Bristol Comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019: Part 1

Some of our favourite Bristol-based comedians have deserted us for August, to tackle the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Rather than take it personally, we’ve decided to help them brag about how great their shows are. When they become world-famous, just remember you saw them first in a pub or theatre round here, yeah?

Becky Brunning: Bloom

Laughing Horse @ The Lock Up (Venue 238), 3:00-3:55pm – click here for tickets

Becky is incredibly easy to watch. A Funny Women finalist in 2013, and Bath New Act of the Year in 2014, she balances comedy with acting, and has managed to ace both. You’ll recognise Becky from loads of Bristol comedy nights, including Comedy at the White Harte and How Lazy Is He?

Bloom is about Becky wanting to have kids, and the hurdles she and her wife have to overcome to get there, like the huge price tag on sperm donors. It’s also about her slightly embarrassing dad.

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Louise Leigh on the Funny Women Awards and Bristol’s Comedy Scene

Louise Leigh and Funny Women South West attendees

The Funny Women Awards are where some of Britain’s best comics – some of them from the South West, of course – make their name.

Funny Women, the UK’s female comedy community, launched a South West chapter at the start of 2019, and it’s already nurtured some super-talented local acts based in and around Bristol. Louise Leigh was a regional finalist of the Funny Women Awards in 2017 and a regional semi-finalist in 2018. Now she runs the South West Chapter and hosts the regional heats of the 2019 awards (all this whilst preparing an hour-long show for the Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe – we can only assume sleep isn’t high on her list of priorities).

We caught up with Louise to talk about the awards, how Bristol supports women in comedy, and why her local pub’s comedy night is one of the best around.

The Kettle: Tell us a bit about the Funny Women Awards – what makes them so good?

Louise Leigh: The awards started in 2003 and there’s a sort of hall of fame of the finalists and winners – Desiree Burch, Kathryn Ryan, Jayde Adams, London Hughes, Suzy Bennett, Harriet Braine, and people like Susan Calman coming second. There’s also a One to Watch award, for up-and-coming comedians, and it’s great for their CV. Overall, I think there were about 400 entries this year.

It’s a great launch pad for new comedy.

Exactly – Kerry Godliman shared an article on Twitter recently on the best stand-up comedians to see live, and there were about five mentions of Funny Women. All competitions are subjective, but it’s basically asking if you’re marketable and if you’re different.

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