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Birmingham Comedy Festival, 6-15 October 2017

Friday 6 October 2017

Birmingham Comedy Festival and The Glee Club present:
Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2017

A hand-picked selection of emerging acts from across the West Midlands compete for the prestigious annual title.

With Alex Black, Gemma Layton (as Beverley Vegas), Eric Rushton, Rob Kemp, and Kai Samra.

Each has been especially chosen by the city's best comedians and clubs, selected for their crack gag writing skills, observational chops, deft delivery, and their potential to break out.

Your chance to catch the comedy stars of the future as they kick-start their careers.

Compered by James Cook and featuring a closing set by Lost Voice Guy.

Edinburgh Gin VIP After Show Party - featuring gin, EG goodies and a DJ set from electro swing star C@ In The H@.

The Glee Club, The Arcadian, Hurst Street, Birmingham B5 4TD
T: 0871 472 0400
* Standard Ticket: £11, £7 (NUS)
(show only)
* VIP Ticket: £16 (includes a pre-show glass of Prosecco and entry to Edinburgh Gin's special After Show Party).
Doors 8pm
Last Entry 8.15pm
Show 8.30pm
BUY TICKETS > glee.co.uk

Alex Black, Gemma Layton as Beverly Vegas, Eric Rushton, Rob Kemp, Kai Samra.

Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2017: Nominees

Having grown up in Huddersfield, Alex Black moved to the Midlands as a student and has spent the last five years in Hollywood, south Birmingham. He's been doing stand-up for two years, having been inspired by the likes of The Fast Show, Dylan Moran, Tommy Tiernan, Ross Noble and Bill Bailey. "I’m a musical comedian, telling stories about losing my youth set to the soundtrack of my long-gone teens," he says.

A former member of sketch group FunBags Comedy, Gemma Layton is a character comedian whose creations include Mercedes Benson. But it's her latest creation, Black Country cabaret singer Beverley Vegas, which has ensured her Breaking Talent Award nomination. Gemma cites The League Of Gentlemen, Victoria Wood, Julia Walters, Julia Davis and Steve Coogan as key inspirations.

Eric Rushton hails from Stone, Staffordshire, and made his stand-up debut with Warwick Comedy Society during his first year at the University Of Warwick. Though "terminally unemployed" he reached the finals of the Chortle Student Comedy Award 2016 and So You Think You're Funny? in 2017. "My material is quite self-deprecating and depressing, with a little a bit of silliness to compensate for all the moaning," he says.

Wednesbury-based examinations officer Rob Kemp started his stand-up journey nearly six years ago. His second one-man show, The Elvis Dead, mashed-up horror flick Evil Dead 2 and the hits of Elvis Presley, to became a runaway cult hit at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. An admirer of Eddie Izzard, the Pythons, Dylan Moran and Daniel Kitson, his comedic style has been described as “quite smart” and “fairly leftfield confused whimsy.”

Born in Handsworth, Birmingham, Kai Samra grew up in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Though he only started stand-up in 2016, he's already opened for such acts as Paul Chowdhry (in front of 2,000 people). Kai describes himself as "an observational comic who tackles issues such as class, race and modern culture from a fresh perspective."


The Panel

The participating acts have been nominated by James Cook (comedian, mac Birmingham Comedy Course tutor), Maureen Younger (comedian, MY Comedy), Adam Jaremko (Comedy Promoter, The Glee), and Josh Pugh (comedian, English Comedian of the Year and Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award Winner 2015).


Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award: Previous Winners
2016: Harv Hawkins
Commended: Tom Christian
2015: Josh Pugh
2014: Andrew McBurney

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