Tag Archives: Edinburgh Fringe

Leicester Comedy Festival 2017 – Recommended

The 2017 Leicester Comedy Festival starts on Wednesday 8th February. It’s a wonderful comedy festival that runs over three weeks, this year from 8th to 26th Feb. It hosts the UK Pun Championships, Silver Stand-Up Award and Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year. There are also awards for Best Show and Best Debut: all are indicators of the ones to watch in the comedy world.

The main difference between Leicester and the Edinburgh Fringe is people tend to do just one or two shows, and the city centre is compact so it’s much easier to get around. However, with so many shows on offer the choice can seem overwhelming.

Stand-Up Marketing has created a spreadsheet to make that choice a little easier, and maybe the getting around and managing costs too (attached below in excel and PDF).

Leicester-2017-recommendations PDF

Recommendations are subjective, selective and not all-inclusive, with some glaring omissions. For example, Seann Walsh: One for the Road, because we don’t even know where Loughborough is, but we hear it’s sporty.  Apologies to those left out. We wanted to pick a top five, we seem to have ended up with a top 100.

Do follow the blog and check on Twitter @kerryherbert007 for daily recommendations.

Kerry Herbert was on the Leicester Comedy Awards panel in 2016, seeing around 25 shows in one week – 7 in one day. On one Saturday she saw 5 men take their clothes off and one put them back on. After much discussion and debate between the baker’s dozen of judges, the Best Show Award went to John Gordillo, and the Best Debut went to Dude Looks Like a Lady. They all kept their penises to themselves.

Have fun!

Top Picks for the Best Comedy at #Edfringe 2016

Arthur's Seat

Hello Edinburgh! Here are my Comedy Top Picks for the 2016 #EdFringe, in alphabetical order:

Adam Hess: Feathers – I haven’t seen this show yet, but it already has great word of mouth and I love his poster if it’s the same one from Facebook posted a few months ago. He’s a superfast gagsmith – just as well it’s earlyish.  Heroes @ The Hive (Venue 313), 16.10

Cheekykita: Tittitutar Town – everyone laughs a bit of horror. This mad Mighty Boosh-style clown spits bits of The Exorcist as she takes you into a weird world of crab families, singing spiders and little men. A Prague Fringe award-winner, NATYS finalist and Colchester New Comedian of the Year, she’s one to watch. Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18), 15.50 – from the 15th August only.

Cheekykita: Tittutar Town, Sweet Grassmarket 3.50pm

Fraser Geesin: Jack of All Polymaths – thoroughly enjoyed the Preview and has several brilliant gags worthy of #Dave’sBestJoke. With added Powerpoint. Laughing Horse @ 48 Below (Venue 146), 20.45

Joanna Neary Does Animals and Men – one of the most underrated comedians in the UK. Deservedly, she was in the shortlist for Leicester Comedy Festival’s Best Show 2016. The Stand 5&6 (Venue 319), 14.30

Lucy Porter: Consequences – an amazing live stand-up. Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 17.30

Mark Watson’s EdinbrOlympics – it’s the Olympics! It’s a late show so try not to clash with Usain Bolt or the tennis. Martin Mor is also doing an international LOlympic event at The Stand in the Square (Venue 372). Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 23.00

Nick Helm: Nobody Likes Me (Work in Progress) – yup, the unmissable Edfringe legend is in Edinburgh for one day only. It’s not on the Festival website, you can only book through the Pleasance. Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 20 August, 16.00

Nick Helm chooses the Grenada Chocolate Company bar

Q. What chocolate would Nick Helm choose for his Sunday brunch? A. Grenada Chocolate Company Saltylicious

Phil Jerrod: Hypocrite – the difficult second show from a man who makes it look easy. Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 18.00

Phil Jerrod

Sean McLoughlin: Kamikaze – pure stand-up. Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 20.30

Spencer Jones Presents: The Herbert in a Proper Job –  back again, this time at the Underbelly. A hysterical clown to bring out the kid in you – and possibly your kids.  Underbelly (Venue 61), 17.20

Spencer Jones is The Herbert

Spencer Jones Presents The Herbert in Eggy Bagel – his new show, still excellent but cheaper. Heroes @ The Hive (Venue 313) 20.50

SuZanna GonZo: Dark Lady – more female character clowning (a bit of a trend this year) from this hugely optimistic Texan cruise ship entertainer – aka award-winning comedy actor, Crystal Maze Master and Secret Cinema Dirty Dancer, Katie O’ Brien. Just the Tonic at the Mash House (Venue 288) ,15.00.

Suzanna Gonzo A5 ad

S&M Masterclass: Seann Walsh and Mark Simmons – brilliantly physical floppy-haired observationist meets brilliant one-liner merchant. And it’s FREE. Start queuing now. Banshee Labyrinth (Venue 156), 15.10

Zoe Lyons: Little Misfit – she’s talking about bins. Get in! Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14), 19.00 & 22.45

Also highly recommended: Barbara Nice RAFFLE!, Evelyn Mok, Glenn Moore, Grainne Maguire, Jenny Collier, Joel Dommett, John Gordillo, Joz Norris, Kate Lucas, Katie Mulgrew, Pat Cahill and Stephen Carlin.

And from the Brighton massive: Aidan Goatley, Jane Postlethwaite, Louise Raey, Russ Peers, and Sam Savage.

And you MUST go to the Iraq Out & Loud: Reading the Chilcot Report in Full. Organised by Bob Slayer it’s properly important. It might be boring, if anything on Bob’s Blunderbus can be boring, but maybe you’ll get a good bit. Readers include Omid Djalili, Stewart Lee, and me.  Heroes @ Bob ‘s Blunderbus (Venue 212), 24-7 till it’s done.

Thanks to Ed Moore for many of these photos. Here’s one of mine; a cocktail designed for me at my favourite foodie haunt, The Kitchin in Leith:

JUSTICE JACK IMG_1750 50ml Jack Daniels
50ml fresh orange juice
25ml fresh lemon
20ml sugar syrup
6 raspberries, muddled

Happy Fringe and good luck to all the comics! And remember, I’m always here to help with your marketing and PR, whether it’s social media, chasing up the press, or organising a reprint of your lovely, lovely flyers!

Kerry x

PS. These are my genuine, entirely subjective recommendations as a result of seeing loads of comedy in Leicester, Brighton, London and a field in Wiltshire. As always, sorry to those I’ve forgotten or missed out.

These are just my opinions based on what I find funny. It’s always worth going to several random Fringe shows to find out what YOU like. You’ll be amazed at the variety and how quickly you learn what you hate! (I hate young men taking their clothes off – mainly in comedy shows. I saw 6 in Leicester, though the last one started off naked and put his clothes back on. That was the only joke in the show. I didn’t look for another. Orlando BOOM!) #OrlandoBloom

And do let me know who you’ve loved or loathed in the 2016 Edinburgh Festivals – I love a gossip! You can find me on Facebook, on Twitter @kerryherbert007 or in the Library Bar. Cheers! x

Kerry and the tardis, Edinburgh 2007

It’s May 1st in sunny Brighton and I’ve drawn up my spreadsheet for things I’d most like to see at the Brighton Fringe and beyond. At the moment there are 80 shows, but cutting out the doubling up and shows that I just can’t fit in it leaves me with a schedule for about 50. At the Leicester Comedy Festival earlier this year I saw 22 in a week, 7 in one day, so it’s doable – hurray!

(A word of warning: when I came back from Leicester I had “flu” for 10 days.)

If you’d rather just have some guidance to “must-sees”, here’s my humble opinion and sorry to those I’ve left out – I’m a philistine. In no particular order:

Pat Cahill: Panjandrum, 13 May, 21.00 Komedia, £8.
A nominee for Best Show at Leicester 2016. A Beatles effect on the female judging panel. Prepare to wet yourself laughing or throw your knickers – either way you’re in for a good time.

Pat Cahill

Jo Neary Does Animals and Men, 10-12 May, 22.00 Hobgoblin, FREE.
Another nominee for Best Show in Leicester 2016 for a different show, Faceful of Issues, which was a simply hilarious delight which also featured Centre Partin’ Martin. I’ve loved Jo Neary for a very long time, but I’d only seen her do short sets. When given an hour she transports you Willy Wonkalike to a world of imagination and you wonder what on Earth you been doing all these years. I felt things – emotion and green fabric.


David James: Precisely, 28 May and 4 June, 17.30 Komedia Studio, £10.
Thigh-slappingly good. A traditional anecdotal stand-up, he’s been compared to Jack Dee and Stewart Lee but he reminds me of Dave Allen.


David James appears at the Brighton Fringe for two nights only with his new show, Precisely. Photo: Ed Moore

Sarah Kendall plus support, 12 May, 20.00 Komedia, £10.
5 stars in Edinburgh, a Mick Perrin act, say no more.

Mat Ewins and John Kearns: 12 May, 21.00, Republic, £10.
It’s John Kearns innit?

The Alasdair Beckett-King Mysteries 27-28 May, 23.30, Caroline of Brunswick, FREE unticketed.
NATYS award-winner. Brilliant, original and does a fabulous impression of John the Baptist. He was on at Charity Chuckle with previous NATYS award-winner Joe Wilkinson. I asked if the award had done anything for their careers. “No, nothing.” Get on board, comedians, it’s a Crazy Mouse to hell!

Sara Pascoe: Animal, 14 May, 19.30, Corn Exchange, £13. Part of the #BrightonFestival
Currently sold out, but you can always buy the book. Click here for Waterstones.


Brighton Goes Gospel, #FeelGoodWithBGG, 21 May, 15.00 and 19.30, Roedean Theatre, £12.
Search for Gospel on the online ticket shop or pick up tickets from the Dome Box Office.
Singing Bob Marley, The Beatles and special arrangements by choir director Daniel Thomas, if you love The Blues Brothers you’ll love this. (Yes, I’m in it.)

Other recommendations from the Brighton Fringe: Tina C, Cassette Boy, Suzy Bennett, Athena Kugblenu, Icons (le Gateau Chocolate), Sean McLoughlin, Abandoman, John Hastings, Jessica Fostekew, Joz Norris and Casual Violence – among so many others – and there’s also a rumour that Leicester Best Debut winners Dude Looks Like a Lady are performing at The Warren on 1st June, but hey, you’ve only so much you can do and I know you’ve also got to see King Lear and Ghostbusters.

And this isn’t even including our Brighton locals Aidan Goatley, Fraser Geesin, Rob Dumbrell, Joe Foster, Rich Perry, Michael Fabbri, Zoe Lyons (Bent Double) and the Jill Edwards New Act Night – all ace.

I hope this helps. If not, just nip to Wahaca and have a guacumole with pork scratchings. That’ll sort you out. A margarita and guac if you’re veggie. It’s also the Brighton Fringe hub, so if someone is picking up flyers and makes the staff laugh – follow them.

Happy Bank Holiday! See you soon, maybe at Romesh Ranganathan on the 2nd May and Gordillo in June at the Caroline of Brunswick – there’s some amazing #Edfringe Previews coming up too. Have fun!

Kerry xx


“Search Engine Origami”

I went to a business conference in Brighton yesterday. There were people of all ages, some with blue hair, some with purple, one with blonde hair that faded from pale blue to purple. Gorgeous! A bearded man stood up after a lecture in the Dome Corn Exchange, and when his trousers slipped down to reveal his entire be-panted bottom, he paused for a moment, considered, and left the trousers down. We were under strict instructions from the organisers to celebrate the geek, both within and without, so I managed to restrain myself from reaching over and pulling them up for him. I’m a geek and a mother; that was hard!

Yes, it was Brighton, but what could this wonderful business world be that attracted such luminous butterflies and their pants?

SEO. Heard of it? Many of the people outside of the digital bubble haven’t. As I was lunching in the Chilli Pickle (fabulous, thank you – I recommend the ribs with a vegetable curry, roti and chapatti on the side and a beautifully crisp glass of house white. You’re welcome!) a lady next to me asked what my lanyard was. She’d seen a lot of them about. I said SEO – the internet, web content, Google. She looked blank. “Search Engine Origami!” I said. She grinned. “Well I’ve heard of the origami.

Search Engine Optimization is basically making the text, pictures and layout of your website work so that you come up in Google searches. Here’s the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it kind of is. It talks about VISIBILITY. In comedy terms, that’s your public profile:

  • Have people heard about you?
  • Can they find out about you? Easily?
  • Is what they hear good?
  • Can they see a picture of you?
  • Perhaps a video?
  • Do they know where you’re playing next, and how to get there?
  • Why would they WANT to come and see you?

And if that sounds obvious, that’s also because it kind of is. And that’s where I come in:  complicated and obvious – ta daaa!

Having helped with the London Sketch Festival, I’m now working on shows in the Brighton Fringe and the Edinburgh Festival. It’s advertising and poster time at the moment. Here’s an ad I’m doing for a Charity Chuckle show with Just the Tonic.

Charity Chuckle Ad2 Edinburgh JTT

YOU are your business. Business professionals employ experts: if you want comedy to be your business, it makes sense to employ Stand-Up Marketing to do the tedious and the time-consuming. That way, you can spend more of your time making the show as brilliant as brilliant can be.

What can Stand-Up Marketing do for you?
As a client, the plan is to create a 360˚marketing strategy that will get results, with agreed targets and a budget. From the mundane to the mad, we’ve done it all: filled in endless online listings forms, revised websites to get them up the rankings, made feedback notes on shows, arranged publicity stunts and flashmobs, got comedians into Film Festivals, pulled in radio interviews and bloggers, turned ticket sales around with online ads, designed great flyers that people DIDN’T stick straight in the bin, created press releases with results, garnering great quotes that could be used again and again, such as with Charmian Hughes: “She could be Josie Long’s mum” – Chortle.

Stand-Up Marketing can also manage and produce professional Comedy Events.

And if a comedian drops out, Kerry’s got a mean 5 minutes.

Check the Testimonials in WHY STAND-UP MARKETING?



Why Stand-Up Marketing?

You know when someone says they saw a brilliant show, but there was hardly anyone there? It means that either people didn’t know about the show, hadn’t heard of the act or it hadn’t been effectively marketed. Stand Up Marketing provides the press and marketing expertise to get the word out and turn ticket sales around.


“What Kerry Herbert doesn’t know about how to turn ticket sales round and sell out local comedy clubs just isn’t worth knowing.” Jill Edwards, Promoter and Comedy Coach

“Kerry has become an invaluable asset to our PR from the very start. Honest, insightful and versatile, she found a way to help us that suited us and was fast in doing so. A consummate professional, she is easy to work with, communicative and considerate, helping us to achieve what we both needed and wanted.” Adam Dahrouge, London Sketch Festival
Top Qualities: Personable, High Integrity, Creative

“Kerry has been a fabulous PR person for me on my show. Not only has she done her job well by getting me connected to the right publications, but has been a true support and help by reminding me when I need to do something myself to raise my profile at the best times to do it, and by being totally on my side.  A very personalised service. I thoroughly recommend her.” Fiona-Jane Weston: Loving London

“The PR activities of Kerry Herbert on my behalf gave me a proper audience, got me previewed in all of Brighton’s press and even produced a grim-faced man lurking in the shadows with a pen and paper who lightened up when he got some cake.” Charmian Hughes: Charmageddon

“Stand-Up Marketing (Kerry) has been invaluable in her efforts with promoting my show ’10 Films with My Dad’ (see I snuck it in there, learnt that from her) by producing tailored press releases and contacting venues and events directly. This has led to some brilliant opportunities to perform at events like the East End Film Festival.” Aidan Goatley: 10 Films with My Dad, Edinburgh Fringe 2011 & 2012