Fresh from her hugely successful debut show ‘What Would Beyoncé Do?!’, star of Comic Relief and Live at The Apollo, Luisa Omielan will bring the cream of UK stand-up talent to Birmingham this February for a one-off comedy bonanza with 100% of all proceeds donated to Helena’s Hospice Foundation.
Featuring a phenomenal line up of some of the best comics in the country, Dead Funny, will see ten of the brightest stars in UK stand-up unite for a 2-hour comedy extravaganza featuring guest appearances by Sara Pascoe, Mo Gilligan, Tom Allen, Ellie Taylor, Iain Stirling, Dan Nightingale, Tez Ilyas, Jen Brister and Suzi Ruffell.
In October 2017, Luisa had a full UK tour booked in the diary, which was expected to be her signature ‘party with jokes in’ style of comedy. However, in July of 2017, Luisa sadly lost her mother to a short but extremely brutal battle with cancer. Luisa still wanted to take the stage and honour the tour dates, so instead, she opted to talk about her mother’s journey with raw, unrelenting emotion; culminating in a huge emotional performance of ‘Luisa: Live’ at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire – receiving praise from the likes of BBC commissioner Shane Allen, and Dawn French.
During this tour, Luisa received donations from audience members to kick start a charity in her dearly beloved mum’s name. And so, Helena’s Hospice Foundation was born. The foundation helps hospices around the UK by buying things that are not a priority on their budget but make a world of difference to those people experiencing end-of-life care; such as baths, family and guest beds, Sky TV, vending machines, beauty treatments etc. So far, to this date, Luisa has raised £25,000 for the foundation and this figure continues to rise.
Who’s Performing at Birmingham’s Big Comedy Gala?
Sara Pascoe: In the last few months alone, Sara has starred on Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief (making it to the Final); adapted Pride and Prejudice for the Nottingham Playhouse/ York Theatre Royal; filmed a solo stand up special for TV: Sara Pascoe Live from the BBC; hosted an episode of Live at the Apollo (to be broadcast later this year); appeared as a weekly guest on Frankie Boyle’s New World Order; filmed appearances on television shows ranging from Have I Got News For You to Travel Man and has also filmed and co-stars in the current WIA series. Sara is presently writing her second book, Sex Power Money and her forthcoming BBC Radio 4 series, Modern Monkey.
Mo Gilligan (a.k.a Mo The Comedian) is a stand-up comic and the UK’s fastest rising social media star with an online reach running into the multiple millions. With his high-energy style and stunning physicality, Mo creates his own short-form comedy content across a range of platforms, with huge viewer engagement. He’s already collaborated with the likes of The BET Awards, Disturbing London, Unilad, Wall of Comedy and Link Up TV, to name a few. Mo’s debut Coupla Cans Tour sold out in minutes, including Birmingham’s 1000 seater O2 venue. He also currently has projects in development with Channel 4, BBC 1Xtra, BBC Three and Comedy Central
Tom Allen is a comedian, writer and actor. He started as a stand up at the age of 22 and went on to win both So You Think You’re Funny in Edinburgh and the BBC New Comedy Awards in the same year. Since then he has honed his unique style of sharp, acerbic wit and camp, riotous storytelling by performing to audiences all over the UK and around the world. Tom recently made his first appearance on the BBC’s iconic Live at the Apollo. He has enjoyed several appearances on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Mock the Week, The Great British Bake Off’s Extra Slice, Celebrity The Crystal Maze as well as the John Bishop Show and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala at the O2 along with several appearances on Just a Minute including the 50th episode alongside Prince Charles.
Ellie Taylor is a confident and utterly hilarious performer. She is a regular fixture on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, a regular co-host on Heart Radio’s London breakfast show and of course as the host of BBC 3 cult hit ‘Snog Marry Avoid’. Her extensive credits also include BBC 1’s The John Bishop Show and Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, Dave’s As Yet Untitled, Channel 4’s 8 out of 10 Cats, Comedy Central’s Drunk History as well as playing lead roles in the new series Disney series The Lodge and Comedy Central’s Brotherhood. On the stand up front, Ellie’s solo stand up shows have been hugely successful. She debuted her first hour at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014 with her show ‘Elliementary’ which was a complete sell out, as was her follow up hour in 2016, ‘Infidelliety’, which she took on the road on her second nationwide tour including two run’s at London’s Soho Theatre. Ellie’s brand new show, ‘This Guy’ premiered at Edinburgh’s prestigious ‘Pleasance’ venue before embarking on a UK tour taking in a whopping 30 dates, including a sell-out show at London’s Leicester Square Theatre.
Iain Stirling: BAFTA-winning comedian Iain Stirling is best known as the brilliantly funny voice of the hit reality show Love Island (ITV2), which is now in its third series. Following his success on Love Island, he took on the role of host for ITV2’s new physical comedy entertainment show, CelebAbility, adding to an extensive list of television credits, including Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central and Drunk History (both Comedy Central) plus an array of panel shows, such as Virtually Famous (E4), Fake Reaction and Safe Word (both ITV2). A driving force behind the concept of comedy panel show The Dog Ate My Homework (CBBC), Iain has co-written and hosted four series which saw him win 2017’s Children’s BAFTA Best Presenter Award (2017) and following three nominations scoop 2016’s BAFTA Scotland’s Best Programme Award. Celebrity guest panellists on the show include Romesh Ranganathan, Joel Dommett and Susan Calman.
Dan Nightingale Dan Nightingale is widely regarded as one of the best performers working on the comedy circuit today. Mixing fiendishly accurate observation with energetic characterisations and killer punch lines, his comedy is original, playful, intelligent, poignant and exciting; sometimes ridiculous… but always hilarious. Dan has become a regular crowd pleaser, and critically acclaimed success at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, having performed solo shows in 2008, 2012 and 2013. He returned in 2014 with his hour long, one man tour de force; ‘Dan Nightingale is Trying His Best Not to be a Dick’. Dan was named Best MC at the UK Comedy Awards 2015, and was nominated Best Act at the Midlands Comedy Awards 2016.
Tez Ilyas hit the ground running finding himself in no less than eight competition finals including the prestigious BBC New Comedy Award and Leicester Mercury New Comedian of the Year in his first year as a stand up. In 2015 Ilyas achieved phenomenal success with his debut stand up hour TEZ Talks. In 2016, his highly anticipated follow up show Made in Britain went on to sell out every single performance (including extra shows) at the Edinburgh Fringe and gained spectacular critical acclaim, with a smash hit nationwide tour in 2017. His third show Teztify once again delivered a spectacularly powerful, provocative and brilliantly funny hour of topical stand up, delivering to packed out audiences night after night. Television credits include The Last Leg (C4), Mock the Week (BBC Two), Live From the BBC (BBC Two), Man Like Mobeen (BBC Three), Kevin Hart’s Live from Montreal (LOL Network), Virtually Famous (E4), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) and made a brand new quiz show pilot for Vice. He has also written and starred in his own scripted comedy shorts for BBC Three, BBC iPlayer and Sky Arts.
Jen Brister Jen is a critically acclaimed stand up comedian, writer and actor. She is a regular performer on the UK and international comedy circuits. Jen has written and performed five solo shows (Me My Mum & I, British(ish), Now & Then, Wishful Thinking, and The Other One) around the world, including at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Norway Comedy Box Festival, Comedy Club Asia, Adelaide Festival and the Edinburgh Festival. She has toured extensively — with comedians Kerry Godliman, Francesca Martinez and Roisin Conaty, among others — and is currently supporting Frankie Boyle in London.
Suzi Ruffell. Lauded as ‘a real stand up gem’ by The Guardian, this young independent woman celebrates her working class roots with a sideways look at the world. Regarded as one of best up and coming acts on the circuit Suzi is in constant demand at clubs and theatres across Britain. Fast establishing herself on the live circuit supporting Alan Carr, Josh Widdicombe, Kevin Bridges and Romesh Ranganathan all over the country, 2017 saw her take her solo show ‘Common’ on a sell-out tour around the UK. As seen on Channel 4, E4, BBC3, Comedy Central, Dave and heard on BBC Radio4.
How much do tickets cost?
Tickets are priced at just £25 each.
How can I book?
For further information on the show and to book tickets, call 0844 338 5000 or visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com