I bloody love Autumn, not because of the orange leaves or the beautiful sunsets or the hearty soups but because it means I can make the official seasonal move from caps to beanies. Honestly, one of the best things about queer women is the ability to carry off an obscene variety of hats. Really though, the best thing about October is obviously that it’s Halloween month, aka the ultimate annual holiday for introverted attention seekers like myself. My costume is in the works already, of course — I want something that says ‘look at me, but please don’t expect me to engage effectively in conversation’. Suggestions welcome.
We need something big to look forward to now the Funny Women Awards have officially done their thing for 2021. What a night it was! The 10 Stage Award performers each gave their sets absolutely everything and wow, was it worth it! It’s super exciting to be able to add names to your list of rising stars and I found some new favourites, namely the top three — Ola Labib, Bronwyn Sweeney and winner Lara Ricote. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch them all soon out in the wild.
Speaking of the wild, time to grab coats, scarves, umbrellas (boo) and hats (yay) and set off in search of good comedy to warm the soul. Here are some things to get you started:
Women In Comedy Festival
Friday 1st — Sunday 10th October, venues across Manchester
It’s impossible to pick out just one or two shows from the fantastic line-up of the Women in Comedy Festival, so shout out to the whole lot! There are multi-bills (e.g. the return of Funny Femmes Alex Bertulis-Fernandes, Charlie George and Sharlin Jahan on the 1st, and Kate Martin and Vix Leyton on the 4th) and solo hours galore (e.g. Thanyia Moore, Abigoliah Schamaun and Jain Edwards) so get your butts moving around Manchester. Not to mention the Funny Women Awards showcase, which is a must with Sikisa, Ola Labib, Hannah Platt, Eryn Tett, Kathryn Mather and Hayley Ellis. For tickets and more information, click here!
Laughing Labia LGBTQ+ Comedy & Variety Night
Sunday 3rd October, Phoenix Artists Club
Thank the lord for wonderfully named queer comedy nights. Alice Frick hosts this fantastic line-up of women performers including Sadia Azmat, Kate Smurthwaite, Sajeela Kershi, Juliet Meyers, Karen Fisch (aka true drag legend King Frankie Sinatra) and Holly Hudson. This one has been known to sell out, so get your skates on. For tickets and more information, click here!
Thursday, 7th October, Caroline of Brunswick, Brighton
We love all the new comedy nights popping up around the place. Katherine Kenway and Jade Gebbie’s Brighton baby is on the first Thursday of the month, with a nice mix of stand-up, sketch and character acts. This month’s headliner is the fab Lulu Popplewell, joined by Laura McMahon, Paloma Hanlon and Chris Sav, with Katherine and Jade on that bill too. For tickets and more information, click here!
Aberdeen Comedy Weekender
Friday 8th — Sunday 10th October, venues across Aberdeen
In place of the Aberdeen International Comedy Festival, postponed until 2022, is a weekend of four bangers from four big names on tour. Catch Sara Barron’s Enemies Closer and Katherine Ryan’s Missus on the first day of the Aberdeen Comedy Weekender, with Olga Koch’s Homecoming on Saturday and Luisa Omielan’s God is a Woman on Sunday. Huge stuff! For tickets and more information, click here!
A Tribute to Lynn Ruth Miller
Monday, 11th October, Phoenix Artists Club
Anyone who knew or saw Lynn Ruth Miller fell in love with her immediately. The outpouring of love when she died last month can attest to that. On what would have been her 88th birthday, the Phoenix Artists Club is hosting a tribute cabaret and burlesque show where we can raise a glass or two to her memory, while raising money for St Joseph’s Hospice and Cabaret vs Cancer. Paulus (The Cabaret Geek) MCs the gig with Desmond O’Connor, Dusty Limits, Kiki Lovechild, Ada Campe, Ivy Paige, Belle de Beauvoir, Steve Gibson, Josephine Lacey and more. Join in person or for the livestream. For tickets and more information click here!
Liz Kingsman: One Woman Show
Monday 11th — Saturday 23rd October, Soho Theatre
Liz Kingsman, who you might also know as part of brilliant sketch group Massive Dad (with Stevie Martin and Tessa Coats) or equally brilliant improv group SORRY, is going it alone with One Woman Show. Fresh from sold out and hugely praised runs at VAULT Festival and the Pleasance, it unpacks the trends of confessional female-led performance but most importantly gives Liz a big, shiny spotlight. Super excited for this run! For tickets and more information, click here!
The LOL Word
Monday 18th October, Soho Theatre
Absolute top level legends the LOL Word are back at the Soho Theatre with their mixed bill of queer women and non-binary comedians (to be announced but always, without fail, amazing). Have a little read of their chat with LMAOnaise last month here to get a sense of the vibe. Spoiler alert: that vibe is Alanis Morissette and queer joy. For tickets and more information, click here!
Sindhu Vee: Alphabet
On tour now, literally all over the place
Sindhu Vee is off around the country with her new show Alphabet. Maybe you’ve heard her on the Guilty Feminist podcast, or seen her nail it as Rose Matafeo’s wealthy boss in Starstruck. If you’ve not seen Sindhu live before though, you should really jump at this chance, she’s just so good. Alphabet is all about hair, friends and the difference between virus and viral. For tickets and more information, click here!
Clandestina Queer Comedy
Thursday, 24th October, Kindred Bradmore House
Clandestina is constantly smashing it with these queer line-ups and this month is no different. Charlie George MCs with Heidi Regan headlining and performances by Leila Navabi, Jess Durand, Victoria Olsina and Amelia Stubberfield (who recently knocked it out the park in the Funny Women Stage Award live finals). For tickets and more information, click here!
Funny Women: Brighton Nights
Saturday 30th October, Komedia Brighton
Is there a more iconic and prolific host than Sikisa? I don’t think so. She’s at the helm of Funny Women’s next Brighton bash, with Cheekykita, Tatty Macleod, Charlie George, Maddie Campion and headliner Lily Phillips (who is also performing her show Smut at the Women in Comedy Festival on 5th October). For tickets and more information, click here!
If you have a comedy show you want included in the Funny Women Comedy Guide then contact Zoe Paskett Guide@funnywomen.com