards finalist 2014). Tickets are available now from the Welford Road ticket office, on 0116 319 8888. Tickets and information: