Birmingham Comedy Festival’s Breaking Talent Award winner revealed

Local comedian Laura Monmoth scoops the prestigious prize.

Birmingham Comedy Festival and The Glee Club have announced Laura Monmoth as the recipient of the festival’s prestigious Breaking Talent Award 2018.

Laura wowed audiences at a packed Glee Club on Friday night , where she was presented with her award by Free Radio Breakfast co-host and stand-up comic Lovdev Barpaga.

Birmingham-born comedian Laura utilised slide projections and animations for a tight set that saw her suggest comical names and attempt to ‘improve reality’, while pondering the purchase of a Princess Leia Star Wars costume.

Discussing her prize, Laura smiled: “The first thing that’s going to happen is that I’m putting that [win] on the posters!”

Her performance was adapted from a longer show, LGBTQX, which Laura has been developing and refining over a period of time.

“I’ve been performing for five years, but really concentrated on my show for the last 18 months,” she says of the normally hour long performance which combines retro gaming with gender issues.

Previously aired at such festivals as the Edinburgh Fringe and Leicester, LGBTQX recently won Best Show at the Morecombe Comedy Festival.

“It’s weird for me to just do ten minutes from that, you don’t expect bits to work on their own, but everyone was on board with it.”

Believing her comedy to non-mainstream – “Everything I do is really niche,” she states – Laura confessed to being nervous about editing and adapting material for the high-pressure award show, and how it would be received by a crowd who, by and large, had never seen her before.

“I was worried about how people would take it for some time, how people would react … but it was an awesome audience. There was even someone from Colorado who said they came over especially for the festival! There’s been a global aspect!”

Despite her use of technology, Laura’s early comedic inspirations came from elsewhere.

“Growing up I was heavily influenced by the storytelling of Jasper Carrott and the energy of Rowan Atkinson. Weirdly, neither of them really influence the direction I took. I enjoy the creative aspects of comedy, which is why I involve animations, music and surrealism in my act.”

A spokesperson for the festival said: “This was certainly our most stylistically varied line-up yet, which made judging extremely difficult, but Laura’s set was tight, confident, and drew the entire audience in, and we look forward to seeing her continue to develop over the coming year.”

A collaboration between the award-winning festival and The Glee Club, and sponsored by Edinburgh Gin, the EG Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award was set up in 2014 to recognise and support emerging comedic talent from the city and wider West Midlands.

2018’s festival kicked off on Friday 5th October and continues at various venues across the city until Sunday 14th October. Highlights include appearances from Ab Fab legend Joanna Lumley, Rich Hall, Jimeoin, James Acaster, and two Free Half-Dayers featuring 16 free comedy shows spread over successive Sunday afternoons at two city centre venues. For full listings and more information, see: