“I don’t like female comedians” is the mindset that Manchester’s Women in Comedy Festival 2019 aims to debunk with a whole month of performances by funny ladies across the city.
The Festival, aiming to showcase female comedy talent and promote gender equality in comedy, kicked off on Thursday with a Launch Party at TriBeCa Manchester showcasing only a snippet of the varied and diverse female acts performing throughout the month.
The lineup for the launch event included Annette Fagon, Lindsey Santoro and Janice Connolly (Barbara Nice) alongside hosts Bethany Black and Sian Davies.
From candid representations of broader issues like mental health, race and sexuality to more “unique” reflections on laughing during smear tests, an incidental diagnosis of ringworm and a menstrual cup insertion gone awry, absolutely nothing was off limits.
Fagon and Santoro were personal highlights. Fagon’s set in part revolved around her feelings towards children and childhood and positioned comedy alongside harsh reality perfectly to maintain humor without undermining the severity of her own experiences.
Santoro’s more light hearted anecdotal set was filled with character and is the only time I’ve ever heard a woman describes herself so brilliantly as a “defrosted richmond sausage” during a smear test.
Headline act Barbara Nice, played by Connolly, undoubtedly picked up the energy in the room and made for a buoyant climax to the evening with a game of dead celebrity musical statues.
With a large portion of audience participation involved it was exciting to see Connolly engage with a smaller audience and inject just as much fun and enthusiasm into her performance as on a larger stage.
Depositing Barbara Nice back up the steps of TriBeCa’s entranceway, through an open archway of outstretched audience members hands, seemed like a fitting end to a fabulous evening of comedy by comedians who were not only unapologetically funny but unapologetically women.
Women in Comedy month continues throughout October for its seventh year running with performances across a variety of venues in Greater Manchester.
Contains shout outs for the brilliant @jojosutherland @ThatSusanMurray @yespaulineeyre and @ThanyiaMoore as well as @funnywomen who all have shows in the Festival which would be on my wishlist! #comedy #festival #women
— Rachel Creeger #MakeYourFringe (@RachCreeger) October 4, 2019
With a tonne of different shows on offer at a variety of affordable ticket prices there’s definitely something for everyone and maybe even a show or two you couldn’t have even imagined you’d want to see, Susan Murray’s How Not To Die In A Plane Crash a prime example.
Some of the other highlights include Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Rachel Fairburn’s serial killer obsessed podcast All Killa, No Filla, Fairburn’s People’s Princess solo show which recently ran at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Pritchard-McLean’s latest work in progress.
Jojo Sutherland also returns from the Fringe with a performance of Riches to Rags story and the only female orthodox Jewish comedian Rachel Creeger announces herself with Hinayni! amongst so many other exciting sounding acts.
See the full line up online and buy tickets for any of the events at womenincomedy.co.uk
Image courtesy of Women in Comedy UK via Twitter, with thanks.