Comedy with a difference at Embrace Arts

Posted by pt91 at Feb 13, 2013 11:11 PM |
Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival events at the University of Leicester's arts centre

Issued by Embrace Arts on 23 January 2013

Embrace Arts is hosting a programme of comedy with a difference this February as part of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.  The University of Leicester’s inclusive arts centre, Embrace Arts, proudly presents a distinctive line-up of stand-up, theatre, discussion and children’s events from 8 – 24 February.  The unmissable programme features often thought-provoking themes and unique styles from ‘challenging’ and ‘moving’, to ‘absurdly silly’.

As an inclusive arts centre, Embrace Arts is delighted to present exceptional work created and performed by artists with disabilities.   Abnormally Funny People (9 Feb, 8pm) features a group of gifted stand-up comedians and all but one have disabilities.  Don Biswas draws on his Aspergers and Asian background while MC Liz Carr, star of BBC’s Prime Suspect, talks frankly with inherent comedy about life as a disabled person.  In The Short and the Long of It (16 Feb, 8.30pm), newlyweds Kiruna Stamell and Gareth Berliner take us on a raucous journey into rudeness and hilarity which challenges assumptions we make about what is beautiful.  Gareth is a stand-up comedian and Kiruna is a comedy actress best known for roles in programmes such as Life’s Too Short and a recent unforgettable audition on Sky’s Got to Dance 4. Laurence Clark returns to Embrace Arts (24 Feb, 8pm) with a show first brought to the venue as a work in progress last June which has since received rave-reviews and awards.  Covering topics from mountain climbing to bungee jumping, via the man with the world's longest ear-hair, this inimitable comedian sorts out once and for all what’s truly ‘inspiring’.   On Sunday 10 February at 2pm a free discussion seminar Funny Bones will take place exploring the increase in the profile of disability and what disability awareness means for the comedy industry, comedians and audiences.  

Following its huge success in 2012, the Silver Stand-up competition returns to Embrace Arts on 14 February at 7pm – a Valentine’s night out with a difference.  This unique evening will showcase the shortlisted entrants aged 55 and over, all vying for the coveted Silver Stand-up and Silver Stand-up Newcomer awards.

Embrace Arts is delighted to present comedy which draws upon life experiences.  In Ollie Smith: 27 (8 Feb, 8pm) Ollie Smith reflects that real rockstars died aged 27, Ollie Smith is 26, he is not a rockstar – yet.  Sitting somewhere between a grubby gig, a fanatic lecture and a Jonestown-esque cult meeting, 27 is a darkly comic show that stirs up the myths and conspiracies surrounding the notorious 27 Club: a group of legendary musicians who all died at just 27 years of age. The show balances on a shaky knife-edge between hilarity and poignancy, peppered with drugs, booze, electrocution, murder and suicide!  In End to End ( 17 Feb, 8pm) The Gramophones Theatre Company present a three-woman show telling of their unique journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 18 days by as many modes of transport as possible with just £1 a mile to do it. Relive their trials and tribulations, and the unexpected acts of kindness they encountered along the way.

Also part of the comedy offering at Embrace Arts are events specially created for families. Children aged 4-9 and their grown-ups will love the incredible theatrical experience The Flying Machine on Saturday 23 February.  Climb aboard the flying machine and get ready for a magical adventure. Be a member of the crew on a journey through the skies in this interactive theatre session, with lots of fun props for children and their families to play with. Sessions take place at 10am, 11.15am, 2pm and 3pm and must be booked in advance.  The wonderfully original Paul Currie brings his Kids’ Comedy show to Embrace Arts on 24 February at 3pm. Paul Currie is a skilled puppeteer who has worked on kids’ shows including CBeebies Big & Small, Sesame Tree, Big City Park and Jim Henson’s Pajanimals. Also an accomplished stand-up comedian, circus tutor and performer, Paul uses all his skills to create an hour of fun for children aged 5 plus and their families. This is absurdist clowning at its best. Leave all reasoning at the door - and prepare for nothing!

Ticket prices range from just £5 up to £12 and holders of the NUS extra card can see all of the shows for just £5. For more information, ticket prices and to book, please visit, call 0116 252 2455 or email  For regular updates find Embrace Arts on Facebook and Twitter.  Embrace Arts is located at the Richard Attenborough centre on Lancaster Road near the fire station (LE1 7HA).


For more press information please call Francesca Wright on 07926 359546 or email

Notes to Editors:

Embrace Arts

As the University of Leicester’s arts centre, Embrace Arts offers opportunities to everyone to participate without barriers in ways that challenge and inspire. Its welcoming 120-seater performance area, dance and art studios, gallery and bright foyer space enable people to engage with the arts as audiences, performers and learners. 

Purpose-built to provide inclusive access to all, Embrace Arts provides a focal point for cultural life on campus and in the wider community. It is currently fundraising to match a £900,000 capital grant from Arts Council England to extend its existing gallery space for the display and interpretation of contemporary visual art and increase access for disabled people.

More information is available at

Embrace Arts, Richard Attenborough centre, Lancaster Road, Leicester LE1 7HA. Box office: 0116 252 2455; e-mail:

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