GABBY BEST AS MARIJANA CROWNED FUNNY WOMEN AWARDS WINNER AT SOLD OUT FINAL
The Funny Women Awards Charity Final took place last night, Monday 24th September at London’s Leicester Square Theatre to a sell-out crowd. 13 acts performed five minutes of comedy each at the charity final in support of Women’s Aid. Gabby Best was the overall winner; her beautifully drawn Croatian fitness instructor Marijana showed a deft eye for characterisation and physical comedy. Gabby has been awarded with a career-building prize of a £2000 bursary and a development package with Funny Women to help develop her career, as well as the opportunity to become a brand ambassador for Benefit Cosmetics, sponsor of the Main Award.
Winner of the Variety Award, sponsored by Blue Nun was Sooz Kempner, who delighted the crowd with power ballads about philandering footballers. Sooz wins her own show at the Leicester Square Theatre, as well as the opportunity to work with Blue Nun wines.
There were two runners up to the Main Award, Niamh Marron and Katie Tracey. Niamh, from Dublin combines frenetic delivery with her apparent innocent demeanor, getting away with her saucy material. Katie’s deadpan Liverpudlian style and dry wit won over the crowd and more importantly, the judges.
The Comedy Writing Award, which first launched in 2011, was won this year by Sarah Courtauld for her script ‘The Slush Pile,’ a comedy loosely based on her experiences working in a publishers, with brilliantly drawn characters and laugh out loud jokes from off the page. Sarah wins a £500 option for her script and an opportunity to develop her writing skills with The Comedy Unit, which includes three weeks of inventive mentoring with a professional script editor.
Lynne Parker, Executive Producer and Founder of Funny Women said, “Last night was an amazing celebration of female comedy talent – what better way to mark our 10th Anniversary Funny Women Awards! From stand up, musical comedy to sketch and character, all genres were honoured.
“Our winner, Gabby Best, encapsulated the criteria of ‘best all round entertainment’ with her character, ‘Marijana’ the Croatian fitness guru, reading the crowd and wowing the judges. Tough to call between the top four acts but I’m confident we’ll be seeing a lot more of them and all 13 finalists over the next years!"
The judging panel for this year’s Awards comprised some of the top names within the Comedy Industry, including Shane Allen, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, Caroline Raphael, Commissioning Editor, Comedy and Fiction, BBC Radio 4, Leo Benedictus, writer of the Guardian’s ‘Comedy Gold’ column and author, Jon Grant of Red 24 Management, Lucy Ansbro, comedy agent, Gavin Smith of production company The Comedy Unit, and Katherine Ryan, star of BBC 1’s Episodes and Channel 4’s Campus, and 2008 Funny Women Awards winner, as well as Louise Court, editor of Cosmopolitan.
See more photos of our Finalists, Winners and Judges at our Facebook page; facebook.com/wearefunnywomen.