Tel: 01623 707017
We've Got Mansfield, Ashfield & Sherwood Covered


Disabled comedian shaking things up

Posted onPosted on 26th Jul

Former Portland College student Benny Shakes, now a disabled comedian, has been awarded over £10,000 Arts Council Funding to interview eight disabled comedians about their experiences and barriers faced in the industry.

Benny, of Selston, will speak to guests from stage, screen and radio, including Lost Voice Guy.

Supported by New Art Exchange Nottingham, the interviews will be transcribed to form research into the challenges faced by disabled people in the arts industries, the positive ways they have overcome them and recommend changes to venues and promoters for their accessibility policies.

Benny has cerebral palsy and his ambition is to inspire and make as many people laugh as he can.

In early 2020 he was rising up the ranks of the comedy circuit, appearing at comedy clubs across the UK. When the pandemic struck Benny organised a bi-weekly comedians Zoom meet up, appearing on online comedy nights such as Laugh-Able and The Lampoon Podcast.

He also started his own live podcast, Benny Shakes Things Up, interviewing disabled comedians he had met on the circuit.

Benny’s findings and learning will be showcased in a website and symposium event at New Art Exchange in 2022, linked with the publication, to give an insight into disabled people’s experiences and recommendations for the future.

From this research Benny and his team will be making recommendations to the industry and its leaders for a fairer future.