We were back at Hoxton Hall for our last London Regional Final on Friday with Sindhu Vee, who fought off her jetlag to host a fabulous night. Sandra Hale kicked off the night by taking us to Cougar town and Jo Frank shared what niche mode of transport turns her on! Isabelle Farah gave us a tutorial in Arabic accents before Maddie Campion shared what gets her riled up. Ania Magliano eschewed a segue into her vibrator woes and Pauline Eyre talked about being 51 and invisible. Daisy Earl tried to get to know us and runner-up Kathryn Mather shared her theories about foreskin. Yumna Mohamed described her potential love matches hilariously – if unflatteringly!Thanyia Moore and Maggie Kowalski impressed the judges so much we had to give them both runner-up positions, but it was Chloe Petts who won a place in our grand final!
Funny Women: How does it feel to be through to the Funny Women Awards final?
Chloe Petts: I’m incredibly proud to be through to the final of the Funny Women Awards. It feels like a culmination of a lot of hard work; I remember, when I first started comedy a few years ago, watching Desiree Burch win it and being so in awe of her. I always aimed to reach the final so it’s a big deal to me that I’ve made it. It’s particularly important to me to have a space that champions women in comedy in a field in which we’re under-represented, so that only increases the honour.
FW: How did you get started in comedy?
CP: I threatened to do stand-up since about the age of 14 but was always too scared. At uni, I was in a lot of plays. When I left I realised that I had more limited options in terms of performing and I wanted to do something that I had autonomy over. I went round telling everybody that I ever met that I was gonna do stand-up because then I’d have a barrage of people being like “Have you done stand-up yet?” Eventually, the shame of having to say “no, not yet” grew so strong that I had to do my first gig. I got the bug after that.
FW: Who is your comedy inspiration?
CP: Dawn French and the late Emma Chambers in The Vicar of Dibley played a wonderfully formative role in my passion for comedy; I watched episodes of that over and over and have constantly returned to it ever since, particularly as a comfort during times of stress. I love that Geraldine is the only sane one in a world of – very lovable – idiots and how she navigates that in a gently condescending but love-driven way. I feel I’m like that with my audiences sometimes: I’m always in control and lightly mocking but it’s always from a place of affection.
I also love Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julie Walters – great comic actresses with genius comic minds.
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
CP: My Mum is one of the funniest people I know. I’ll find myself using some of her sayings in front of my friends and them really laughing which really made me think about how hilarious she actually is. My Dad (an honorary woman) is more low-key funny; he’s less gregarious but still incredibly engaging and witty
I am in friend-love with Catherine Bohart and Sarah Keyworth who provide me with an incredible level of support; they are so generous with their friendship, advice and guidance and they’re also hugely, hugely talented. Hail to the power lesbians!
The 2017 Funny Women Charity Gala Final is on 12th March with Jan Ravens at the Duchess Theatre. For tickets and information click here!