Thursday, 16 August 2012

Here come the girls. Feature in Easyjet Traveller Mag

WHO SAYS WOMEN aren't funny? Certainly not audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, who last year voted with bums on seats, selling out shows by female comedians like Sarah Millican, while critics added politically minded comic Josie Long to the festival-award shortlist.

A record number of female comedians and all-women companies showed at last year's event - more than 100 in total - and this year there are set to be even more. Funny females, finally, seem to be stepping into the limelight.

"I'm looking forward to deep-fried everything and performing every day," says Miranda Hennessy, one energetic performer making her Edinburgh debut. Fans of UK sitcoms The Pro Show and PhoneShop will be familiar with Hennessy's comic stylings, which will be put to good use in sketch show A History of Violence.

But while Hennessy is pleased to be heading north for a month-long comedy extravaganza, she's not keen to be labelled as a female comedian. "I'm a comedian," she stresses. "The toughest hurdle that female performers have to overcome is thinking that people don't think women are funny."

Many comedians agree that the "are women funny?" debate is a tired one - but it's still the boys who are taking home the majority of the awards. Only two women have won at Edinburgh in the festival's history, most recently in 2005.

Whatever your opinion, with a record-breaking 530 acts set to perform at this year's festival, it seems that comedy itself is set to have the last laugh.

Catch Hennessy & Friends at Underbelly, Bristo Square, 1-27 August, 2.50pm;

Miranda Hennessy's top tips for aspiring female comedians

1. Don't concentrate on the fact you're a woman doing comedy and maybe no one will notice
2. Make the most of being the only female on the bill
3.Don't get violent if people don't laugh
4. Don't drink too much

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