Region’s top rising comedy stars in line for honour

Announcing the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2015.

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Six of the best emerging comedy acts from across the West Midlands are in the running for the second Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award.

The annual competition aims to recognise and support ‘breaking talent’ from the region, offering the winners a vital step-up on the comedy career ladder.

A collaboration between Birmingham Comedy Festival and The Glee Club, and sponsored by Fosters, the competition officially kicks off the festival on Friday 2nd October 2015.
The competing acts are Josh Pugh, Thomas Rackham, Michael Dryburgh, Lucy Thompson, Jo D’Arcy and Jack Kirwan.

Born in Nuneaton and now living in Atherstone, Josh is an office worker who blends one-liners with stories and poems. Thomas resides in Shard End, Birmingham, and has just made his Edinburgh Fringe debut in a double-bill with the also-nominated Lucy, who was born in Rugby. They also host a comedy podcast, Toad Radio. A sales rep’, Michael lives in Tamworth and has already performed with such established comics as Joe Lycett and Russell Kane, while Jo is a University of Birmingham graduate from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs. Character-based performer Jack Kirwan works in the aerospace industry and lives in Wolverhampton.

A panel of comedy professionals selected the acts for their crack gag writing skills, observational chops, deft delivery, and their potential to break out.

Birmingham Comedy Festival’s Dave Freak said: “There are so many excellent new acts performing across the region at the moment that selecting just six names was a real challenge. But we’re confident that those who’ve been shortlisted all show real promise and look forward to seeing them perform at The Glee Club on the opening night of the festival.”

Mark Tughan, owner of The Glee Club, said: “Bringing a ‘breaking talent’ show back into the heart of the Birmingham Comedy Festival in 2014 was a huge success. The show had the most electric atmosphere and the level of local talent was staggering. I cannot wait to take my seat on the judging panel.”

2014’s sell-out competition was won by Andrew McBurney, who was presented with his award by comedy legend Jasper Carrott.

The 2015 nomination panel were formed of James Cook (comedian, mac Birmingham comedy course tutor), Jo Enright (comedian and actress, Rough Works, Life’s Too Short, The Job Lot), Alex Jackson (booker, The Glee Club) and Maureen Younger (comedian, MY Comedy).

Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2014, sponsored by Fosters, takes place at The Glee Club Studio on Friday 2 October 2015. The night is compered by James Cook and also features a set from Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award 2015 nominee Nish Kumar. Tickets are £10.50 (£6 NUS) from 0871 472 0400. For more information see: