Comedy is riding the crest of ongoing recessional waves with more shows and events happening on the live scene than ever. Having a laugh has never been more important and Funny Women is at the vanguard of the comedy industry as it launches its unique annual competition, the Funny Women Awards, for the eighth year running.
The Funny Women Awards are open to any woman who can perform comedy in front of a live audience. The producers and judges are looking for stand up, sketch, character, musical comedy, impressionist, ventriloquists… anything as long as it’s funny. Last year the competition attracted over 250 entrants and there are half that amount already registered for this year’s Awards.
Up to 24 acts will be selected from across the UK to take part in the semi finals on Monday 6th September, with 12 acts going on to perform at the charity final on Monday 20th September. Both the semi finals and the final take place at the one of London’s most exciting new comedy venues, the Leicester Square Theatre.
“As with last year’s Awards, we will be a major feature of the UK Festival season which enables us to cover as much of the UK as possible to see new acts,” explains Lynne Parker, producer and founder of Funny Women. “We are particularly excited to be running showcases at the Guardian Hay Festival and Latitude, as well as Queer Up North in Manchester, the Edinburgh Fringe plus fringe and comedy festivals in Brighton, Bath and Liverpool.”
Anybody wishing to enter the 2010 Funny Women Awards should now register on-line as soon as possible at www.funnywomen.com to guarantee a place in one of the heats around the UK, see dates below.
First prize for the winner will be a week’s luxury holiday for two at the five-star contemporary boutique Londa Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus. The winner and other finalists also have the opportunity perform at the Londa as part of the increasingly successful Funny Women tour which takes place at the hotel and attracts big audiences on the island.
The success of last year’s winner, 20 year old London Hughes, performing as Miss London, has been fantastic for the visibility of the competition. Talking about her success London says, “Winning Funny Women propelled me into the mainstream”.
London has already signed a management deal and filmed several projects for the BBC following Funny Women’s 2009 collaboration with BBC Comedy Extra.
“Last year’s winner, Miss London, is a unique talent and epitomises exactly what Funny Women is all about,” explains Lynne. “The Awards are a kick start for a lot of new acts who might not have given comedy a try without the platform of an all female comedy environment.”
Previous winners include Zoe Lyons who won in 2004, Sarah Adams, who performed as Jade The Folk Singer in 2003, Debra-Jane Appelby who won in 2005, Suzy Bennett who took the title in 2006, Andi Osho in 2007 and Canadian Katherine Ryan in 2009. Other successful Funny Women Awards finalists include Katie Wix, Anna Crilly, Bridget Christie, Sara Pascoe, Holly Walsh and Sarah Millican who have gone on to win other awards, regularly appear on the circuit and work on projects for radio and television.
“Despite the greater proliferation of women now being seen on the small screen performing comedy, the circuit still is still very chauvinistic,” says Lynne. Our competition does fast track brilliant new female acts who might otherwise have gone under the radar. We make sure that they get seen and signed.”
‘If this is the future of womanly comedy, then it’s in safe, exciting hands.’ Tim Arthur, Time Out
‘A superb champion of talent.’ Shane Allen, head of comedy, Channel 4
Click here to book tickets online.
FOR PRESS AND PUBLICITY please contact:
Funny Women on 020 8948 4444
For more information about Funny Women please visit:
Notes to Editors
- Funny Women was started in 2002 by Lynne Parker as a platform to find and celebrate female comedy talent.
- For more information about the Londa Hotel in Cyprus visit www.londahotel.com
Helping women find their voice
As part of its ongoing commitment to help women find their voice, Funny Women is supporting UK Feminista, a brand new feminist campaigning organisation whose purpose is to end the continuing inequalities between women and men. UK Feminista supports everyone – women and men, young and old – to get active in campaigns against sexism, offering information, guidance and training on feminist activism.
As Funny Women tours the UK with the Awards, local groups and charities registered with UK are offered a unique platform to raise awareness of their work and campaigns. To register with UK Feminista visit www.ukfeminista.org.uk.
2010 FUNNY WOMEN AWARDS SCHEDULE
SUN. 9TH MAY: LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE, LONDON
THURS. 13TH MAY: UNITY THEATRE, LIVERPOOL COMEDY FESTIVAL
TUES.18th MAY: THE RAINBOW, BIRMINGHAM
WED. 19th MAY: FROG AND BUCKET, MANCHESTER, QUEER UP NORTH
SUN.23RD MAY: KOMEDIA, BRIGHTON FESTIVAL FRINGE
THURS. 3rd JUNE: KOMEDIA, BATH FRINGE
FRI. 4th JUNE: GUARDIAN HAY FESTIVAL, WALES
SUN. 13th JUNE: LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE, LONDON
THURS. 17th JUNE: ASIA HOUSE, LONDON
SAT. 19th JUNE: LAURENCE BATLEY THEATRE, HUDDERSFIELD
THURS. 24th JUNE: ORANGE TREE THEATRE, RICHMOND
SUN. 11th JULY: LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE, LONDON
FRI. 16th & SUN. 17th JULY: SOUTHWOLD, LATITUDE FESTIVAL
SAT. 7th AUGUST: venue tbc LONDON FESTIVAL FRINGE
SUN. 8th AUGUST: LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE, LONDON
SAT.14th AUGUST: venue tbc LONDON FESTIVAL FRINGE
SAT. 21st & SUN. 22nd AUGUST: CAMDEN HEAD, CAMDEN FRINGE
WC. 23rd AUGUST: dates tbc ASSEMBLY ROOMS, EDINBURGH FRINGE
MON. 6th SEPTEMBER (SEMI-FINALS): LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE, LONDON
MON. 20th SEPTEMBER (FINALS): LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE, LONDON