Budding young comedians are proving they have got what it takes to be the future stars of Leicester Comedy Festival.
Teenagers from schools across Leicestershire are taking the first steps to a future career in comedy by learning the tricks of the trade.
Comedians Kate McCabe and Lukas Kirkby with teenagers at Laugh-Term Comedy School
Laugh-Term Comedy School at Moat Community College is a new #DMUlocal initiative to encourage teenagers to get involved in the annual comedy festival.
Seven children, aged 13 to 15, are being put through their paces with plenty of theoretical and practical tips from professional comedians Kate McCabe and Lukas Kirkby.
The half-term holiday daily workshops will culminate in a showcase on Friday evening where each teenager will perform their own short comedy set.
Frankie Richardson, 13, from Brookvale High School in Groby, said: “My family and mates always say I’m funny, I just say really stupid stuff on purpose and I’m definitely not shy, so I thought I’d give it a go.
“Now everyone thinks it is really cool that I am learning comedy. I am really into football so I’m learning how to make lots of jokes about that.”
Frankie said he would quite like the lifestyle of a comedian as they “travel all over the world making people laugh.”
Children from schools across Leicestershire are taking part in daily comedy workshops
Matthew West, 13, from Babington Academy said his teacher had suggested he attend the comedy school as he’s ‘known to be hilarious.’
He said: “It’s very hard to be recognised as a comedian so I wanted to make the most of this opportunity. This could be my only chance in life, it could be my calling.
“When funny things happen to me, I always tell people about them and exaggerate the stories to make them funnier. That seems to make people laugh.”
He added: “I’m learning so many things, especially how to play with words and how to use dark comedy.”
Daneet Kaur, 13, from Wigston Academy, said: “I really want to be a stand-up comedian, I am sarcastic and sometimes I take the mick out of people. I just like seeing people laugh, making people happy makes me happy.”
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The teenagers are learning how to add puns to jokes, structure comedy sketches, think on the spot with improvisation games and create their own material.
They are also picking up lots of practical tips, such as carrying a pen and paper for whenever inspiration strikes, as well as how to project your voice and make eye-contact with the audience.
They have also looked at the work of their comedy heroes. Russell Howard remains a firm favourite of the teenagers, as well as Jack Whitehall and Jimmy Carr.
Josh Hargreaves, #DMUlocal Public Engagement Officer, said: “These children are fantastic, they’ve got some really good jokes. You can see they have so much potential, they will definitely be appearing on stage in the future as part of Leicester Comedy Festival.
“The Comedy Festival is no longer just for mums and dads, it’s to be enjoyed by children as well as adults.”
Professional comics Lucas Kirkby and Kate McCabe
Kate, a stand-up comic who has performed across the UK, joked that they were being ‘extra nice’ to the teenagers as they could become really successful on the comedy circuit.
She said: “These workshops are really giving me hope for the future. The future of comedy in Leicester is in good hands.
“For an aging comic like me, it’s great to meet and work with these children.
“These are the people who will be in the audience of our comedy gigs in a few years’ time, then before we know it, they will be on stage themselves.”
DMU is the Higher Education Partner of the Leicester Comedy Festival and has been heavily involved since its inception in 1994.
Tickets for the Laugh-term Comedy School Showcase at Moat Community College at 7pm on Friday (16 February) cost £5. Visit the Comedy Festival website for more information.
Posted on Wednesday 14th February 2018