When it comes to comedy festivals in the UK the Edinburgh Fringe has reigned supreme for decades.
In recent years a spritely, young challenger has emerged in the midlands of England in the form of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.
Previously best known for Gary Lineker’s face and that amazing physics-defying lift in the university, Leicester is emerging as a genuine hub for showcasing new and exciting comedy talent, as well as more experienced faces, in the bleakest of months.
Want some proof? Well here’s 11 of the best shows to see at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival from Feb 7th to Feb 23rd.
Kearns deservedly won Best Newcomer at the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards last year for a show that was as funny as it was poignant as it was deranged as it was a man in a dress for a bit. What’s he going to do next? We don’t know. We’re guessing it will be worth seeing though.
Another one of our favourite acts at Edinburgh last year, Adam and Ali will once again astound audiences with an original tale of farmers and their animals. Full of props, songs and startling imagination, there won’t be anything else like it in Leicester this February, so why not check it out? Why not?!?!?
Keeping with acts that definitely feature on the alternative side of the wide spectrum of comedy, bizarre character creation Brian Gittins continues his struggle to find an audience who appreciate his existence. We do. And this is another show that’s likely to stick in the memory.
Maybe the most dependably brilliant new(ish) stand-up in the UK right now, Nish is well on his way to be as big a household name as ‘Daz’ or ‘armchair’. He’s even set to appear on Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience on Sky.
Holly is a one-off. A bizarre, charismatic, unpretentious clown of a performer who, in this show, invites you back to the H Club – an elite members club full of characters who disturb and delight. Be excited to meet them all.
“In 1998, I was 11, living in Ghana with all the Carry Ons on VHS. But how did it make me feeeel?” says the description. Wild horses etc. He’s the man who brought you Matthew Kelly and Matty Kelly. Now he’s opening his heart about the importance of dropping apples.
The Colonel is the second comedy play from the Weirdos crew of London’s leading alternative comics (Adam Larter, John Kearns, Matt Highton etc) following last year’s version of Hook. The anarchic panto played to sell-out crowds in London just before Christmas, causing Chortle to described the group as “the closest thing we have to a modern-day Comic Strip”. Find out for yourself.
After several years as a mainly character-based act Joz has come into his own as himself with his relentless enthusiasm and likability the perfect vehicle for some inspired thoughts and innate playfulness. Maybe the show we’re most looking forward to at the Edinburgh Festival this year. Catch an early version of it in Leicester.
He may have missed out to John Kearns for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe last year but Liam’s show was just as fresh and exciting, showcasing humour of genuine intellect and strict, meticulous writing. Liam knows how to make each word count.
A long-time favourite of the London comedy scene. Metcalfe is fascinated by the nichest of pop cultures, and all he wants to do is share them with an appreciate audience.
Beth came up with what was probably the maddest hour of entertainment we’ve ever seen with her last show Beth Vyse Is Going Dark. In her new hour Beth introduces us to daytime chat show presenter Olive Hands who speaks to Chinese X Factor winners among other guests.