The Mouthy Broads of Amsterdam

Funny Women

Funny Women

When you think about the comedy hubs of the world, what comes to mind? Maybe the bright stages of London, the basements of New York, the writers’ rooms of LA, or the underground alt-scene of Berlin. Wherever your mind goes, it’s unlikely that Amsterdam is at the top of that list.

But in recent years, Amsterdam has seen a comedy boom, particularly among the expat community: taking inspiration from traditional Dutch cabaret and merging it with the global perspectives of those who have come to call Amsterdam home.

For two comedians — Emily Higginson (two-time Funny Women Award semi finalist) and Nadine Froughi (Boom Chicago Comedy Festival) — Amsterdam proved the perfect space to bring their two-woman show to the European scene.

“We met at just a random open mic,” remembers Higginson. “We were both doing stand-up but also wanted to push the boundaries a bit and do something different to other comics.”

Higginson is an American stand-up and sketch comic with a knack for turning everyday weirdness into onstage weirdness. Having toured her brand of comedy across Europe, she is a staple in the festival scene in the Netherlands.

Froughi is a confused half-Iranian, half-American, born in England, raised in the Outer Hebrides, now mostly Dutch stand-up comedian based in Amsterdam. A finalist in the 2023 Utrecht International Comedy Festival’s English Comedy Talent Award, Froughi has won PowerPints (Amsterdam’s premier powerpoint-based comedy contest) three times.

“We wanted to see women get weirder,” notes Froughi.

After visiting the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe Festival together, they both realized that there was a golden opportunity to integrate the kinds of shows that were happening in the UK into the Amsterdam scene. They wanted to create a performance showcasing feminine weirdness, combining Higginson’s chronically online observations with Froughi’s vintage absurdist jokes.

Besides the initial concept, the first thing they came up with was the name.

“We were having a couple of cocktails, and I said in this Katherine-Hepburn-esque transatlantic accent, ‘Look at us, we’re a couple of Mouthy Broads’,” recounts Higginson.

Froughi responds self-referentially, “Yeah, because you’re mouthy, and I’m broad.”

And the show was born. 

Mouthy Broads steps away from the stand-up format that has tended to dominate Europe’s comedy scene, instead integrating character, sketch, and song.

Higginson and Froughi perform a range of characters that lampshade traditional ideas of femininity in media, such as ‘Kalorie Kardashian’, the forgotten Kardashian sister, and ‘Cally Sharp’, a self-titled female stand up comedian from 2014.

Having workshopped the show in Amsterdam, the duo realised that Mouthy Broads was not only a chance to showcase their own work but also the talents of women in the expat comedy scene.

“We’re reaching out to a community of inspiring new performers that are rising up through the scene in Amsterdam,” says Froughi.

“We have such a strong opportunity here to show what women can do by breaking the form and challenging what stand-up traditionally is,” Higginson adds.

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From the Funny Women Team

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Funny Women NextUp…Comedy Shorts Award

Are you a budding Director? Producer? Screenwriter? Are you collaborating with friends to make a funny video? Then we are looking for YOU!

If you have a short film or sketch that you think is hilarious, then enter your work for our Comedy Shorts Award to be in with a chance of winning some life-changing support and mentoring from comedy professionals.

WHAT KIND OF FILM ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

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This award is open to all women filmmakers and content developers. The film must be an original narrative created, produced and devised by a woman, or women, although male cast and crew members are allowed.

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Yes – we require all films to be 6 minutes or under, to be entirely original dialogue, to not feature brand logos and most importantly, to only use music with the written consent of the performer and/or publisher either personally or via the PRS system https://www.prsformusic.com/ .

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