Meet Lynne Parker, founder of the Funny Women, UK’s leading female comedy community. Tomboy Tirade crew Raven and Siti speak to the funny woman about hitting the 60th birthday milestone, exciting female comedians to look out for and her plans to publish a book.
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Lynne Parker set up Funny Women in 2002 as a ‘knee jerk’ reaction to a misogynistic comedy promoter. She used to go to comedy events and wonder – Where are all the women? Why are they not being booked? When hired to produce a comedy show, she asked the organisers why they were not hiring female comedians and was told that women were not funny.
That’s when Parker got the idea for the community but it was 2 years later before she got Funny Women off the ground. Proving her point, she did find plenty of funny women but they were largely invisible back then. In 2003, the Funny Women Awards was started with the aim of giving new comedy talents a chance to perform live in a friendly and supportive environment.
Now in its 14th edition, the awards that definitively answered the question ‘are women funny? was launched in March this year with an exciting new venue for the final in September. The awards are launchpads for many talented comedians, writers and short filmmakers, some of whom are now major names on the comedy circuit including Bridget Christie, Katherine Ryan, Andi Osho and Sarah Millican.
IN THIS EPISODE, WE TALK ABOUT
- Why Lynne Parker started the Funny Women Awards [3’19”]
- Good Ship Benefit hosting the heats for Funny Women Awards and Edinburgh Festival previews on the Thames River. [7’38”]
- What is the process like to uncover Britain’s funniest female stand-up comedian? [10’31”]
- The 3 Categories for Funny Women Awards: Stage Award, Comedy Shorts Award and Comedy Writing Award [12’53”]
- How short form video and Youtube are helping women to get seen by broadcasters [15’37”]
- Disadvantage of technology: People have shorter attention spans [17’27”]
- Up and coming female UK comedy talents to look out for: Katherine Ryan, Tiff Stevenson, Ellie Taylor and Shazia Mirza [19’12”]
- Hitting the 60th birthday milestone [22’10”]
- Parker’s childhood and background in performing and public speaking [22’40”]
- The book she is working on [24’57”]
HOW TO TAKE PART IN THE FUNNY WOMEN AWARDS
Whether you’re a stand-up, sketch group, script writer or just like making funny YouTube films with your mates, Funny Women Awards is all about celebrating your talent and putting you in front of the right people for it to truly shine.
The Stage Award category has been closed since 1st June but there’s always next year! You can still send in your entries for the Comedy Writing and Comedy Shorts Awards with the deadlines being 15th August and 31st August respectively.
Listen to our Tomboy Tirade interview with Desiree Burch, winner of 2015 Funny Women Stage Award.
We recently launched a Funny Women Diaries column where funny woman Kate Stone writes about the comedy scene in UK from the Funny Women perspective. Click here to read her past entries.
We just started a monthly Tomboy Tarts Prickly Picks column with Funny Women. Click here to read our most recent post.