Stage Award

Stage Awards | Funny Women

For stand-ups, sketch groups, musical acts and more!

*Watch this space for news of the 2017 Funny Women Awards*

Whether you’re an up-and-coming, a complete newbie, a stand-up, a character or sketch group, the Stage Award aims to find the best new comedy performer(s) and offers a career developing prize including money and industry support.

Who can enter? 

The Stage Award is open to all new acts under five years performing comedy. Why not check out our 2015 Awards Final for some comedy inspiration?

How long is my set? 

Your set is 5-6 minutes throughout the whole competition. Make sure to time your set beforehand – although we won’t pull you off stage with a comical cane (health and safety conscious, obvs), but you will be disqualified if you go over the 6-min mark.

How is it judged? 

The first round heats are judged by the audience.  The regional finals are judged by a panel of industry bloggers, bookers and promoters. The final is judged by an illustrious bunch of industry honchos including top agents, commissioning editors and producers on 28th September at Koko, London. Acts are marked out of 5 for material, stage presence, delivery and originality.

Can I invite my friends to the heat? 

Of course! If you would like to bring along a friend for moral support (preferably one with a really loud laugh), you get one free guestlist place. Additional guests can come and cheer you on by making a donation to domestic violence charity, Refuge, on the door. The suggested donation is £5.

Help! I’m totally new to comedy!

Every year we delighted by the number of women who choose the awards as their first foray onto the comedy stage. We try to keep the atmosphere at our gigs as friendly and relaxed as possible, so you’ll be in good company. We run workshops and Time of the Month drop-in nights throughout the year to support new talent, so if you want some extra help before your gig just get in touch.

The Winner Will Receive

Keep 'yer eye on that prize! We're all about supporting your act, so we very much tailor each prize package to suit your specific needs as an act. Here's a taster of what's on offer...

The overall winner will receive:

  • £2000 cash prize
  • £500 worth of Benefit Cosmetics
  • Mentoring from a former winner
  • Two spots at Funny Women Brighton Nights at Komedia Brighton (expenses paid)
  • Two fully supported shows at a venue of your choosing
  • One day studio time and two days editing to create a show reel
Des Resized

How Does It Work?

First round heats - April-July: 15 acts perform a 5-6 minute set in front of a live audience at one of our heats around the UK and Ireland in London, Brighton, Dublin, Manchester and Edinburgh. We try to keep the atmosphere as relaxed as possible, so you’re in for a (hopefully) lovely gig!

Regional Finals - July-August: The top scoring 40 or so acts perform at our regional final shows in London, Salford Quays, Dublin and the Edinburgh Festival, and are judged by a panel of industry promoters, bloggers, agents and performers. One overall winner is chosen to go straight through to the final, and one runner up ‘wildcard.’ Wildcards are entered into a lucky dip, and once the regional finals are over, 5 are selected to go through to the final, based on the judging notes and footage.

The Final - September: The big one! Up to 10 acts perform to an audience of friends and comedy industry movers and shakers.  An illustrious bunch of industry honchos including top agents, commissioning editors and producers make up the judging panel, and crown the overall winner of the Stage Award, and two runners-up.

But that’s not all! Not only does every entrant get a bunch of coveted goodies courtesy of our supporters, Benefit Cosmetics, but every penny made from the shows goes to domestic violence charity, Refuge.

Need a bit of inspiration?

Meet 2015 Stage Award Winner, Desiree Burch, and check out a full list of past winners and finalists here

How To Enter

We welcome every kind of stage act, as long as you're making people laugh (in a good way, that is). The only rule: You can't have more than five  consecutive years experience on the comedy circuit. If in doubt, send us an email at

Registration Deadline

The registration deadline for this award has now passed, but you can check out all the new comic talent on the rise at our heats, regional finals and the Funny Women Awards Final!