Saturday April 20th, 2024
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Saudi Arabia’s ‘Comedy Factory’ Will Produce New Comedic Voices

This new initiative is giving us something to smile about.

Scene Now Saudi

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Comedy Factory’ Will Produce New Comedic Voices

Saudi Arabia’s first comedy club opened in Jeddah in 2012 – since then, the comedy scene has been expanding rapidly. Aided by platforms like YouTube and TikTok, Saudi comedians have been making a splash both in the Kingdom and abroad. Today, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has announced a new initiative to support this cultural movement: The Comedy Factory, a program that will nurture the voices of young Saudi comics.

By supporting young artists, the GEA hopes to give rise to a new wave of comedic actors and writers who are prepared to engage in Saudi’s entertainment industry. The project also aims to help young Saudis use humour as a tool to express the Saudi identity while addressing important societal issues. The Comedy Factory provides mentorship from academic and practical comedic experts with backgrounds in theatre as well as screenwriting.

This initiative fits into a larger pattern of expansion in Saudi’s comedy scene. Riyadh Laughs, a new standup comedy festival, debuted in July 2023 and featured Saudi comics in live performances every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from July though the beginning of December. With a big enough pool of talent to support 60 consecutive shows, the industry has grown considerably since the General Entertainment Authority’s 2017 five-day amateur comedy festival, which, although lauded, was regarded as something of a rarity at its debut.

The Comedy Factory is also, in some ways, unsurprising. For one thing, the Saudi government has been increasing investment into their cultural scene. For another, comedy has become a big business in the Kingdom. In addition to comedy festivals that span multiple months, a richer comedic scene has translated into a number of cultural milestones. The Saudi comedic movie ‘Sattar’ is one such example. Released in 2022, this film quickly became the number one Saudi film ever made.

The Comedy Factory is now accepting applications.

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