Lynne Parker, founder and award-winning producer of Funny Women, the UK’s leading community for female comedy, looks at the differences between the UK and US comedy scenes from a female perspective. She set up Funny Women in the UK 10 years ago and the company now produces an annual programme of shows and events to showcase new female talent and help them get started in comedy.
Nearly 2,000 women have expressed their comic voice through Funny Women in the UK, so Lynne has taken board what she’s learnt along the way and created workshop formats that encourage women to embrace their funny side. She believes that humour is a valuable form of self-expression that women can develop to build self-confidence, improve relationships and enhance communications.
Lynne’s workshop will guide you through the UK comedy scene and shed some light on what it takes to be a success in the UK. How to get gigs, find an agent and where to perform. She will talk about her experiences of putting on shows at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, the largest arts festival in the world, and how to get around the complex British comedy circuit as a new or unknown act.
Lynne will also explore the differences of being a female comic either side of the Atlantic – the nuances of language and difference of pace, the British proclivity for irony at odds with its love of slapstick, and the battle for audiences. Plus the unseen cultural differences, exemplified by the fact that the British barometer for daily life is the ‘soap opera’ whereas in the US it’s the ‘sit com’, both collaborative processes written by a panel of writers drawing on everyday experiences.
Originally trained as a journalist, Lynne has spent her career working with women and promoting women’s products and concepts. The first Funny Women event took place in 2002 and since then Lynne has produced 10 Funny Women Awards, numerous charity events, nine runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, and toured shows around the UK. Funny Women has also raised thousands of pounds and awareness for a range of female related charities.