Funny Women goes pay-to-play

New acts asked to stump up £15

The Funny Women competition is to start charge aspiring comedians to take part.

Would-be comics are being asked to stump up £15 if they want to appear in one of the heats across the country this year, making it the first established competition to charge a 'pay-to-play'fee.

Organisers say it is to ‘cover essential administration and promotional costs and the provision of a fantastic career-boosting prize’.

There is no cash prize advertised for the Funny Women winner. Instead they are promised a management and development deal, a website, an edited DVD copy of their performance and a tour dates.

Last year, when it was won by Thankless Child, the awards attracted 350 entrants – meaning a potential income of more than £5,000 if the same number apply in 2011.

Organisers also make money on the door of the events. Tickets to see the amateur performers take part in a London heat cost £12.50 – more than professional weekend line-ups at big clubs such as the Stand or Up The Creek.

In contrast, neither So You Think You’re Funny, the BBC New Comedy Awards, the Chortle Student Comedy Award, nor any major awards run by clubs, charge entrants to take part.

The Funny Women entry page is here

Published: 19 Apr 2011

Today's comedy-on demand picks

LITTLE AND LARGE

The duo's last stage appearance, filmed at Bristol's Slapstick comedy festival in 2019, is being streamed. It was the pair's first stage appearance for decades, and they talk about their career heyday as well as Large's health problems. He died earlier this year, aged 78, after contracting coronavirus.

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... including shows from stand-ups Meryl O'Rourke and Johhny White Really-Really.

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