Salford University students are hoping to follow in the footsteps of comedy heroes such as Peter Kay with a live showcase at MediaCity.
Final year students on the Comedy Writing and Performance course, previously attended by Kay (main picture left), Jason Manford (main picture right) and Steve Edge, will perform at the university’s Digital Performance Lab.
The event will also see one student be presented with the Mike Craig Comedy Award, named after the late writer and producer who worked on more than 1,200 shows with stars like Morecambe and Wise, Ken Dodd and Les Dawson.
“This is their big showcase event, but most of them have performed at other venues around Manchester and Salford,” Frances Piper, Director of Performance and Film Studies at the University, told MM.
“The comedian of the year will be awarded the Mike Craig Award. Mike was an innovator in finding comedy voices for the BBC so it was apt to use his name for this award.”
Francis, who lectured Peter Kay, said that the comedian played a part in developing the course.
“He was a wonderful student and made a brilliant contribution in Salford and was also a driving force in improving the course whilst he was here,” she said.
“He walked in the door funny, he was always going to be funny.
“The added extras he got from here was the rounded introduction to writing, editing and directing comedy.
“He provided some very good ideas, and students’ ideas are always encouraged here, and very important to the development of the course.”
As well as the feast of comedy on stage on Thursday, the evening will also feature the launch of a book by actor and Salford lecturer Ian Angus Wilkie.
The book, Performing in Comedy, covers everything from Shakespeare to TV sitcoms.
Angus has played parts in Brookside, Crossroads, Barbara and puppet comedy Pets, before joining the university earlier this year.
Visiting tutor Kiri Pritchard-McClean and senior lecturer Richard Talbot have both had personal success in original comedy, while course leader Lisa Moore is one of only a few academics who is both researching and performing in the area of female comedy.
“It’s absolutely vital that our students benefit from the tutor’s expertise in different areas of comedy,” said Frances.
“It’s also very important to remember that there are other areas of comedy that we concentrate on other than stand up, such as theatrical comedy which the tutors have lots of experience with too.”
The show is part of the university’s two-month Create Salford Festival, which displays the achievements of students from the School of Arts and Media including art and photography exhibitions, poetry readings, music concerts, and a fashion show at Hotel Football.
The event will be held at the DPL, MediaCity UK at 7pm on May 19.
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Images courtesy of the University of Salford Press Office, via Flickr, with thanks.