Funny Women

Funny Women is a very respectable and enjoyable competition, highlighting the best up-and-coming female comedy acts from around the UK. Therefore the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the perfect springboard for some of these ladies to hit the ground running. Alongside the daily dose of six comediennes performing there is also a two day workshop running for those who are interested in being a little more than just an audience member.Reviewing this show is a little difficult as the line-up changes on a daily basis, so I can only comment on the acts that I saw on the day and, well, they weren’t great. That is as far as I am willing to go with any criticism of the acts - they are all at the start of their profession, whether it be a hobby or a goal, and I don’t want to be the one who blackens their name with a bad review so early on in their career. Besides, each performance already has a number of industry insiders sitting amongst the audience taking notes which are fed back to the ladies after the show. The show is a safe place to be given a learning curve and the audience of mostly friends and family, I presume, are fully aware of this. The professionalism and relaxed humour of the MC, Claire Lomas, only highlighted the fact that there was often more laughs to be had between the acts rather than during. Putting this aside, there were two performers that grabbed my attention throughout their stints. Linsay Duncan attacked the stage with a wild, manic energy that had the audience spluttering between shocked gasps and laughter. Her bizarre, highly original anecdotes worked well with her larger than life character and her pacing was spot-on. Less successful amongst audience members but producing an equal amount of laughs from this reviewer was Sophie Buchan, who had an even darker set of jokes and a creepy but amusingly deadpan delivery. Whether or not both these girls have enough material to sustain a full set remains to be seen, but both should gain a little more confidence from their success in this show. Hopefully there will be a lot more to come from these two acts in the future.Back to the show itself and my biggest criticism is the price of the tickets. £10 is a lot to ask for the casual audience member who has no guarantee that the acts will be any good. If you choose to go watch this show there is as much a chance of you knocking two stars off my rating as there is to you adding two stars. With so much free comedy around the city and more popular, reliable acts charging around the same price then I think Funny Women’s producers are putting themselves up for a fall by asking audiences to take this risk. For the participants to truly get a feel of what works, they need a much broader variety of audience members than just a supportive number of friends, family and mentors.

Reviews by Stewart McLaren

Online at (with Traverse Theatre)

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The Blurb

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.