Comedy Festival time has rolled around once again and the city is taken over with brilliant shows, performances and fun. There are over 800 shows taking place this year, so where do you even begin?

For this week’s BID Spotlight feature we’re taking a look at some highlights and must see performances at some of the city’s best venues.

The Exchange Bar

Throughout the festival they’ll be hosting 25 shows ranging from well-known names to up and coming local talent. All shows are free or pay what you want, taking place in the relaxed atmosphere of the Exchange basement. Grab a drink and enjoy. Free but book tickets online

Highlights include:

  • Catherine Bohart (Wednesday 12 February) Enjoy an hour long work in progress show from Catherine, who you might recognise from BBC2 The Mash Report, Roast Battle and 8 Out of 10 Cats.
  • Alex Hylton (Monday 10 February) Fresh from his 5* debut-run in Edinburgh last year, Leicester’s own Alex Hylton is back with a brand new show.
  • PUNchline Hour (Tuesday 11 and Tuesday 18 February) Enjoy a night with some of the UK’s best one-liner comedians.
The Cosy Club

Downstairs at The Cosy Club you can catch over 40 different shows. With tickets from £5 it’s a great way to start your night out. They’re also offering 15% off food for anyone with a valid festival ticket. Some highlights include:


Give the youngsters an early introduction to comedy and enjoy shows for all the family at Curve. From traditional stand up to more theatrical numbers, there’s plenty to enjoy. Highlights include:

  • I Say (Sunday 9 February) Enjoy the annual comedy conversation featuring one of the UK’s most popular comedians, Lost Voice Guy.
  • Laugh term comedy school (During half term) Enjoy 5 days with this dedicated “school” for aspiring teenagers to develop their skills and experience of performing live comedy.
  • Notflix – the improvised musical (Saturday 22 February) Featuring a live band and original, improvised songs, this was a total sell out for 3 years running at the Edinburgh Fringe.

There’ll be over 50 shows taking place upstairs at Firebug. Again, many of these are pay what you want or tickets cost as little as £5.

  • Tickled Pink (Tuesday 11 February) Celebrate women in comedy with an all female line up. Be the change you want to see!
  • Conversation Garden on Love Island (Friday 14 February) 
Imagine Bandersnatch with less clothes and more STDs. This improv group let you decide what happens next, which of the 39 endings will you unlock? Definitely an alternative Valentine’s date.
  • See the festival out with a mixed bill of the finest professional acts on the uk comedy circuit. What better way to celebrate the end of the festival? (Saturday 22 February)
Haymarket Theatre

The historic Haymarket Theatre is back as a major venue on Leicester’s arts and culture scene and the Comedy Festival is the perfect chance to head down there. Don’t miss:

  • An interview with Milton Jones (Saturday 15 February) Best known for his appearances on Mock The Week, his loud shirts and crazy hair, don’t miss the comic chatting to festival director Geoff Rowe.
Knight & Garter
knight and garter
Brunch at the Knight & Garter comes with optional bottomless mimosas

Enjoy comedy in one of Leicester’s cosiest pubs

  • A Comedy Tapas (multiple dates) Can’t decide who you want to see? Enjoy 12 acts doing 4 minutes each to give you a perfect taster.
  • Belly laughs bottomless brunch (Saturday 15 and Saturday 22 February) Comedy, brunch and bottomless mimosas? A Perfect start to your Saturday.
Manhattan 34

leicester fridge naked comedy

Once again Manhattan 34 has some hilarious shows lined up for you. Their basement has a packed programme including plenty free and PWYW events, meaning you can enjoy an evening out without breaking the bank.

  • Naked Comedy (Friday 7 February) Yes, it really is just as it sounds… comedy and they’re naked. One of the festivals most talked about events is back again and certainly needs to be seen to be believed.
  • Leicester Fridge (Friday 21 February) Enjoy a mixed bill of local talent and discover some new comedy heroes.
  • Jokes on Us (Saturday 8, Saturday 15 and Saturday 22 February) Not sure who you want to see? Head to this mixed line up of some of the festival’s favourite acts for a no-holds barred, anything can happen showcase of talent!
New Walk Museum

A brand new venue at the Comedy Festival for 2020, but the perfect spot to enjoy some comedy with a rather different backdrop. Highlights include:

  • Kids comedy workshop (Tuesday 18 February) A wonderful opportunity for those kids who love to make people laugh to hone their comedy skills alongside comedian, Rob Gee.
  • Comedy at the Museum (Friday 21 February) Head to the museum for a unique night of comedy as the venue is transformed theatre style. Headlined by Ian Stone who was a huge hit at this year’s Gala Preview Show.
Tickets for all Leicester Comedy Festival shows and the full listings are available from the Comedy Festival website.

Don’t forget if you’re out an about enjoying the Comedy Festival then be sure to make the most of the Festival food & drink offers around town and a wide range of bars and restaurants.

There’s something to tickle even the fussiest of taste buds! Some of the participating venues and tasty deals on offer include 15% off at Chutney Ivy, 20% off food at The Globe, 25% off at Middletons Steakhouse & Grill, and many more.

All you need to do is flash you comedy ticket to claim the discount. Find the full info over on the offers news page.


Our BID Spotlight features are brought to you in collaboration with BID Leicester.

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