About Leith Comedy Festival
Comedy for good. Laughter for all.
The very first weekend Leith Comedy Festival took place in October 2023. We had standup, storytelling, workshops, family shows and a quiz!
Leith Comedy Festival is a social enterprise which exists to inspire and create opportunities for the people of Leith through laughter.
There are three strands to Leith Comedy Festival:
Leith Comedy Festival is an annual event in October, with multiple comedy events in all its forms over a weekend, for example, stand-up, family shows and workshops.
Leith Comedy Festival Presents… are individual comedy gigs throughout the year, showcasing the funniest comedians around, particularly standups based in Scotland.
Leith Comedy Festival Community events are individual events throughout the year in partnership with local charities and social enterprises, for example, comedy performance workshops with Citadel Youth Centre.
Rosalind Romer came up with the idea for a new model of comedy festival after years of working in comedy for twenty years. Leith Comedy Festival celebrates a broader realisation of comedy. When people hear the word “comedy” they picture something very specific: a stand up on a stage with a mic, but there are so many more ways to enjoy it. Leith Comedy Festival gives life to the full range of comedy.
The plan was to create a weekend festival in October, and in time, to add one-off comedy gigs and community events throughout the year. The weekend festival was all set to go in October 2020. Then the pandemic hit, making that weekend and any other planning impossible.
Rosalind says: “Everything shut down. There was no Fringe that year. But I was determined to keep going no matter what. I was forced to create one event at a time. Each show required navigating ever-changing restrictions and a massive dose of creative thinking to make the most of any opportunity that was there.”
The pandemic meant that normal rules didn’t apply, and it was necessary to reinvent the plan to get people laughing, at a time when people needed it most. Hence an online beer yoga class with Projekt 42 when people were staying indoors, and a comedy tour of Leith with Invisible Cities when we started to venture outside.
Once indoor events were legal again, Leith Comedy Festival finally got to put standup comedians on stage, which would usually be the starting point for a new comedy festival. “Leith Comedy Festival Presents” was born and has been headlined by Christopher Macarthur-Boyd, Josie Long, Larry Dean and MC Hammersmith.
We have been running a whole load of one-off events ahead of our first full festival in October:
Meet Rosalind Romer
Director of Leith Comedy Festival
A record-breaking Perrier Judge, Leicester Comedy Festival Judge, Funny Women Judge & BBC New Comedy Awards Judge
Managed Jimmy Carr’s award-winning UK tours
Produced the Edinburgh Comedy Awards (formerly Perrier)
A prophetic ability to spot talent way ahead of the rest
Founder of Punchline, a comedy production company which produced largescale comedy shows around Scotland: 'Conjuring up yet another smashing bunch of stand-ups' List
Previous Punchline acts include Nick Helm (Uncle, 8 Out of 10 Cats), Josh Widdicombe (The Last Leg), Roisin Conaty (GameFace, Have I Got News for You) Nish Kumar (Mash Report) & Frankie Boyle
Punchline is now a well respected review site during the Edinburgh Fringe, and the annual comedy recommendations from Rosalind are legendary!
Photo taken at The Biscuit Factory in Leith by Eleonora Briscoe