Over the bank holiday weekend Funny Women took to the seaside and visited Brighton, bringing their panel show 'Sex, Lies and Lots of Cake' with them.
On the panel were Funny Women founder Lynne Parker, Amused Moose's Hils Jago, The Huffington Post comedy editor Andrea Mann and stand-up comedian Lynn Ruth Miller with journalist and comedian Viv Groskop facilitating the discussion.
Viv kicked the conversation off with the slightly controversial question: “do we need organisations such as Funny Women?” Andrea Mann recalled that 10 or so years ago when she decided to move into comedy there were far fewer women visibly working in the comedy world. Andrea also suspects some women aren't as passionate as Funny Women are about helping other women making it in their profession.
The panel also noted that the majority of successful women in comedy are often producers and writers, rather than performers. There was an idea that this was due to female reticence or because such jobs are more reliable and settled for a family life. As Lynne pointed out, while Funny Women has seen changes in its 11 years, we still have a long way to go to get more women in comedy.
One reason floated as to why so few women go into comedy was blamed on not enough visible women in comedy and too many comedy nights and panels with male only line ups. Interestingly comedy booker Hils Jago announced one of her biggest problems booking women in stand up comedy was that they are in too high demand.
Considering panel shows and live line ups appear to be dominated by men the audience and some of the panel found this surprising. However Hils Jago said she had often suffered from last minute cancellations from women who had been offered TV or radio at the last minute.
Hils Jago also told the panel that in her experience many women stand-ups get to a good standard and then leave the circuit. Whether this is due to family commitments or impatience for success the reasons vary. It seems with hard work, talent and commitment are more important now, rather than your sex. However as an audience member pointed out much of the issues debated were issues in society and not specific to comedy.
We ate cake throughout the discussion, and suspect lies were told. So, where did the sex of the title come into this event? Just in time septuagenarian and 'granny gone wild' Lynn Ruth Miller brought the sex in and the tone down, making us laugh with tales of her material being too blue for some audiences.
If you don't think the panel covered all the bases and have more questions Funny Women will be holding Sex, Lies and Lots of Cake events in Edinburgh, for dates CLICK HERE!