2011 Edinburgh Fringe

Funny Women

Funny Women. Copyright: BBC
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3: Assembly George Square Gardens

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Britain's leading female comedy brand showcases the newest acts from the UK and beyond. Plus seeking out the freshest and funniest new comedy talent with the last four heats for this year's Funny Women Awards. See stand-up, character, sketch, musical comedy, impressions and more.

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Funny Women plan their most ambitious Fringe Festival run yet with a range of showcases, Funny Women Award heats and workshops from the 3-21 of August in Assembly.

In addition to the normal high-standard of showcase that Funny Women runs throughout the year, Edinburgh will be an opportunity to stretch beyond their normal parameters. Several regional showcases spotlighting the best female comedy from around the world, including North America, the Antipodeas and Europe. Other themed showcases are set to include musical comedy, improvisation, and sketch and character acts in addition to four nights hosting the best everything funny women have to offer.

This year is also the first time that Funny Women's highly-regarded workshops to the Fringe. Workshops will be open to both Fringe visitors wanting to dip their first toe into comedic waters and performers who would like professional feedback. Each workshop will comprise of two one-hour sessions spread over two days.

Edinburgh is also the last chance comedians will have to enter the 2011 Funny Women Awards. At least four heats of the competition are already planned for the two-week run at the fringe. 'The great gathering of comedic talent from around the world makes our Edinburgh heats some of the most varied and exciting, and we're really looking forward to seeing what talent the festival brings us this year,' says Funny Women founder Lynne Parker.

The Funny Women Awards is a well-established annual search for the best new female comedy talent, and, as the leading female comedy brand in the UK it sets the benchmark for women breaking into the industry.

This isn't just about competing, it's also about women working with each other and supporting other women to improve their confidence and achieve their potential. Funny Women is aware of how intimidating the comedy world can be for new acts so it provides a supportive friendly environment at all its events. With the organisation's 10th anniversary in sight for next year, the producers want to attract as many different types of acts this year as possible.

The very best acts will be selected from competition heats taking place across the UK from May to August. There will be a round of quarter finals on Saturday 10th September followed by two semi-finals on Sunday 11th September. 24 acts will then compete for 12 coveted places in the national final, which takes place on Monday 26th September at the Leicester Square Theatre in Central London.

The Funny Women Awards are open to new female acts (up to five years performing) who can perform comedy in front of a live audience. The producers look for stand-ups, impressionists, sketches, character and musical comics, ventriloquists, magicians, double acts and ensembles... anything, as long as it has a comic twist.

There are three major Awards. Funny Women are pleased to be continuing the Funny Women Variety Award after its initial success. The producers look forward to seeing another dazzling range of musical comedians, sketch groups, character actors and other unconventional acts.

This year sees the introduction of a Comedy Writing Award, which will offer women who are performance shy, a chance to compete. "Here at Funny Women we recognise that not everybody wants to be a performer and we encourage collaboration," comments Lynne on the new writing category. "This will give new female writers a unique opportunity and we will team them up with appropriate performers to stage their material."

Entrants can register online and there is a nominal charge of £15 per act to contribute towards administration and promotion of this year's Awards, and the provision of a fantastic career-boosting prize. The producers also guarantee to see everybody who registers at a live showcase.

The main prize will include a career-building package to include the winner's own website, an edited DVD of their final performance and a touring schedule for 2012. Winners of the Variety Award and the Comedy Writing Award will get a one hour showcase of their work at a Central London venue during 2012.

Registration for the awards are still open. Details on how to register for the 2011 Funny Women Awards can be found via www.funnywomen.com

All showcases, award heats, and workshops will take place at 14:40 from the 3-21 of August in Assembly.


Funny Women was set up in 2002 by Lynne Parker, as a 'knee jerk' reaction to a misogynistic comedy promoter she worked with in 2000. The Funny Women Awards were launched in 2003 and are now the benchmark for women breaking into comedy.

The 2010 Awards were won overall by comic duo, Thankless Child, Freya Slipper and Liz Black, reminiscent of a young French & Saunders combined with the twinkly charm of Ant & Dec.

This year there are three main Awards up for grabs including a Variety Award, introduced in 2010 and won by character act Gemma Whelan, performing as her spinsterly alter ego, Chastity Butterworth.

Funny Women's impact on the world of comedy is the alumni themselves. Their success speaks volumes for the brand. Previous winners include 2009 victor and CBBC star, Miss London; Canadian Katherine Ryan in 2008; Stand Up For The Week star Andi Osho in 2007; Suzy Bennett, who took the title in 2006; Debra-Jane Appelby, winner 2005; Zoe Lyons, who won in 2004, and Sarah Adams, who triumphed performing as Jade The Folk Singer in 2003. Other successful Funny Women Awards finalists include Katy Wix, Anna Crilly, Bridget Christie, Susan Calman, Diane Morgan, Emma Fryer, Kerry Godliman, Wendy Wason, Sara Pascoe, Roisin Conaty and Holly Walsh as well as the hugely successful Sarah Millican.


Date Time Venue
3rd Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
4th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
5th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
6th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
7th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
10th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
11th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
12th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
13th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
14th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
17th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
18th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
19th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
20th Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens
21st Aug 2011 14:40 Assembly George Square Gardens

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