As you’ve probably noticed, there’s an aching hole in the comedy circuit where women should be. All too often, panel shows like Have I Got New For You? or Mock The Week have (at best) one woman on a line-up of five or six, while live comedy nights very rarely feature women full stop.
In Bristol, we’re served extremely badly – one local comedy club, for instance, has 24 events listed on its current flyer: just one of these events features a woman. That’s right, one! It’s like we’re invisible.
Enough is enough. This cultural femicide of funny women cannot continue. So I’ve been hard at work since January plotting a way to redress the balance in Bristol, and would like to invite you and your friends to two upcoming events that will tickle your funny bones, while giving female comedians a well-deserved moment in the spotlight.
‘What The Frock?’ comedy pub quiz and raffle with exceptional prizes
April 17, 7.30pm. The Big Chill Bar (upstairs in the function room), Small Street, Bristol
To put on a comedy night and attract high calibre funny women, we need some money to pay the acts, feed the acts, and make sure they have somewhere safe and warm to sleep. So we’re throwing a fundraising quiz night with a comedy theme. It’ll be a hoot. There are some genuinely starry prizes (donated by, at the time of writing, Stewart Lee, Tina Fey, Stephen Merchant, Simon Pegg, and, err, Noel Edmonds). As well as some tickets to upcoming shows that have been kindly donated by Watershed, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol St George’s and the Hippodrome. If you don’t manage to win a prize in the quiz, there’ll be plenty of other opportunities to win one as a raffle prize.
It’s £3 per person to enter the quiz, and a maximum of four people per team. Bring your friends, family and colleagues – it promises to be a fun and sociable night out. As if that’s not incentive enough, there are free (yes, free!) button badges for all.
‘What The Frock?’ women’s comedy night, May 18, 8pm, Arnolfini, Bristol.
Thanks to the wonderful Bristol Festival of Ideas, who have been so enthusiastic and supportive of this project, we’ve been lucky enough to get the fantastic theatre at the Arnolfini as the venue for the comedy night. Hosted by Kate Smurthwaite, your entertainment for the night will be provided by Tiffany Stevenson, Dana Alexander and Zahra Barri. While it’s an all-women line-up, absolutely everybody is welcome in the audience.
There will also be a raffle at the end of the night (tickets sold before the event and during the interval), where there are some really choice goodies up for grabs – including signed merchandise from the likes of comedian Stewart Lee, Thick Of It writer Ian Martin, very funny woman Tina Fey and much more.
Money raised will go towards the running costs of the event. If there is any extra money once costs are covered, it will all be donated to Bristol charity One25, which helps local women to exit prostitution. What The Frock? is a not-for-profit event and the organisers will not benefit financially in any way.
Tickets will go on sale in April, along with the tickets for all the other Festival of Ideas events, and can be bought through the Festival of Ideas website or from Arnolfini’s box office. I’ll circulate more information nearer the time.
Thanks for reading, and I hope very much to see you at both events. If you’d like to help, can offer more prizes for raffles etc, or simply want to ask a question, please contact me direct on madamjmo[@]gmail.com.
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