Big Difference Company presents

FAQs (Frequently asked questions)

How much time do I need to commit to this?

There will be a one-to-one training sessions available to each participant (approx. 2 hours per session), then a group workshop/”try-out show” with the other contestants (but no public) which will be for approx. 2-4 hours (dependent on the size of the group), then approximately 5-6 hours on the day afternoon and evening of the final show (approx. 2.5-3 hours for prep pre-show and approx 2.5 hours for the show).

The one-to-one training session will be between you and a comedian, to develop your 5 minute comedy routine; this can be arranged at a time/place to suit you.

Do I already need to be funny?

It helps but we will provide training to help bring this side of you out!

When is the closing date for entry?

September 2018.

I’ve performed stand-up comedy before, is it okay for me to enter?

The Stand-up Challenge is exclusively for people with no or very minimal stand-up experience. We aim to keep the challenge fair and for it to be for participants who are new to experiencing preparing their own 5 minute stand-up comedy routine and performing it live on stage to a large audience (approx. 260 capacity audience). If you have already performed at a stand-up comedy club you would not be able to enter the Stand Up Challenge. (If this is the case, you may find one of our other competitions or projects to be suitable, please visit and see the details for Circuit Breakers, UK Pun Championships and Silver Stand Up).

How much is the participation fee and what is it for?

£350 + VAT. This is to cover the cost of training, mentoring, venue hire and the production of a video of each performance.

When will tickets be available?

Tickets are now on sale. Please email to make a reservation for a Table of 10 guests or individual Balcony tickets.

What is the date of the show?

The show will take place on Wednesday 7th November 2018.

Why am I being asked to raise sponsorship money and what will that money be used for?

This is a fundraising event for Big Difference Company (registered charity 1135167), the charity behind Leicester Comedy Festival. We can provide you with more information about the work we do which supports the annual festival.

Big Difference Company uses comedy & humour to improve the health and wellbeing of children and older people. The money will be used to support community projects targeted at improving their lives.

What support will I receive?

Firstly, there will be a contestant meet-up with a photo call, to give everyone the opportunity to meet each other. Then there will be a one-to-one training session to help you write and rehearse your material, followed by a “try-out” show/workshop. On the afternoon/evening of the performance there will be support from your comedian mentor.

Training, support and mentoring:

You can arrange your one-to-one training session with the comedian mentor at a time and place to suit during September. This session will be followed by email communication.

There will be a “try-out” show/group workshop with the other contestants, with a small audience of your fellow contestants and Big Difference Company staff.

Stand Up Challenge show:

Support will be available on the afternoon/evening of the event from the comedian mentor to help calm nerves and provide encouragement!

How long does my stand-up comedy routine need to be?

A maximum of 5 minutes.

What are the benefits of doing this?

To do something different, to take you out of your comfort zone, away from your daily job, and to raise money for a great cause!

How will I benefit from this?

It will help you with your presentation skills and how to deal with nerves.

What will happen on the show day?

You will arrive at the venue 2-3 hours before the doors open, to meet with your fellow participants and to do some filming with our social media content team. Your comedy mentor will be available for you to talk to and run through your act. You will have access to the stage to rehearse and experience what it will feel like. There will be a compere for the show who will introduce each act. There will be at least one interval and then after the final act the judges will decide upon a winner.

Is this a competition?

Yes; but a friendly one!

What will I win?

A physical award and an amazing buzz!

Who are the judges?

Yet to be confirmed.

What publicity will there be?

There will be a PR campaign around the event. The Leicester Mercury supports and reports on the Stand Up Challenge. There will be interviews if you are happy to do so. We will profile each contestant on our website.

Will it be filmed?

Yes, we would like to give you a short show reel of your performance. This can be posted on our YouTube channel if you wish, or can remain private.

How big is the audience? Who will be in the audience?

There will be an audience of approx. 260 people. The audience will be made up of participant’s friends, family, staff, colleagues and clients and perhaps the odd member of the public.

Will the audience be over 18?

Not necessarily.

Do I need to write original material?

Absolutely, yes! We will help you with that when you meet with your comedian trainer/mentor.

Can I use props?

Yes, you can but you will need to provide them yourself. You should avoid using too much technical support (such as showing films or PowerPoint presentations).

Can I perform with a colleague/friend?

We would rather you perform on your own but if you want to perform as a double act, yes you can but you will be judged together.