Posters and Photos we collected –
Historical video footage –
SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS
2000 – Stewart Lee, Lee Hurst, Mighty Boosh, Jo Brand and Reginald D Hunter perform at the Leicester Comedy Festival. The first Leicester charity gig in aid of Amnesty International was hosted by Jo Brand. The creator of “The Weakest Link” Cathy Dunning performs at 27a Access Artspace.
2001 – Paul Merton, The Philharmonia Orchestra, Daniel Kitson, Rich Hall, Ross Noble and John Hegley perform at Leicester Comedy Festival, alongside Charnwood Community Theatre. BBC Light Entertainment organise a writing comedy for radio workshop.
2002 – On August 21st Peter Kay plays Leicester’s 120 capacity International Arts Centre. His record breaking tour finishes a year later at the 21,000 capacity Manchester Arena, for several nights!
2003 The Little Theatre promotes its first ever programme of stand-up comedy as part of the Leicester Comedy festival. Doug Stanhope flies in from the U.S especially for the festival. The first Chortle Comedy Quiz takes place as well as the first festival performances by Gujarati Comedy Group. The first Summer Raspberry festival takes place in July featuring Jimmy Carr, Count Arthur Strong and Daniel Kitson.
2004 – The 10th Leicester Comedy Festival happens. The brochure cover features that most humorous of farmyard animals, the chicken. The first Festival Fringe takes place in pubs across Leicestershire. Crowds gather in Braunstone Park to watch the outdoor spectacle Blast!
2005 – During Leicester Comedy Festival BBC Radio 4 record The News Quiz and young people from Bosworth Community College perform sketches.
2006 – During Leicester Comedy Festival the US comedian Roseanne Barr performs her first ever live European gig and her support act was a pretty much then unknown Alan Carr! Stewart Lee takes part in a debate about ‘Jerry Springer the Opera in Leicester Cathedral.’ Performer Rob Gee was adopted into the welcoming arms of Eyres Monsell Primary, Sparkenhoe Community Primary and Mellor Primary School. Soft Touch and Refugee Housing joined forces with Leicester Comedy Festival on a cartooning project for new arrivals to Leicester.
2007 – John Ryan performs his Hurt Until It Laughs show in 2 Leicestershire prisons, and some of the inmates move to the back row in case John picks on them. A special event takes place to honour writer and Leicester lad 2007 Joe Orton, featuring Sue Townsend, Joe’s 2 sisters and Simon Fanshawe.
2008 – Pappy’s Fun Club, Michael McIntyre, Frankie Boyle, Mark Watson and Jon Richardson perform at the Leicester Comedy Festival. The first Hotel D’Comedie performances happen in the beautiful Hotel Maiyango. Captain Carrot performs to young people from schools from across Leicestershire, spreading a healthy eating message. Hathi Productions perform The Rise and Fall of Chugenal Patel and there is a premier of ‘Those YoungMinds’ performance focusing on issues connected with young people and emotional health.
2009 – Gilded Balloon set up camp at The City Rooms. Young people from across the East Midlands perform as part of the Pieces project, a partnership with Nottingham Playhouse. Josh Widdicombe won the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year. Special festival shows included Comedy in the Dark.