2016 is our biggest Funny Women Awards year yet and we’ve given the formula a bit of a shake up! This year 100s of women up and down the country entered the Funny Women Awards, some got through to our Regional Finals in London, Manchester, Dublin and Edinburgh and now we have selected our six finalists who will be performing at London KOKO on Wednesday 28th September.
Not only have we reduced the number of finalists but we’ve added six mentors to the mix! Each finalist will be mentored by one of comedy’s leading ladies who will introduce them on the night. So, without further ado meet the finalists and their mentors.
Job: Archives Assistant
Mentor: Ellie Taylor
“I grew up in leafy Kingston upon Thames, watching a lot of Blackadder and things like Harry Enfield & Chums at a very tender age, as well as other comedy classics such as Riverdance. I went to a wonderful school where I excelled in arts and languages, then went off to Edinburgh Uni to study Fine Art. I started writing silly art songs towards the end of this course, to amuse my friends, and performed at a couple of student poetry and cabaret nights when asked. Cut to 2 years later, I was unemployed and bored in London so I entered this year’s Musical Comedy Awards and won Best Newcomer. Suddenly, I was a comedian. So I wrote a bunch of new material and decided to return to Edinburgh with my first solo show. The rest is art history.”
Hometown: Hilversum, Netherlands
Mentor: Tiff Stevenson
Micky Overman is 27 years old. She has two parents, two sisters and once upon a time, two cats (RIP). She grew up in a boring, suburban city in the Netherlands, where she spent her youth being unremarkable. She then went to University in Amsterdam, where she distinguished herself in no way. Desperate for something, she moved to Canada where she discovered Louis C.K. and stand-up comedy. She fell in love with it, and a couple of years later moved to the UK to give it a go herself (and to be a nanny). That was last May.
Hometown: Bridlington East Yorkshire
Job: TV researcher
Mentor: Sara Pascoe
“I started performing stand up in February 2016, after spontaneously putting my name down for an open mic night. Even though I had no material prepared, the gig went surprisingly well and I fell in love with stand up. I’m incredibly passionate about coupling disability with comedy. I still think disability is still a taboo subject in terms of comedy. I want to change that! I never make fun of disability, but I do make fun of situations that have arisen as a result of my disability. I was brought up watching great comedy geniuses, like Victoria Wood, Peter Kay and Caroline Ahearne. When I perform I try to emulate their Northern warmth. I am happiest when I’m on stage performing. My sole aim is to give the audience back the happiness that they are giving me!”
Mentor: Jan Ravens
“I grew up in an odd village near Cambridge, where there was little to do but present imaginary cooking programmes with my best friend who lived down the road. My comedy faves include Summer Heights High, Smack the Pony and Look Around You, and Julia Davis and Jessica Hynes absolutely crease me. I’ve been in a sketch comedy group called Mixed Doubles since 2012, and solo-wise I started trying out this sort of Just William meets Strange But True character in April of this year. Costume includes a gentlemen’s fleece.”
Job: Call centre advisor
Mentor: Zoe Lyons
“I’ve been doing comedy for about 2 1/2 years now. I thought I’d only just thought about it a few years ago but my friend who I’ve known for 12 years says I’ve always talked about it. Victoria Wood is a massive influence. I’ve always loved her and I was encouraged to do impressions of her sketches when I was little. when I was about five or six my Mum asked me if I was going to be a comedian when I grew up. I didn’t know what it meant so I cried and told her to stop calling me names.”