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Comedy Festival to include week-long school for budding comics

Young wannabe comics are being invited to learn the tricks of the trade at a week-long school being set up to mark the 25th anniversary of Leicester Comedy Festival with the support of De Montfort University's #DMUlocal.


The annual festival brings a host of comedians and performers to the city to star in shows spread across three weeks and at hundreds of different venues. Last year 80,000 tickets were sold and another 35,000 people attended free shows.

Next February, organisers are introducing the Laugh Term Comedy School which will be open to 13 to 18-year-olds at Moat Community College, supported by the #DMULocal team at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Festival director Geoff Rowe, who founded the event while still a student at DMU, said: “We know there is huge interest amongst young people in comedy and an increasing interest in them learning more about live comedy performance. 

“There are huge benefits for young people to develop their performance skills including improved confidence, presentation and communication skills but mainly we hope to give young people an amazing experience and loads of fun!”

Professional comedians will lead the classes at the school, which will run from February 12 to 16, 2018, and will include training in basic live comedy performance skills such as improvised comedy, stand up and sketches.

The participants will graduate at a live performance on the Friday evening.

Mark Charlton, Head of Public Engagement at DMU, added: “We’re very happy to be extending our support of Leicester Comedy Festival in their 25th anniversary year.

“We’re sure the comedy school will provide a unique and exciting opportunity for the participants to develop their skills. Our #DMULocal programme really helps create positive change across the city by engaging people in a huge number of projects and activities. The Laugh Terms Comedy School is the latest project for us to support and we are delighted to do so.”

Moat Community College Principal Brian Killeen said: “I’m really delighted to be hosting the first Laugh Term Comedy School here.

“Leicester Comedy Festival is such a huge event, it’s great to give our pupils, and young people the opportunity to work with professional comedians and develop their skills.”

DMU students have played active roles in the festival over the years, including in organising some of the performance venues and with several link-up projects with schools and community groups. 

The 25th anniversary Leicester Comedy Festival will run from February 7 to 25 and will see 613 acts performing at 836 events at 69 venues.

Harry Hill, Sara Pascoe and Katherine Ryan will be among the headline names, alongside Jonathan Pie, Barry Cryer, Paul Chowdhry, Dave Spikey, Dr John Cooper Clarke, Griff Rhys Jones, Mark Steel and Richard Herring.

It will also include a “birthday party” show, a thanksgiving service at Leicester Cathedral featuring special guest Nicholas Parsons, and A Funny City, an exhibition highlighting the history of comedy in Leicester.

Posted on Wednesday 22nd November 2017

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