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Introducing Leeds Comedy Festival

Written by
Marissa Burgess

Leeds Comedy Festival is currently small and running at just one venue in Leeds but it's got its eyes on expanding over the next few years. The event is the brainchild of House of Fun comedy's Toby Jones who is running 11 shows at the independent live entertainment venue The Wardrobe with the intention of expanding into the nearby cultural centre of Leeds and beyond. Though cute in size, House of Fun has booked some brilliant and, one somewhat unexpected, acts. Here are 5 events to catch.

Sean Kelly - Saturday May 23
Yep, it's that shouty guy from 'Storage Hunters' who is normally to be found auctioning off large boxes of other people's rubbish. Turns out not was he once a journalist before he became a professional auctioneer but is a stand up comedian too. Worth a look if only to see if he manages to sell you summat.

Nick Helm - Sunday May 24
Thanks to 'Uncle' and 'Heavy Entertainment', star Nick Helm is pretty much a household name these days. Even if you enjoyed him greatly on the telly, and especially if you didn't, you have to see him live. Akin to Johnny Vegas in the big-man-flying-by-the-seat-of-his-pants-eliciting-pathos-as-he-goes stakes, Helm is a truly exhilarating spectacle and this is a rare visit to the north of England. Come on northerners, show him the love.

Gein's Family Giftshop and David Trent – Sunday May 24
Two highly acclaimed but very different acts in a double bill. Gein's came to the attention of the Edinburgh Fringe last year with their début full length show at the Pleasance. The sketches delve into a seamy underbelly pulling out its viscera as they dig. But I guess you'd expect that from a group named after an American serial killer. Meanwhile David Trent is simply a large funny man with Power Point. And it works very well indeed, over the last few years he's lampooned 'The X Factor,' pulled apart Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' with forensic detail and derided BNP cooking - all with just the aid of a laptop and a projection screen.

Robin Ince - Mon May 25
Ince is threatening to give up stand up. Well not quite give it up but he is taking a well deserved big long rest and not doing any more shows until 2017. So get to see him now. Always intelligent, informed and questioning, Ince has made a name for himself in recent years through his explorations into science with his 'Infinite Monkey Cage' shows with Professor Brian Cox and many special sciency boffin guests making complicated sciency stuff simple for us arts educated types.

Alfie Moore – Tue May 26
Moore is currently on a sabbatical from being a policeman - basically giving him licence to tell lots of tales about his experiences on the force. He's an engaging and witty storyteller with a cheeky slant. A favourite story is the one where, on finding a decapitated head, he had to still go through the procedure with emergency services to check the guy was definitely dead.

Words: Marissa Burgess


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