The Funny Women team has seen a lot of funny women in its time. A lot. Whether at our monthly Brighton Nights at the Komedia, or in the heats of the Funny Women Awards, at our workshops and regular Time of the Month sessions. To kick off 2016 we thought we’d give you a run down of our funny women to look out for…
My tips for 2016 are: Rachel Fairburn, a 2008 Funny Women Awards finalist, she’s brilliantly incisive and on the brink of stardom. 2006 Awards finalist Sonya Kelly – another finalist who just had a run at Soho Theatre with her terrific show How to Keep an Alien. I love her quirky character stand up. I’m pleased to see Debs Gatenby is back on the comedy scene too. Holly Burn is on to something after the success of her Victoria Beckham viral video. Newbies from the 2015 Awards and Time of the Month that I want to see more of are Catherine Bohart, Nina Millns, and Pernilla Holland. As ever – could this be the year of Suzy Bennett’s big break? Get her on Loose Women and watch the magic happen!
Lynne Parker, Funny Women Founder
I saw some fantastic live comedy in 2015, if one of your new year’s resolutions is to see more gigs then I suggest you look out for these women in the line ups. Rebekka Turner, if her comedy seems frenetic that’s because it is. Fearlessly funny, gorgeously unhinged and imaginative, you will not get bored watching Rebekka. Another fearless comedian who I saw in Edinburgh is Alison Thea-Skot, I can’t wait to see what she has in store for 2016. If you like role-play that cares then don’t miss newcomer Bryony No who MCs Jape Culture at the Hope and Ruin in Brighton every month. I’m also looking forward to seeing more from Norris & Parker, Sophie Duker, Suzi Ruffell, Bisha K Ali and Thanyia Moore this year.
Kate Stone, Editor
This year I have been witness to (and involved in) some bizarre levels of audience interaction at the hand of some bizarre but brilliant sketch groups, they are certainly ones to watch: Roisin and Chiara are a pair of improvising geniuses, described by Broadway Baby as “The Mighty Boosh on acid.” At their Edinburgh show they received the audience by offering them all a single crisp, birthed an audience member through a sheet and sang a hymn to Nick Grimshaw. They are incredibly skilled performers and so in sync with each other you wouldn’t know that the majority of their show was improvised.
Beard; a comedy clowning duo are influenced by Laurel and Hardy, Doctor Brown and Edgar Allen Poe parodies, so quite an eclectic mix! They pulled me up on stage to take part in the ritualistic conception between an orange and a banana (a banorange), but these ladies really are raising the disgusting bar because what they’re doing is so out of the ordinary and unexpected.
2014 Funny Women Awards finalists Massive Dad are a formidable threesome whose shows go from strength to strength every year. Their comedy is exceptionally clever, outfits brilliant and the production values high. You will leave a Massive Dad show wide-eyed, belly aching and wanting more.
Kate Lennon, Producer
I’m really excited for duo Beard this year, because they’ve harnessed clowning in their sketch comedy in such a way that they can be witty, ironic and sarcastic with just a single glance at the audience. I’ve been a fan of Matilda Wnek since the 2013 Chortle Student Comedy Awards, and the chemistry between her and Rosa Robson is effervescent and entertaining to watch. When they perform, the energy in the room is infectious. I can’t wait to see what boundaries they push in their next fringe run.
Kat Sadler, Production Intern