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Stuart Goldsmith And Thanyia Moore Nominated for Leicester Comedy Festival 2023 Awards

Plus – ticket sales increase of 23% since 2022 points to signs of post-pandemic recovery of live event industry

The 30th Anniversaryof Leicester Comedy Festival and 5th Anniversary of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival came to an end last week, having featured a staggering 704 events across the festivals.

Following the hugely successful year, Leicester Comedy Festival and The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival are proud to announce the award nominations for 2023, which will take place on Monday 27th March.

Best Show contenders include Stuart Goldsmith, Ali Woods and Chloe PettsBest New Show contenders include Bethany Black and Thanyia MooreOlaf Falafel’s Super Stupid Show and Shelf: The Kids’ Showare some of the nominees for Best Kids Show and Mitch Benn and Any Suggestions Doctor?  are included in the nominees for Best Improv/Musical Show. In addition, the Legend of Comedy and Lifetime Contribution Award winners will be announced on the night of the awards. Previous winners of the Legend of Comedy Award include Victoria Wood, Barry Cryer, Rik Mayall, Lenny Henry & Stewart Lee.  The festival awards also highlight the people and venues behind the scenes, with nominations for Best New, Large and Small Venues and Promoters being announced today too.

The festivals this year have had a growth of 6% in events from 2022 and in a positive sign for the ongoing recovery of the live event industry post-pandemic, ticket sales were up a massive 23% from 2022. Comedy fans travelled from across the UK, Northern Ireland and Europe to see shows, with the official streaming platform NextUp Comedy streaming 19 live events throughout the festival. One comedy fan even enjoyed over 77 live shows across the 19 day period! The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival issued 70% more tickets than in 2022 and box office takings were up by 60%.

Leicester Comedy Festival 2023 featured 870 comedians performing at 630 events which equates to over 52,000 minutes of comedy.  Sell out shows and appearances included Stewart Lee, Celya AB, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Scott Bennett, Fatiha El-Ghorri, Seann Walsh, Nish Kumar, Eshaan Akbar, Stephen Bailey, Chelsea Birkby, Simon Brodkin, Alfie Moore & Ignacio Lopez. Perhaps the fastest selling show at the festival was the appearance by Rosie Jones which sold out in less than 4 hours.

Over 1,100 people watched the Beyond A Joke seminar programme online.  The programme included discussions around mental health and comedy, combatting sexual harassment in live comedy, and the future of the Live Comedy Association.

The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival 2023, featured over 74 events in 29 venues.  Performances included Masai Graham, Alasdair Beckett-King, Comedy Club 4 Kids, Comedy in the Dark For Kids, Rob Gee, Marcel Lucont, Olaf Falafel, Kyle D Evans, Shelf, Jarred Christmas and Wifi Wars. The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival engaged 14 schools, over 550 primary school children for Loving Laughing. It delivered eight joke spots which attracted 200 children. Sixteen 11-18 year olds attended workshops to learn how to write and perform jokes as part of Laugh Academy.

“We are incredibly proud and delighted with the response to Leicester Comedy Festival & The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival 2023.  We saw amazing growth in terms of attendance and ticket sales, and the number of people who continue to visit the festivals from across the UK.  A massive thanks to all those who performed on stages and those who attended events.  Our festivals remain not for profit and the continued support from the comedy industry, fans, promoters, venue staff, funders & sponsors, volunteers and all members of the festivals community means we can remain the largest comedy festival in Europe.

We are thrilled to announce the nominees in our annual awards.  The lists for all the categories help demonstrate the incredible range and diversity of acts who perform at our festivals, and I think help show that British comedy is back after so many years of disruption.  We’re looking forward to opening the gold envelopes at the awards ceremony later this month and announcing the winners.”

Geoff Rowe, Festivals Founder

Leicester Comedy Festival on Screen One
Leicester Comedy Festival

The full list of Awards Categories and nominees for 2023

Best Debut Show      

Alexandra Haddow: Not my finest hour (WIP)

Big Zeus Energy

Charlie George: Grace (WIP)

Fatiha El-Ghorri: Work in Progress

Louise Young: Far out (WIP)

Stanley Brooks: I can make me rich

Best New Show

Adele Cliff does her best and tries new things out (WIP)

Bethany Black: Always bet on Beth

Eric Rushton: Not That Deep

Stephen Bailey: Untitled & Unwritten (WIP)

Tadiwa Mahlunge: 25

Thanyia Moore: August (WIP)

Best Show

Ali Woods: Work in Progress

Chloe Petts: Transience

Kuan-Wen: Ilha Formosa (WIP)

Mad Ron: Crime School

Milo Edwards: Voicemail

Stuart Goldsmith: Spoilers (WIP)

Best Music or Improv Show

Any Suggestions Doctor? The Improvised Doctor Who Parody

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation

Conversation Garden: 10 Year Anniversary Show

Mitch Benn: It’s About Time

Paul Richards: My Functioning Band Hell

Russell Hicks: Next Level

Best Kids Show

Mr Sleepy Bum

Olaf Falafel’s Super Stupid Show

Shelf: The Kids’ Show

Tell Tale Twit… A Storytelling Show by Gav Cross

The Return of the Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show

Contribution to LCF 2023

Rob Gee 

Crosscut Media 

Peril Design 

Demon FM 

Harborough District Council 

DMU archive team 

Tracey Miller Community Award (presented by Pete Miller)



Jason Neale

Stand up for Turkey/Syria 

Mayflower Primary School

Leicester Libraries

Liberty Award


PETER Pizzeria
Kate & Lucas for Laugh Academy

Sam Grubb 

Leicester Community Radio 

Black Horse

Business contribution (presented by Pete Miller)

Belmont Hotel


Gresham Aparthotel


Howes Percival

Jerroms Miller Specialist Tax

Student of the Year

Chantelle Small 

Charlotte Chapman 

Hannah Fitzgerald 

Tilly Maynard 

Cezara Buburuzanu 

Larno Vasiliauskas 

Best Promoter

Laughter Loft/The Black Horse


Jokes on Us 

DoorStep Comedy

Monster Comedy

Furthest from the sea

Best Promoter

Laughter Loft/The Black Horse


Jokes on Us

DoorStep Comedy

Monster Comedy

Furthest from the sea

Best Small Venue

The Black Horse


Duffy’s Bar

Knight & Garter

Menphy’s Hub

Best Large Venue

The Y Theatre

De Montfort Hall

Curve Theatre

Sue Townsend Theatre

The Little Theatre

Just The Tonic at Hansom Hall

Best New Venue

200 Degrees Coffee Shop

45 West

Birch Tree

King Richard III pub

La Maison

Sommar Leicester

Leicester Comedy Festival

● Twitter@LeicsComedyFest // Instagram@LeicsComedyFest // Facebook@LeicsComedyFest

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