The comedy industry could face a diversity crisis when venues reopen

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Professionals fear that the comedy industry will lose its’ diversity when venues open no earlier than May 17.

Live comedy is on track to return with social distancing measures this year but how the industry may look is still under question.

Kirstyn Brook, 25, stand-up comedian from White Chapel, said: “I worry that the diverse and inclusive trend that was happening is not going to be able to continue picking up the pace because people will not be able to get into the buildings that are no longer there.

A June 2020 report from the Live Comedy Association, suggested over 45% of 663 respondents had already given serious thought to leaving comedy due to the pandemic. It suggested people who identify as female or non-binary, identify as LGBTQ+, have a disability, are working class, are under 40 or have caring responsibilities were most likely to have given serious thoughts to leaving the industry.

Live comedy was eligible for the government’s £1.57billion recovery fund after campaigns to #SaveLiveComedy appeared but Kirstyn suggests the industry has been pushed to the bottom of the pile.

They did remain hopeful however and said: “I know there has been lots of community and individual driven things and so many people giving hand over fist to each other and passing on that community side of things.”