Big Difference Company presents

FAQs (Frequently asked questions)

How much time do I need to commit to this?

There will firstly be a participant and the comedian mentor/trainer meet-up and photo-call. (1-2 hrs).

Followed by a one-to-one training session for each participant with the comedian mentor/trainer (approx. 2 hrs), which is followed by email or phone feedback & support.

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

You will need to spend time writing, developing and rehearsing your material/your stand-up routine. (Time for this will vary depending on the individual.)

There will be a group workshop with a ‘try-out’ show with the comedian mentor/trainer and the other contestants (but no public), which will be for approx. 4hrs (dependent on the size of the group). This will take place approx. 3 weeks before the live show.

Then approx. 7 hours on the afternoon and evening of the final show, on Wednesday 22nd May (approx. 4 hours for preparations/rehearsal pre-show and approx. 3 hours for the show).


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?

Friday 26th April 2024. (To give time to arrange the 1-2-1 training session and attend the group workshop & ‘try-out’ show.


Who is the Stand Up Challenge for?

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. 240 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 www.comedy-festival.co.uk and see the details for Circuit Breakers, The UK Pun Championships and Silver Stand Up).


When will tickets be available to buy and how much do they cost?

Tickets to support our Stand Up Challengers at the live show!

Balcony tickets – £15.00     Stalls tickets – £25.00

(No VAT is applied, as this is a charity fundraising event)

Tickets will be available to buy via The Y website soon.

Invoices can also be raised for groups of 10 or more. Please let Katherine@bigdifferencecompany.co.uk know if you would like to arrange an invoice.


What is the date of the show?

The date of the live show (& friendly competition) is Wednesday 22nd May 2024.


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

We ask all participants to raise sponsorship money whilst taking part in the Stand Up Challenge; asking your friends, family and networks to support and sponsor you for taking on the Challenge. All sponsorship money raised goes to support the continued work of Big Difference Company charity.

The Stand Up Challenge event is a key fundraising event for Big Difference Company (registered charity 1135167), the charity behind Leicester Comedy Festival and The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival.

Big Difference will be able to set up a fundraising page for all participants on the CAF platform. (Charities Aid Foundation)


What support will I receive?

Firstly, there will be a participant meet-up with a photo call, to give everyone the opportunity to meet each other.

With your comedian mentor/trainer there will be a one-to-one training session to help you write and prepare your material. This is followed by a group workshop with a ‘try-out show, attended by all participants. These can be followed up with further correspondence by phone or email.

On the afternoon and evening of the performance there will be support from the comedian mentor/trainer and from the Big Difference Company team. (There will be Stage Manager with you back stage for the duration of the show.)

Training, support and mentoring:

You can arrange your one-to-one training session with the comedian mentor/trainer at a time and place to suit before the group workshop and ‘try-out’ show in early May. This session can be followed by email, phone or video communication to develop your material.

The group workshop with ‘try-out’ show in early May (date TBC), will be led my the comedian mentor/trainer and will be with the other participants.

Stand Up Challenge show:

Support will be available on the afternoon/evening of the event from the comedian mentor/trainer to help you and the group prepare for your live performances. More details available soon.


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

A maximum of 5 minutes.

Please don’t plan a longer set, as one of the marking criteria is Timing. It is important to be able to keep your routine to the 5 minute time duration.


What are the benefits of doing this?

To take on a very different creative challenge, to take you out of your comfort zone and away from your daily job, to develop performance, stand up comedy and delivery skills, to build confidence and increase self-esteem and to fundraise for a great cause!


How will I benefit from this?

It will help you with your presentation and communication skills and how to deal with nerves. You will have the opportunity to learn techniques and develop skills to best perform and deliver a comedy performance.


What will happen on the show day & evening?

You will arrive at the venue at 3pm  (3.5 hours before the doors open), to meet with your fellow participants and to do some filming with our social media content team. The Big Difference Company team will be available for you to talk to. You will have access to the stage to rehearse and experience what it will feel like. Your comedian mentor/trainer will be there to help you all prepare for your live performances. There will be a comedian host for the show. They will start the show and will then introduce each act to the stage. There will be at least one interval and then after the final act the judges will decide upon a winner (and any runners up if applicable). All participants will return to the stage with the host; and the overall winner and any runner up winners will be announced.


Is this a competition?

Yes; but a very friendly one!


What will I win?

A physical award trophy 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 and we will profile each contestant on our website and on our social media platforms.


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?

The size of the audience will be confirmed closer to the date of the show, but we expect it to be in the region of 240 audience members. The audience will be made up of participants’ friends, family, staff, colleagues and clients and sometimes members 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. (A judging criteria is Originality.)


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.