January 17

5 things about the Leicester Comedy Festival (8th – 26th February)


he 30th anniversary of the Leicester Comedy Festival is set to launch with a star-studded lineup of comedians performing across the city from February 8th to 26th, 2023. In addition to the exciting lineup of performers, the festival is announcing Eshaan Akbar, Jo Brand, Sikisa, and Stewart Lee as new Patrons, joining Tony Slattery.


Stewart Lee, one of the new Patrons, 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 honored to be a patron of this vibrant event that has made the name of Leicester echo forever in the caves of comedy history!”


Rosie Jones, one of the new patrons of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival, says, “It’s a great honor 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, is once again delivering 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 hearts. This year will feature hundreds of comedians and shows, taking place in venues, pubs, bars, and every conceivable nook and cranny of Leicester and Leicestershire.


As part of the celebrations, anniversary events will also be held, 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. In addition, some events will be streamed online through the festival’s 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, Sophie Duker, Josh Pugh, Emmanuel Sonubi and Sarah Keyworth. Comedy has grown up in Leicester and continues to grow, and Big Difference will ensure that this brilliant cultural event continues to thrive in the next 30 years. The festival’s main partners are De Montfort University and Leicester City Council. The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival is sponsored by De Montfort University and NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.