Friday 4 October 2019
Birmingham Comedy Festival and The Glee Club present:
Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2019
The West Mids' biggest comedy prize is back!
With Celya AB, Jay Droch, Adam Elmi, Doug Carter and Mary Flanigan.
A hand-picked selection of the very best emerging acts from across the region compete for the prestigious annual title.
Each act has been nominated by a team of leading comedy professionals, chosen for their crack gag writing skills, observational chops, deft delivery, and their potential to break out.
Your chance to catch West Mids' comedy stars of tomorrow as they kick-start their glittering careers.
Compered by James Cook and featuring a closing set from rising Scottish comedian, Fern Brady.
Supported by The Arcadian.
About the shortlisted acts ...
Originally from the outskirts of Paris, Ceyla AB now calls Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter home. Performing since February 2017, she cites Dylan Moran, David Mitchell and Maria Bamford, as well as Les inconnus and Desproges, as comedy influences. Combining work in customer service with stand-up, the Funny Women 2019 finalist describes her humour as "warm, daft, strange …"
Having made his stand-up debut at Stirling's Bar, in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, just 18 months ago, Erdington's Jay Droch has gone on to open for Guz Khan and perform at a BBC Asian Network Comedy Night. Working in logistics, he's also a member of improv' troupe Jumprov, and cites Robin Williams as his number one comedy idol.
From tentative steps back in 2015, Adam Elmi started focussing more heavily on stand-up during 2017, developing a "dark and self-depreciating" style. With three part-time jobs (including working as "a bouncer"), he presently lives in Edgbaston, Birmingham, and recently opened for Tom Stade on his UK tour.
Born in Coventry, and now living in Bedworth, Doug Carter first trod the boards at Birmingham's The Roadhouse in the spring of 2017, though it was it was nearly nine months later before he decided to continue with stand-up. He works in the construction industry, and his comedy combines observational humour with real-life stories.
A TV researcher and member of BBC Northern Ireland's Comedy Writers Room, Mary Flanigan started doing stand-up in her native Belfast, and has continued to pursue comedy since moving to Kings Heath, Birmingham, at the beginning of the year. Her approach to comedy is "constantly changing," though she name-checks Tina Fey, Josie Long, Ross Noble and Maria Bamford as key inspirations.
Mark Tughan: The Glee Club
Since opening the first dedicated comedy club outside of the London 25 years ago, The Glee has welcomed the biggest names in stand-up. Mark's continued to expand the award-winning club's reach with venues in Nottingham, Cardiff, Oxford and now Glasgow.
Lady Lisa: BBCWM
After a decade producing programmes on BBC Radio 2, working alongside Chris Evans, Jo Whiley, Ken Bruce and Steve Wright, Lady Lisa (aka Lisa Smith) is now behind the mic'. As presenter of BBCWM's Kitchen Disco she lines-up her favourite tunes alongside chat, music news and West Midlands stories.
Steve Bennett: Chortle
Founded in 2001, Chortle is the premier source of comedy news, reviews and listings in the UK, attracting around 180,000 unique visitors every month.
EJ Penalba: NextUp Comedy
NextUp is a subscription video platform that streams over 150 stand-up specials worldwide whilst sharing revenue with the acts 50/50. NextUp streams the most exciting names in stand-up comedy, filming and showcasing their work via their mobile and TV apps.
Dave Freak: Birmingham Comedy Festival
2019's participating acts have been nominated by:
Josh Pugh, comedian, English Comedian of the Year 2016 and Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award Winner 2015.
Adam Jaremko, The Glee Clubs' Comedy Promoter, Comedy Carousel.
James Cook, comedian, booker, comedy course tutor.
Maureen Younger, comedian, author, MY Comedy.
About the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award
The prize was set up in 2014 to support (and raise the profile of) new, emerging and early career comedy acts from across the West Midlands. There is no application process. Participation is strictly by invitation-only and based on the strength of performances over the preceding 12 months.
2018: Laura Monmoth
Also nominated: Good Kids (Commended); Phil Carr; Adam Beardsmore; Sham Zaman
2017: Kai Samra
Also nominated: Rob Kemp; Gemma Layton (as Beverly Vegas); Eric Rushton.
2016: Harv Hawkins
Also nominated: Tom Christian (Commended); Ali Warwood; Moses Ali Khan; Richard Quarmby.
2015: Josh Pugh
Also nominated: Michael Dryburgh; Lucy Thompson; Thomas Rackham; Jo D'Arcy; Jack Kirwan (Gary Pownland).
2014: Andrew McBurney
Also nominated: Danny James Clives; Hannah Silvester; Lindsey Santoro; Christopher John Hall; Wayne Beese.
© Copyright - Birmingham Comedy Festival 2019.