See the next wave of Asian comedians perform live at Leeds City Varieties – and do it for free.
They say nothing in life is free, but they’re wrong because the BBC is bringing a new wave of Asian comedic talent to Leeds and you can see them for absolutely nothing. The Big Asian Comedy Night will arrive in Leeds for two back-to-back shows on Wednesday 11th July 2018, and if you get in there quick, you can bag tickets.
Comedian and host of BBC Two’s The Mash Report, Nish Kumar, will be compèring. You probably know him, he’s a regular on Mock the Week, Have I Got News for You, Q.I and Taskmaster, to name but a few. He’s also had a slew of sell-out stand-up shows, which combine witty anecdotes with political comedy, so expect laugh-out-loud gags as they roll through stand-up acts from 10 of the best up and coming Asian comedians in the country.
Let’s take a look at the line-up. You’ve got Ahir Shah, a guy who started his comedy career at just 15 and is now breaking into the mainstream with his unique blend of philosophical inquiry, political vigour and sweet gags. He’ll be joined by the BBC Radio New Comedy Awards finalist, Tez Ilyas, whose good-humoured commentary on life as a Muslim in Britain has folks rolling in the aisles.
Aditi Mittal, a proudly Indian comedian whose repertoire covers everything from Bollywood to gender equality and bra shopping, will be there too. Last year she made her Fringe debut and the critics saw her potential as a future star, so she’s not to be missed. And neither is Emily Lloyd-Saini, a home-bred Northern comedian – her fringe debut in 2016 brought not one, but two shows, and both were nominated for the ‘Funny Women Best Female Show Award’. You can see her lift the lid on life as a half-Indian East Midlander at the Big Asian Comedy Night.
Also there on the night is Mark Silcox – another BBC Radio New Comedian of the Year finalist, he’s got a PhD in analytical chemistry and a wealth of unusual stories under the hood. From the Big Bang to the future of childbirth, you just never know where the science will take you next. Anuvab Pal, on the other hand, is a multi-tasking comedian who doubles as a playwright, a journalist and a screenwriter. Over the years, his stand-up shows have taken him from the idiosyncrasies of Indians to the realities of life as a 40+ man.
Wait, there’s more. Sukh Ojla is a comedienne-cum-actress, who thinks privacy is a white thing, dating is hard work and Rush Hour Crush is the only reason to read The Metro. She’ll be on at the Big Asian Comedy Night, alongside Bradford-born comedienne Isma Almas – her childhood was split between Pakistan and Yorkshire, so expect an entertaining take on life as a British Muslim woman.
We’re down to the final two. Eshaan Akbar is a likeable character with a string of accolades to his name. He’s been in the finals of ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ and ‘Laughing Horse’, performed at Edinburgh Fringe and warmed up the crowd for Micky Flanagan. Meanwhile, Mawaan Rizwan, is a young go-getter with a huge personality and a bombastic show – expect the unexpected.
You can see them all for free at the Big Asian Comedy Night. They’re doing one show at Leeds City Varieties at 4:30pm, but you can’t just show up. You have to apply in advance, and because they’re recording it live for BBC Two, they need a full house. That means they send out more tickets than they have space for and may have to turn people away on the night, so get there early to avoid disappointment.
The Big Asian Comedy Night comes to Leeds City Varieties at 4:30pm on Wednesday 11th July 2018.
Cover image credit: Steve Ullathorne