Kev Orkian is one of the UK’s most talented, up-and-coming comedians. A highly skilled pianist, singer and actor, he has been dubbed one of the world’s ﬁnest comedy pianists. Kevin wowed judges in the ITV hit series Britain's Got Talent in 2011
Born in 1974 to Armenian parents, Kev Orkian comes from a long line of entertainers; His great grandparents were scriptwriters and introduced the first theatre show to Turkey in the early 1900’s, whilst his grandparents all played numerous musical instruments and one of them was also an amateur comedian.Kev started playing the piano at four years old. Music came naturally to the young Kev — by the time he was 12 he had already composed his first pieces and by 15 had passed all eight piano grades — gaining a Performers Diploma in Music along the way. At 15, after competing in many competitions and concerts, Kev decided to complete his training and move on to performing arts at Brunel University — earning himself a National Diploma in Performing Arts and Music in 1994.
From 1988 - 1992 Kev toured the UK with the Russian Armenian Dance Troupe as a way of connecting to his heritage. From the age of 23 he became very involved with the piano and it was soon an ‘instrumental’ part of Kev’s life. As a consummate concert pianist he toured with a variety of orchestras and appeared at many prestigious venues including the Sydney Opera House, performing classical repertoires. However, the piano alone wasn’t enough, so with both comedy and the theatre calling him, Kev was soon back on the stage. He made his West End debut in 1996 starring in Fame at the Victoria Palace Theatre. This foray into London’s theatre scene led to many other roles including Me & My Girl (1996-1997), the Grease concert tour (1998), Buddy Holly concert tour (1998), Happy Days (1998 - 2000) and Boogie Nights (2001-2004).
Not wanting to tender his relationship with the piano, Kev Orkian spent his spare time writing and developing comedy routines that incorporated music but was never fully aware he could turn this into a full act until 2004. Kev decided not to perform in musicals for a few years so he could concentrate on building his stand up career, which ultimately led to combining the piano and comedy together. Kev Orkian’s heroes include Victor Borge and Dudley Moore (he has been compared to both), so he felt their styles of comedy needed to be brought back… and he was the man to do it. By chance, Kev happened to be performing in Blackpool when a well-known act pulled out of the renowned Comedy Bonanza Show — in stepped Kev to try out his new material and the stand-up comedy act was born!
Since then Kev Orkian’s career as a stand-up comedian has gone from strength to strength. He has toured as the support act to some of Britain’s premier entertainers including, Julian Clarey, Cannon & Ball and Joe Pasquale to name just a few. He has been involved with numerous variety shows including gala events for the Duke of Kent, Prince of Oman, Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Dame Vera Lynn. Between 2004 and 2009 Kev made a name for himself in the cruise ship industry and toured the world with his Stow Away act visiting all continents, drawing rave reviews with numerous leading cruise operators along the way. From the Caribbean and North America to Europe and the Middle East, he packed in as many as 30 cruises some years. In 2005 Kev released his first piano album Little Fingers, which claimed the top 10 spot in the AMA Instrumental category that same year. Kev has also performed many of the tracks from his album in numerous concerts and galas. In 2008 he hosted LA’s own Armenian Music Awards to a sell-out audience at the famous Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
Kev now spends a large proportion of the year touring with his one-man show, which features an energetic mix of hilarious stand-up comedy and spectacular recitals on the piano, many of which have been composed by Kev himself. Cities recently visited include Sydney, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Dubai, Oman, Montreal and Toronto. 2009 saw Kev Orkian’s leap onto the UK comedy circuit with performances at London’s Comedy Store and the Jongleurs chain of comedy clubs at which he regularly receives encores, standing ovations and rave reviews for the originality of his act. In August 2010 Kev Orkian takes his ‘Illegal Tour’ to the Edinburgh Fringe, appearing at the Underbelly, in his what will be his debut appearance at the festival. In 2011 Kev reached the semi final of ITVs Britain's Got Talent: and wowed the judges: Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden with his Armenian/Elton John performance
What people say…..
HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales
"Whenever I need someone to lift the morale of our troops, the first person I call is Kev Orkian."
Mark Cann - Chairman, British Forces Foundation
"Within a month of his first night at Jongleurs Kev Orkian fast became one of our top headline acts."
Donna Burns, Jongleurs Comedy Clubs
"Kev Orkian arrived on the comedy circuit with a bang! He lifts a tired crowd, conquers cynicism and regularly earns a standing ovation."
Julia Chamberlain, Highlight Comedy Clubs
"I have seen no one else out there on the comedy circuit quite like [Kev] Orkian and this perhaps is his major selling point in a comedy market where originality is as rare a commodity as it is a welcome one."
Mark Ritchie, The Stage