Posted by: the3rdi | September 14, 2010

Funny Women Awards: The Final Countdown

The 2010 Funny Women Awards culminate in a nail-biting fight for the finish
next Monday, 20th September, as comedic trailblazers Funny Women conclude
their epic national comedy talent competition with a charity final at the
Leicester Square Theatre in support of OBJECT, the award-winning human
rights organisation.

After a summer spent scouring the country for the very best of fresh female
talent, Funny Women have whittled down an entry list of over 350 women to a
final bill of just 12 top up-and-comers. These are: Jessica Fostekew, Sarah
Hendrickx, Thankless Child (Liz Black and Freya Slipper), Alison Thea-Skot,
Helen Arney, Rachel Parris, Abigoliah Schamaun, Julia Clark, Iona
Dudley-Ward and Gemma Whelan (sneak a peek at their winning sets
HERE) – with 2
spaces held as part of a thrilling twist to this year’s Awards climax.

Funny Women has teamed up with top London venue The Roundhouse, as part of
the iconic Camden Theatre’s Turning Point Festival, and invited eight of the
featured semi-finalists who didn’t get selected to automatically qualify to
take part in a very special “Laugh Chance Saloon” event on Saturday 18th
September, just two days before the final. These acts will battle it out
again for two reserved wildcard slots – and in a true test of comedic
mettle, it’ll be the audience on the night deciding who goes through.

The acts with another shot at the top are Laura Lexx, Jojo Georgiou, Gemma
Layton, Sunna Jarman, Hayley Ellis, Clare Lomas, Lindsay Sharman and Louisa
Theobald.

Compiling the 2010 shortlist and selecting the finalists has been no easy
task for the Funny Women team. Following a record number of entrants, the
eighth year of this unique comedy competition has proven to be its biggest –
and arguably best, yet.

“We’ve been genuinely blown away by the level of interest in the Funny Women
Awards this year,” explains Funny Women founder Lynne Parker. “Entry levels
rocketed as the competition progressed – a series of emergency last-minute
heats had to be scheduled. And as for the standard we’ve been seeing; well,
let’s just say it’s been one of hardest judging processes we’ve ever had.
The final will take female comedy to a whole new level with a real mix of
stand up, musical comedy, sketch and character.”

In honour of comedy’s cabaret heritage, and to recognise the sheer breadth
of female talent, a Funny Women Variety Award has been launched in
partnership with the Leicester Square Theatre. The winner of this new title
will have the opportunity to perform a full show in the studio space in
early 2011 co-promoted by the theatre and Funny Women.

As ever, this year’s grand Charity Final on Monday 20th September, in
support of OBJECT features a judging panel of comedy industry luminaries
including Lucy Lumsden, head of comedy, Sky; Shane Allen, head of comedy,
Channel 4; Jane Berthoud, head of BBC Radio Comedy (CHAIR); Tim Arthur,
comedy editor, Time Out; Corrie McGuire of Objective Talent Management; Hils
Jago of Amused Moose; April Chamberlain, managing director of the
ComedyUnit, Martin Witts owner and manager of the Leicester Square Theatre,
and writer and comic, Shazia Mirza.

First prize for the overall Awards winner will be a week’s luxury holiday
for two at the five-star contemporary boutique Londa Hotel in Limassol,
Cyprus. The winner and other finalists also have the opportunity perform at
the Londa as part of the increasingly successful Funny Women tour which
takes place at the hotel and attracts big audiences on the island.

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 who
also hosts this year’s final; 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 Katie Wix, Anna Crilly, Bridget Christie, Susan Calman,
Diane Morgan, Emma Fryer, Kerry Godliman, Wendy Wason, Sara Pascoe, Holly
Walsh and Sarah Millican who have all gone on to have successful comedy
careers performing on the circuit, winning other awards and appearing on
radio and television.

“This year has exceeded all our expectations in terms of the number of women
entering and the variety and range of talent we’ve seen since May,” comments
Lynne. “We have a reputation for fast tracking brilliant new female acts as
demonstrated by the success of previous winners and finalists. We give
women their voice in the ‘male-strom’ of the comedy world and will continue
to work with this year’s acts to ensure that they get seen and recognised
for their achievements.”

Tickets for the Final of the Funny Women Awards are already on sale at
£18.00, or £16.50 if you are on the company’s priority
mailing list and
receive their regular e-bulletins. Visit http://www.leicestersquaretheatre.com
or call 0844 847 2475 to book.
Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX.

If you become a fully paid up member of OBJECT there is an even better
discount. JOIN HERE.

Tickets are also available for the Turning Point Festival, £18 which
includes the Funny Women Awards show and a full programme of other
entertainment. Visit http://www.roundhouse.org.uk
for more information, and to book.

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Responses

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