It’s my second year back in Leicester and I’ve finally made use of the excellent Leicester Comedy Festival. Anthony King, the mastermind behind 1000 Years Show, brings his show to the Leicester Guildhall a few times a year and tied this run in with the Festival. That’s 18 days, five 20-minute shows a day!
That does lead to an unfortunate likelihood that some audiences will be small. So, in I walk. Just me. That fact that I chose to attend on the day of Storm Doris probably didn’t help things.
It says a lot for Anthony though, that after the first minute it didn’t feel awkward. I really enjoyed the show. 20 minutes isn’t long; three humorous historical ditties were interspersed with jokes and little-known anecdotes from history. As the set up begins, you can’t know whether you’re heading for fact or funny, which adds extra humor to the otherwise simple puns.
‘Kings & Queens’ covers 1000 years of British monarchs in a handful of minutes; ‘Who Owns the Bones?’ grapples with the important question of where Richard III’s bones belong, the answer is Leicester, sorry York. ‘New Kid on the Block’ is a warning-filled love song to poor, young Lady Jane Grey. These are only three of the myriad of songs Anthony King has written, I plan to go again to hear more.
As the only audience member it wasn’t quite laugh-out-loud, but I can imagine, with a full room Anthony’s gentle voice and clever songs could create a great comedic atmosphere.
Leicester Comedy Festival will be back in February 2018. The Leicester Guildhall, which hosts a permanent exhibition of Medieval Leicester, is open 11am-4.30 daily and admission is free.