A Feminist’s Guide to the Festivals: Women comics on the Fringe (in time order)

Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse

Up the women! Specifically, the women bringing stand-up shows to the Fringe (and even more specifically the ones tackling gender stereotypes in the process). Here are a few to get you started…

Eat Sleep Shit Shag
“Amused Moose Comedy Award finalist, 2015, Abbie Murphy returns to the Fringe with her new show, Eat Sleep Shit Shag. Murphy has been trying to figure out what it is to be a woman. Anecdotes from the ex showgirl and her journey from corduroys and football shirts, to feathers tits and teeth. ‘Murphy is sensational’ ***** (EdFringeReview.com). ‘Laugh aloud funny’ *** (Steve Bennett, Chortle.co.uk).”

Tessa Coates: Witch Hunt
“After a sell-out debut, one third of Massive Dad (‘Hilarious’ (Guardian)) returns with another show about how we got here­­ and where we’re supposed to go next. Armed with an absolutely useless degree in Anthropology, she’ll be combining storytelling with very intense academic research. Which is surely what everyone wants from their comedy. Tessa has appeared in Birds of a Feather, Damned and @elevenish and would very much like you to hang out with her. ‘Real star quality’ **** (Chortle.co.uk). **** (BroadwayWorld.com).”

Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse
“You’ve seen her on Comedy Central, you’ve seen her on the BBC. Now see Nottingham-born rising star Sarah Keyworth’s debut hour. Join Sarah as she tells you about her life with an important little girl and her battle against every expectation of what being a girl means. Think Girls Just Wanna Have Fun but British, deadpan and in no way similar. Tour support for Dane Baptiste, Stewart Francis and Kerry Godliman. Funny Women runner-up. ‘Charming’ (Independent). ‘Excellently deadpan’ (HuffingtonPost.com). ‘I liked that joke about her fanny’ (Sarah Millican). ‘A complete breath of fresh air’ (EdFestMag.com).”

Harriet Kemsley: Slutty Joan
(free show!)
“Multi award-winning comic Harriet Kemsley pulls her skirt out of her pants and shames slut shaming. In a Cornell University study women rated fictional female peer, Joan, as emotionally unstable and less competent because she was sexually promiscuous. If Joan wasn’t fictional her name would be Harriet Kemsley and in this deeply personal show Harriet delves into her sexual history. Star of Bobby and Harriet Get Married, Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and Katherine Ryan Tour support. ‘A quirky, refreshingly charming comedian at the dawn of her TV career’ (Radio Times). ‘Joyful’ **** (Scotsman). ‘Effervescent’ **** (EdFestMag.com).”

Sally-Anne Hayward: Comedienne-ess
“Fifty-eight minutes of jokes from one of the UK comedy scene’s most vaginary binaries. Sally guarantees this show will change your life, even if only by making it an hour shorter – come and feel the wrath of her mirth! ‘Exceptionally funny’ (Independent). ‘Warm and very funny’ (Sarah Millican). ‘A kick in the balls from a bullying southerner’ (Some nobody on Twitter). **** (ThreeWeeks). **** (Skinny). @sallyannhayward”

Kate Smurthwaite: Clit-Stirrer (free show!)
“Kate Smurthwaite finally tells us what she really thinks. The award-winning feminist, atheist, polyamorous comedian, writer for Have I Got News For You and former Question Time panellist, puts away all those years of coquettishness and gets off the fence. Free. Arrive early.”

Stand Up, Weather Girl! (free show!)
“Sam Fraser has been a stand-by BBC local weather presenter since 2012. It’s been a steep learning curve. Flattered by online comments about her bottom, she wonders can you be a full-time feminist and a part-time weather girl? This is Sam’s first visit to the Edinburgh Fringe. Join her as she forecasts storms of delight and gales of laughter!”

Holt and Tablot: Mansplaining Feminism (free show!)
“Still talking to each other after last year’s Edinburgh success with Holt and Talbot Can’t Stand The Sight Of Each Other, no one is more surprised than them. Rosie Holt is unable to grasp some of the concepts of feminism but over the course of an hour, through bickering, sketches and an audacious bit of mansplaining, Christian attempts to set her straight. ‘Refreshing and very funny’ (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘Aroused my interest from the get-go’ (FringeGuru.com).”

Luisa Omielan: Politics for Bitches
“Fresh from filming her BBC Three series of the same name, comedy phenomenon Luisa Omielan (What Would Beyonce Do?! and Am I Right Ladies?!) is back with her third stand-up instalment. In her own words, ‘I believe it is my right to have an opinion on something I know absolutely nothing about!’ Welcome to Politics for Bitches. As seen on BBC One, Live at the Apollo, Thigh Gap joke (45 million views) and host of Comic Relief. ***** (Chortle.co.uk, Metro, Skinny, Guardian, ScotsGay). ‘The comedian British women have been waiting for’ (HuffingtonPost.co.uk).”

Felicity Ward: Busting a Nut
“Fresh off the back of her new BBC Radio 4 series Appisodes, a Netflix special Live from the BBC, and regular co-host of The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Felicity Ward returns to the Edinburgh Fringe after a two-year hiatus. She’s back and ready to bust a nut-ful of jokes. ‘A killer show… tremendous… unrelenting… she’s so bloody funny‘ ***** (List). ‘Felicity Ward is rocking Edinburgh again… one of the finest stand-ups dashing across comedy stages today’ **** (Fest).”

Janeane Garofalo: Put a Pin in That
“Actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo has been an American institution since she burst on the scene in 1992. Janeane has had many memorable and critically acclaimed roles in films such as The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Wet Hot American Summer, Ratatouille, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, Mystery Men and The Cable Guy. Janeane also co-authored the best-selling Feel This Book, with Ben Stiller. In addition to acting in film and television, Janeane is an outspoken activist, spoken word performer and stand-up comedy entertainer known and respected around the world.”



Published by Shona Craven

Writer, editor, talking head

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