Ones to watch 2023 | Comedy promoters share their tips for the top

Ones to watch 2023

Comedy promoters share their tips for the top

As another year begins, we asked some of the UK’s top comedy promoters to suggest which comedians might be ones to watch over the next 12 months. Here’s what they told us…

Josephine Lacey

Nominated by Barry Ferns of the Angel Comedy Club in London.

He said: ‘Josephine has been a wonderful, unique and potent stand up for a while, headlining and being the stand out performer at both Angel Comedy and Top Secret for years. (There's an argument that her performances helped forge both clubs) but due to some perfect storms hasn't had a chance to push the career properly.

2022 saw her show Autism, Mumma And Puberty sell out at The Soho Theatre, and it feels that 2023 could be her year.

There is literally no one like her. She's the most authentic performer and person, with a heart the size of Jamaica, and a fierce funniness that somehow also warmly charms audiences into the palm of her hand. If there's anyone who both deserves it more, and also who has spark, gifts and humour that deserve a national audience, I can't think of them.

Ferns also suggest Sergi Polo, whose ‘deceptively well written but clear-as-a-bell jokes have the international appeal of an Anthony Jezelnik or Sarah Silverman’; and Ali Woods, who is popular online but has also ‘spent the last right  years honing and creating a stage act that is as dynamite and as potent as his online world’.

Krystal Evans

Nominated by David Bleese on behalf of all at Monkey Barrel in Edinburgh.

He said: ‘Krystal has been a favourite of Scottish clubs and comedians for some time now, but her debut show this year promises to cast her firmly into the public gaze.

‘Dealing with topics of a deeply personal nature, it’s Krystal’s gift in finding humour from periods of difficulty and tragedy that’s uniquely engaging.   We’ve been fortunate to see the show develop over the past year, and the chatter amongst people who saw one of her work in progress shows with us last August shows we’re not the only ones to be excited about what 2023 will bring for her.

Her show The Hottest Girl at Burn Camp can be seen at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival this March.

Nina Gilligan

Nominated by Jessica Toomey, managing director of the Frog & Bucket in Manchester.

She said:  ‘Although a late starter to comedy everything she touches is comedy gold.  Nina has great warmth, relatability regardless of age, big punchlines and no audience fazes her.  She is always the standout set on any bill but it was her hour show, Late Developer this year that proved we should be seeing a lot more of her in 2023 and I look forward to watching her fly.  

For a newer breakthrough act, she also Dean Coughlin, a north-west based tattooist who started in 2017 and has a podcast called  The Mild High Club.  ‘He is a great act and MC with an excellent delivery,’  Toomey said.

Jacob Nussey

Spiky Mike from the Funhouse comedy clubs in the East Midlands put forward  Mansfield's Jacob Nussey.

He said: ‘Jacob has moved swiftly from gong shows to paid spots this year, with wonderfully written material delivered in a downbeat style that really lets the clever writing come to the surface.

Mike also recommended  Kevin Daniel, ‘who has gone from open spots to full paid weekend spots in lightning-fast time… with a great ability to read the room and incorporate callbacks to things that happened earlier in the night’.

Published: 2 Jan 2023

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