We were at VAULT Festival on Saturday night for our second 2017 Funny Women Awards Regional Final. Kate Dolan kicked off proceedings with a Harry Potter theme, before Fatija El Ghorri impressed the judges with her natural wit and original material – earning her second place. Judi Love did a very rude turn and Alice Marshall gave a very slick air steward routine! Jess Brown explained she was a gateway girlfriend and Helen Bauer had everyone wanting to go on a night out with her. Comedy duo Siblings cracked us up with their anti-bullying campaign and Sikisa Bostwick-Barnes charmed us with her quickfire comedy. But it was Jodie Mitchell’s depiction of the Teletubbies environment that won her a place in the 2017 Funny Women Awards final. We talked to Jodie about her win…
Funny Women: How does it feel to be through to the Funny Women Awards final?
Jodie Mitchell: Everyone was hilarious in my heats, so I guess I’m a bit in shock! It feels amazing to get to be part of something that celebrates and supports women in comedy – it’s so important and great that the Funny Women Awards exist, so I can’t believe that I’m through to the final!
FW: How did you get started in comedy?
JM: I didn’t start gigging properly until I was older, but I guess I got started quite young, without really realising it. I got sponsored to go to a dead posh school when I was thirteen or so and ended up as head girl in my last year there. Was I their poverty mascot? Possibly. At one point I was supposed to give this big speech about important issues of some sort and complete my transformation into a well-rounded member of the school. Instead, I stole that platform and used it for my first stand-up routine. Looking back, it was unfair both on the whole school, who definitely hadn’t signed up for early morning comedy, and on the important issues. But it went well…
FW: Who is your comedy inspiration?
JM: I watched a Margaret Cho special when I was a tiny kid – I definitely wasn’t supposed to! I remember her doing a bit and absorbing the fact that this person was talking about sexuality and everyone was listening and laughing and on board and loving it. The idea of powerful women, comedy, and I guess, social change kind of fused in my head. And that was so cool and empowering to watch as a kid, so she was a major inspiration for me in terms of comedy, and just in general, I suppose. Did Margaret Cho make me gay? Probably.
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
JM: The full list would be way too long, but some of my absolute faves are Sofie Hagen, Bridget Christie, Gina Yashere, Fern Brady, Desiree Burch, Zoe Coombs Marr, and Mae Martin – also I finally managed to see Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette last week and it was incredible.
The next Funny Women Awards Regional Final is hosted by 2015 Funny Women Finalist Sarah Keyworth at Hoxton Hall on Thursday 22nd February. For tickets click here!