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To celebrate the end of Gulbenkian’s 50th year, we are presenting a specially-curated cabaret event, celebrating the stories and people who have contributed to Gulbenkian over the last 50 years.

Named after the title of the first ever performance at Gulbenkian ‘Exploding Dream’, this event will bring together alumni turned professional artists across comedy, music and spoken word who have been a part of our story, in a fun-filled night to remember.

Curated and hosted by Dr Oliver Double.
Line-up includes:

Earl Okin
Earl Okin is one of the famous ‘first 500’ at UKC, graduating in 1968. Since then he has not only been the longest serving headliner on the UK comedy circuit but, more importantly, has also become one of  the country’s finest singer-songwriters and Jazz and Bossa Nova concert artistes, performing literally around the world. He well remembers when the Gulbenkian Theatre opened!

Tiernan Douieb

Tiernan Douieb has been doing stand up in the UK and intentionally for over a decade, and is known for using his comedy to sift through political nonsense, opinion and truth in the friendliest and funniest manner possible. In the last two years he has been supporting Frankie Boyle on tour; Writing on Frankie Boyle’s BBC2 series New World Order; Writing and producing his weekly podcast Partly Political Broadcast, which combines jokes about the news with expert guest interviews and gaining an ever growing audience of several thousand listeners a week; organising a series of shows in aid of Help Refugees with Jen Brister, featuring Sarah Millican, Dara O’Briain, Adam Hills, Shappi Khorsandi and many others at performances across the UK; and co-running Comedy Club 4 Kids where he is resident MC, making small people laugh alongside comedians like Adam Buxton, Sofie Hagen, Nish Kumar and Josie Long.

Matthew Crosby
Matthew Crosby is a award winning writer and comedian. A hugely successful writer, Matthew has written on a host of TV and radio comedy shows including The Last Leg, 8/10 Cats, Mock The Week, Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule, Celebrity Juice, Harry Hill’s Tea Time and The Now Show. He also co-created the show Hypothetical for the Dave Channel which has just filmed its second series.

He us one third of sketch act, Pappy’s (twice nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award), with whom he co-wrote and co-starred in the BBC Three sitcom Badults. Their live podcast Pappy’s Flatshare regularly plays to packed houses up and down the country. As a performer he has appeared on Uncle; Reluctant Landlord, BBC1’s Ready or Not; 8 out of 10 Cats; Never Mind the Buzzcocks; Celebrity 15-1; 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown; and as a news-reading dog on BBC 1’s Animal Antics.

He can be heard every Sunday morning hosting the Ed Gamble and Matthew Crosby show on Radio X.

Tom Parry
Tom Parry is a comedian, director, writer and actor.

His latest stand up hour PARRYOKE! recently completed a critically acclaimed run at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival where it was named one of the best reviewed shows of the Fringe by the British Comedy Guide. It is the follow up to his debut solo stand-up hour YELLOW T-SHIRT- which earned him an Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination for Best Newcomer and enjoyed a sold-out run at the Soho Theatre in 2015.

For more than a decade, Tom has been working alongside Ben Clark and Matthew Crosby as part of the multi-award winning sketch team PAPPY’S. Together they have performed 6 sold-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, completed 4 national tours and created several award-winning podcasts, building into the podcast empire now known as PAPPY’S FLATSHARE. They also created, wrote and starred in the sitcom BADULTS for BBC 3, and their own Christmas short film for Sky Arts.

Tom is a prolific director of comedy. He directed DON RODOLPHO by Ciaran Dowd which won Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Festival 2018 and returned this year with it’s smash sell-out sequel PADRE RODOLPHO. Other Edinburgh shows include the critically acclaimed THE BOXER by James McNicholas and MAX & IVAN: THE REUNION which was nominated for a Foster’s Award in Edinburgh and a Barry Award in Melbourne.He has worked extensively with the sketch groups BEASTS, BIRTHDAY GIRLS and MAX & IVAN.
Other credits include the cult hit THE LOST DISC at the Soho theatre, THE RUSS ABBOTT SKETCH SHOW for The BBC Salford Sitcom Trials and earlier this year he directed You Tube sensations WillNE and Stephen Tries in a sold out national tour of THIS WEEK ON THE INTERNET LIVE!

As a writer, Tom wrote an episode of The JOB LOT (ITV2) and has written for HYPOTHETICAL (Dave), THE LAST LEG (C4), SAVING WOOFY (CBBC) and CLASS DISMISSED (CBBC), adapted Nikolai Gogol’s MARRIAGE, which premiered at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe, and adapted his Edinburgh Show ‘Yellow T-Shirt’ into the BBC Radio 4 comedy series FANCY DRESSED LIFE. His feature film script, ANDY CHRIST, is currently in pre production with Bedlam Productions.

He has appeared in MIRANDA, PHONE SHOP and WATSON & OLIVER

Lauren Carroll
Having graduated from Kent winning the Eric Baker prize, Lauren runs a comedy night in Canterbury, Sunday Roast. Lauren’s been doing stand-up for two years but she’s been pretty funny since birth. Her comedy idols are Sam Campbell, Emo Philips and my dad (who she would love to meet someday)

Chad-lee Brown
Chad is a recent graduate of Film and Drama studies, University of Kent. An avid poet and writer, who has begun exploring standup comedy.

Plus more to be announced!


Dinner ReservationsChristmas Parties
Join us for before the show for dinner in our cafe with a special festive twist on our evening menu.
Two Courses £12.95 / Three-courses £15.95.
View Christmas Menu. 
To book call 01227 769075 or email

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This event is part of

Christmas Season 2019

Sun 1 - Mon 23 December 2019
More... Asset 29
Exploding Dream Cabaret

Sat 7 December 2019

Our work with young people

Children and Young People are at the heart of what we do, as audience members, as participants and as thought leaders.

Through our landmark ART31 project we are working with young people and partners in Kent to create new opportunities through the arts for under 25's across the county.

Below are some of our current projects focused on the development of young people.

Our projects with young people