Funny Women at the Fringe

A soggy Sunday afternoon spent in a cosy tent with the rain pitter-pattering on the roof felt much better than the battle of brollies it took to get there. This showcase gig was hosted by Lara A King, the winner of last year’s Funny Women Award. King was very much at ease with her audience and warmed us up with the title song from her show ‘People Pleaser’. Warmed we were. This was a heckle-free event; was this because it was a women’s gig? Don’t be put off, no-one mentioned tampons either and there were men.

The first act was Sarah Callaghan, a 20 year old Londoner who has already been performing for two years on the circuit. Her catch phrase was “It’s a true story, yeah?” and she talked about the things she knew, like drugs, explaining that smoking weed is like voting Lib-Dem; you get a smug feeling. She’s cocky and has her own style as a stand-up but the audience was not her natural demographic.

Next up was Kerry Gilbert, making her entrance to the old classic Je T’aime and groaning as she took off her shoes. Wonderfully incongruous. However, Gilbert then over-explained her show before doing impersonations of two characters, Gary Tits and Pauline, who had similar accents an octave apart and became a little lost on the audience.

Lucy Frederick was delightfully self-deprecating in a Miranda sort of way, but different enough that she reminded me of Lord Percy from Blackadder. Anyone who can work Catherine Cookson, Downton Abbey and Agas into such a short set and raise lots of belly-laughs from the audience must be doing it right. Tantalisingly, she has no Fringe show.

Headlining was the very slick Katherine Ryan. With prom-queen looks and a potty mouth, Ryan never missed a beat, working an audience member into her routine and being rather nice about the baby sitting behind me. A Canadian living in London, Ryan describes herself as a “typical British mum: a young, uneducated immigrant.” Her flow is unexpected and delivered with an easy confidence. There is no hint of arrogance in her stage presence, she is utterly kooky. If you are a parent, go buy her ticket and release your guilt. She says the things we’ve all thought.

Reviews by Sarah McIntosh

Edinburgh Playhouse

Funny Girl

★★★★
Festival Theatre Edinburgh

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story

★★★★
King's Theatre

TOM, the Musical

★★★★
Festival Theatre Edinburgh

James III: The True Mirror

★★★★
Festival Theatre Edinburgh

James II: Day of the Innocents

★★★
Festival Theatre Edinburgh

James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Celebrating 10 years with a specially curated show featuring great comedy from the Funny Women Awards and beyond. Gifts and beauty advice from Benefit Cosmetics and their Benebus, plus two semi-finals of the Awards! www.funnywomen.com.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets