Do you have what it takes to be Funny Women?

Last year five amazing Scottish businesswomen and me took the comedy challenge and performed a live stand up routine in front of an audience in a Glasgow comedy venue. I have to say that it was a fabulous experience for me, and for everyone who took part .. and we raised £1,000 to support the work of a charity that helps trafficked young girls in India.

Next week the Funny Women Awards heads north of the border with the Scottish Heat being held on Thursday 17 th May, at the City Café Edinburgh

Funny Women has been privileged to see the birth of some fantastic comedy careers with Celtic connections over the last 10 years – Wendy Wason made the Awards final in 2005, Susan Calman in 2006 and Rhona McKenzie in 2009 – so maybe this year Scotland can bag a winner.

Funny Women is seeking out the freshest new female comedy talent from all over the UK and has so far visited Dublin, Manchester and Brighton as well as running several heats in London. The competition next visits Edinburgh and the best acts from all of the heats will go through to the next exciting stage.

The Scottish heat will be hosted by Glasgow born, comic genius and master of impressions, Keara Murphy. “Electric stage presence; a genuine delight.” Three Weeks.

Funny Women is now in its 10 th year running and has seen over 2,000 acts enter the Awards over the past decade. Funny Women works to promote and encourage more women into comedy though the competition, workshops and Challenges.

The Funny Women Awards are open to new female acts who have been performing for no more than five years and offer several different prize categories.  The judges are looking for stand ups, impressionists, sketch groups, character, musical comedy, vent and magic acts during the first round audition heats.

The main prize this year is the Benefit Funny Women Award, sponsored by Benefit Cosmetics. The winner will receive a development package, worth £2,000, working with Funny Women and Red 24 Management, £500 worth of Benefit products and the opportunity to work as a brand ambassador for Benefit Cosmetics for a year.

The Variety Award looks for the best new sketch, character or speciality act and is sponsored by Blue Nun Wines.  The winner of the Blue Nun Variety Award will be offered a fully promoted show at the Leicester Square Theatre in the Lounge.

The Comedy Writing Award offers non-performers with great ideas a chance to compete.  Any unpublished woman can enter and the prize will include a writing commission.

This year’s partnering charity is Women’s Aid , which works to end violence against women and children, and supports over 500   domestic and sexual violence services across the country.

Any woman wishing to enter this year’s Funny Women Awards can do so online at www.funnywomen.com . The successful acts will then be selected to take part in the semi- final tour around the UK with top name hosts and headliners.  The winners of the semi-finals will perform at the final on Monday 24 th September at London’s most exciting comedy venue, the Leicester Square Theatre.

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