Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

FunnyWomen spat.

Posted in Comedy, Uncategorized by sheelanagigcomedienne on May 9, 2011

A little henfight broke out over the decision by Funnywomen to charge £15 entry to the FunnyWomen awards. As they have no sponsorship for this years awards they decided to charge a £15 entry and there was a a backlash from a few women comedians some of whom have been associated with FunnyWomen like Jo Caulfield and Shappi Khorsandi. I think it is fair enough to make this nominal charge when you consider what you have to pay to put on a show at The Fringe.

The situation of women within the testosterone and usually alcohol fuelled ghetto of the comedy club circuit and the commercial, corporate venues  is so dire. This charging for the Funnywomen showcases, to cover costs, cannot be compared with it. Despite defensive whimpering from male comedians like Dara O’Briain, Richard Herring, male comedy critics and venue impressarios wanting more women in comedy they have done fuck all about it and refuse to consider putting on all women bills/panels to help encourage women AND change the cockfight ethos that is the norm within the all male/mainly male domination of comedy. Those guys like Minchin, Addison etc, should butt out of this henfight until they can come up with alternative,  supportive ways of encouraging and keeping women in their ghetto.

Of course, I have my own beef with FunnyWomen as it does little to continue to support and help their hundreds of women entrants to go beyond their measly five minute showcase.  FunnyWomen is also playing the mainstream corporate game which is so very youth oriented.

I can not understand why the saga demographic is not been catered for. We have the money but we do not want to go to grotty pub/club gigs. We are a more sophisticated, want comfort and more variety in our entertainment. Comedy has got trapped and needs to be released back into its natural variety/cabaret  entertainment habitat. If Lynn Parker is still in the business when she joins the saga/hip op generation she might then begin to respond and start to encourage and give space to funny oldie women to tickle our fancy. Despite her claim to being passionate about empowering women why the hell isn’t she running comedy workshops for older women. Is she afraid that we will become saga louts and enjoy growing old disgracefully?

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