Little Theatre Plays Big Role in Leicester Comedy Festival 2017
The Little Theatre in Leicester will celebrate 15 years as part of Leicester Comedy Festival in 2017. Past acts who have performed at the venue as part of the festival include Daniel Kitson, Lee Mack, Michael McIntyre, Barry Cryer and Josh Widdicombe. These comedians follow in Sir Richard Attenborough’s footsteps by gracing the stage at the 349 capacity theatre which was announced as Best Large Venue at Leicester Comedy Festival 2016.
The theatre’s 2017 comedy festival programme will include performances by BBC Radio 4 regulars Croft & Pearce, Dr Phil Hammond, Mock The Week regular Gary Delaney, Sooty, TV personality Gervase Phinn, John Shuttleworth and Gein’s Family Giftshop. Tickets are now on sale and are available from The Little Theatre box office on 0116 2551302 and the festival box office on 0116 456 6812.
The Little Theatre is run by the Leicester Drama Society that includes Joe Orton as well as the Attenborough brothers among its esteemed alumni. The venue first participated in the annual Leicester Comedy Festival in 2003 when their programme included Daniel Kitson, Richard Herring and Jeff Green. Over the 15 years, the theatre has developed its comedy programme and has become an established player in the Leicester Comedy Festival, becoming a favourite of audiences and comedians.
John Shuttleworth is returning to The Little Theatre for his 4th visit in 2017 as part of his ‘My Last Will and Tasty Mint’ UK tour. When asked why he liked playing the venue so much John Shuttleworth quipped “For the same reason I like playing the Scout hut in Killamarsh – a small venue makes me feel big. The Little Theatre in Leicester makes me feel enormous, oof!”
Festival favourite Patrick Monahan says “one of the nicest venues in the UK to play, it might be called the Little Theatre but it has such a big heart! It’s got a big stage to run around on, always a beautiful audience watching and the most amazing staff that not only make sure the show runs smoothly but give you a hug & kiss before and after the show!”
The Little Theatre relies on volunteers to book their festival programme and this started when Julia Meynell and Karen Gordon saw an opportunity for the theatre to get involved in the comedy festival. They ran things for the first 10 years, making early bookings with comedians such as Jeremy Hardy, Sean Hughes, Jenny Eclair & David O’Doherty. Taking on the reins for the next 3 years was Radojka Radulovic who developed a more theatrical comedy programme with shows such as Austentatious and Knightmare Live before passing the baton to current booker Colin Bowles. Colin has developed the programme even further with bookings from the next generation of comedy shows including sketch groups such as Gein’s Family Giftshop and comedian Tania Edwards, who are booked into the theatre’s Studio space for the 2017 festival. Colin’s involvement also coincides with the development of the Laugh á Little strand at the theatre.
Colin said “I’m proud to have been able to take on the role and develop the work that Julia, Karen and Radojka built up over 15 years. The venue is a beautiful theatre and we’re proud to have played our part in contributing to the success of Leicester Comedy Festival. Everyone at the theatre now looks forward to our festival programme each February.”
Perhaps Edinburgh Festival Fringe stalwart Arthur Smith said it best when he told the theatre recently “I have played in theatres all over the world but none can compare with the glorious Leicester Little Theatre whose glory will transcend time itself”
Full details of The Little Theatre’s comedy festival programme can be found here:
Laugh á Little shows