Independent Leicester laughs: A Leicester Comedy Festival Guide

It’s February and Leicester Comedy Festival are making sure we have lots to smile about this month as the festival rolls into town with over 800 shows from 5-23 February. With a great programme of free and pay-what-you-want shows, big names and local talent, kids comedy, talks, interviews and more, there’ll be something to tickle your fancy.

What’s even better than supporting Leicester’s home-grown comedy festival? Supporting it by going to gigs in our independent businesses! That’s right: some of Leicester’s best loved independents are hosting gigs so you can sit back, relax and enjoy some laughs whilst supporting local businesses.

All tickets can be purchased from the Leicester Comedy Festival website.

Here’s our pick of great venues to head to this month…

Grays @ LCB Depot

Gin and Comic at Leicester Comedy Festival

They’re well known for their lunch time delights but did you know Grays @ LCB Depot will be hosting over 60 shows during Leicester Comedy Festival? Spontaneous audiences will like the Secret Comedy Club – a ‘pay-what-you-want’ 20 minute show from a mystery comedian! It could be a TV star or the next big thing… but you won’t know until you get there. We like the sound of Gin and Comic – a gin-themed show that includes gin-themed prizes… audience participation never sounded so refreshing!

Just The Tonic pop ups

Just The Tonic is Leicester’s long standing comedy club and they’ll be popping up at a host of independent venues over the festival. If you love a bargain, check out 7 acts for £7 at Hansom Hall… we don’t need to explain the concept here. A mixed bill, 2 and a half hour show that is a total steal – it always sells out, so book your tickets quickly!




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We think fans of Indian food should head here every month of the year, but in February you can catch some comedy after your curry upstairs at Kayal. Shows include Sanjeev Kumar’s show Illegal Immigrant, taking an exhilarating journey from a small village in India to life in the UK; or why not try one of the Tickled Pink comedy nights – a celebration of talented women in an all-female line up.


PETER Pizzeria

PETER Pizzeria will be serving up slices of great comedy talent with over 50 shows during the festival. Night owls can catch The Late Night Comedy Club (10pm start) here, great if you want dinner and drinks before your festival fun. Well known names include viral impressionist Josh Berry (if you’ve not seen his James Acaster impression video, where have you been?) and the Silver Stand-up competition celebrating comedians over 55. This year Leicester Comedy Festival is tackling the subject of mental health and wellbeing – go along to the Mental Health and Comedy discussion to delve more into how the programme is helping to support performers and audiences and whether there is anything funny about mental health.


Sue Townsend Theatre

The Sue Townsend theatre will be hosting some well-known names during the 2020 festival, so if you’ve not ventured there before this is a great excuse to get down there and support one of Leicester’s independent venues! Check out the likes of Mark Watson, Andy Parsons, Tom Rosenthal, Lloyd Griffith and Ahir Shah at this historic city venue.


The Cookie

Ivo Graham

The Cookie is a well-established Comedy Festival venue and 2020 sees them return with a line up of hilarious comedy talent. Well-known names include Rosie Jones and Ivo Graham, but look out for Best New Show nominee Laura Monmoth’s show: Trans Vision Scamp. Take your support of all things Leicester one step further by going to the DMU for laughs show, featuring university alumnus David Morgan. Local comedy festival in local venue with local graduate? That’s what we’re all about!


The Y

The Y will be hosting a great programme of events during the 2020 comedy festival, but if you’re after something a little different check out Make ‘em laugh – an exhibition of comedy legends transformed into caricatures by local illustrator George Williams. Comedians taking the stage this year include Josie Long, Paul Sinha, and Dom Joly, plus don’t miss the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year show for a night of comedy talent.


The Little Theatre

Our final venue tip is The Little Theatre – which may be little in name, but is offering some big laughs. The Dad’s Army Radio show is perfect for any fans of the nation’s favourite sitcom – see it brought back to life with two actors, 2 microphones, over twenty-five characters – and lots of sound effects!


If you’re planning to head to a show, you’ll want to know that your ticket will not only get you some belly laughs – but some discounted food in your belly! Ticket holders can get discounts at a range of food and drink venues, with some restaurants offering 20% off on food – just show your ticket from a 2020 Comedy Festival show. Find the full list of participating venues and terms and conditions on the Leicester Comedy Festival website.

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