Pleasance: The Cellar – 2nd – 27th August

BBC New Talent Hotlist 2017
BBC New Comedy Award 2015 – Finalist


Cambridge University drop-out and now professional poker player, Ken Cheng brings his debut stand-up hour Chinese Comedian to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year from the 2nd – 27th August at 4.45pm in the Pleasance Courtyard (The Cellar).

Ken burst onto the UK comedy scene after reaching the final of the 2015 BBC New Comedy Award. His set went viral, with 500K views online and a feature on the front page of Reddit. It also garnered the attention of BBC producers and landed him an episode of BBC Three’s Top Tens (Proverbs Ken Cheng Hates). This year, Ken was announced on the BBC New Talent Hotlist 2017.

Ken has a unique analytical brain. He could do long division when he was five and assesses a situation by evaluating its probability. To Ken, life is an equation and comedy is chemistry; he needs to deconstruct it and discover its core atoms.

A BBC (British born Chinese) who’s long forgotten his first language, Mandarin, Ken uses his show to explore the way we use language today. Using his incomplete degree in Mathematics, and Microsoft’s PowerPoint, he forensically dissects the words and phrases we come across in the everyday. From Facebook etiquette, to the Sugar vs. Fat debate, to why people dislike hills but enjoy the rule of three, there’s a chart for everything in his show. He likens it to a funny TED Talk – only with no practical uses. Unless you need to learn how to label your axes.

Ken never planned on becoming a comedian. In fact, a month before his first ever gig he had no interest in performing comedy. It was at Clare Comedy in Cambridge that he got his first taste of doing stand up. Phil Wang was on the same bill. Ken was later offered a cameo role in an episode of ‘Flat TV’ because they needed a “Chinese looking fella” and Phil wasn’t available. So thanks, Phil.

All the while, Ken maintains his career as a professional poker player. The gateway for him was gaming. He loves video games – he’s Diamond ranking on ‘League of Legends’. When Ken was 15, he would play ‘Bejewelled’ for bits of money. He started sneaking £50s from his mum’s purse so he could play some more… Then, during his first week at University, he won £5,000 from playing poker online. No wonder he chose to graduate from gambling jewels, rather than Cambridge, and play full time.


What the press have said about Ken Cheng:

“Smart, impressive and brilliantly funny tour-de-comedy” Chortle

“well deserved all of the attention and hype that lead up to it. Ken really lived up to the title of being one of the best and brightest comedians to come out of Cambridge.” ★★★★ Varsity

“one of the more brilliant shows I’ve seen. Ever. Truly clever comedy delivered with integrity, individuality and with a direction that was both meaningful as well as side-splittingly funny.” The Cambridge Student

Listings Information:
Dates: 2nd – 27th August 2017 (not 16th)
Show: Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard: The Cellar
Address: 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ
Time: 4.45pm
Price: Preview: £6, Weekends (plus 7th & 8th): £10(£9), Midweek: £9(£8), Early Week: £8.50(£7.50)
Box office: / 0131 556 6650

For more information please contact Gaby Jerrard / Claire Hoyda / Matthew Christian at
[email protected] / [email protected] / [email protected]
020 7690 0006

To book review tickets for this show please contact the Pleasance Press Office
on 0131 556 6557 / [email protected]