May sees the launch of London’s first ever LGBTQ+ Stand-up Comedy Festival, conceived by Comedy Bloomers, home of the LGBTQ+ New Comedian of the Year competition. The festival, which runs from May 17th to June 11th, features both established and up-and-coming talent at a selection of venues throughout the city, and promises to deliver a much-needed injection of queer humour into our lives.


Launching with a fundraiser for Rainbow Migration, a charity which supports LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system, the festival will provide a dynamic platform for the different voices that make up the LGBTQ+ community. The first event takes place in conjunction with Clandestina Queer Comedy, a queer women, trans and non-binary led comedy show at London’s Seven Dials Club. Other venues include 21 Soho, 2Northdown and much loved LGBTQ+ venue, The Two Brewers in Clapham.

Acts confirmed for the festival launch include: Jess Fostekew, Sarah Keyworth, Victoria Olsina and Jen Ives. Other names including: Rhys Nicholson (Judge Ru Paul’s Drag Down Under, Netflix Live at Athenaeum), Stephen Bailey, Ella Vaday (Drag Race UK), James Barr (A Gay & A Non Gay podcast) and Hannah Byczkowski (Winner, BBC Traitors Season 1) have been confirmed for other dates throughout the festival. Shows will be hosted by some of the best-known LGBTQ+ MCs in the UK including Kuan Wen, Charlie George and Russell Arathoon.

Chris Smith, of Comedy Bloomers, explained: “The success of the LGBTQ+ New Comedian of the Year, which we launched in 2019, has demonstrated the considerable appetite that exists for LGBTQ+ stand-up comedy. When we began investigating how we could showcase even more queer comedy, we realised there was a great opportunity to create a dedicated LGBTQ+ stand-up comedy festival in London.

“Giving a platform to the LGBTQ+ community, and especially trans comedians, at a time when the narrative is so polarising is a powerful way to elevate and empower them. Humour transcends our differences, breaking down boundaries and uniting us all in laughter. We hope comedy fans both within the community and beyond will join us in this celebration of incredible talent, checking their preconceived ideas, together with their coats, at the door.”

With recent shows from comedians such as Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle coming under fire for targeting minority groups and the subject of cancel culture being high on the agenda, the LGBTQ+ Stand-up Comedy Festival promises to let the comedy do the talking.

Smith continued: “Queer comedy has evolved into a flourishing, dynamic, sophisticated genre of humour that not only pokes fun at lazy stereotypes, found both inside and outside of the community, but also provides a refreshing insight into the various subcultures found within the LGBTQ+ world.

“Comedy Bloomers is dedicated to giving marginalised comedians a platform and to nurturing LGBTQ+ talent that might otherwise remain undiscovered. We want to showcase the incredible talent that exists so that rather than being booked as a token addition to the bill, diverse performers are recognised based on their merit and booked as a regular addition to the line-up.”

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