Laura Smyth wins Funny Women Award | New comic will be mentored by Jo Brand © marianasbits

Laura Smyth wins Funny Women Award

New comic will be mentored by Jo Brand

Laura Smyth has won this year’s Funny Woman stage award.

The East Londoner, who has only been performing stand-up for a few months, took the title at the Bloomsbury Theatre in the capital tonight. 

Expressing her shock on taking the title, she said: ‘I wasn’t even in my top 5 - I’m touched and I’m honoured.’

Her prize is to be mentored by Jo Brand, who was tonight named as a patron – or more accurately a ‘matron’ – of the Funny Women Awards.

Second place went to Liverpool’s Sian Davies, who is the driving force behind the Best in Class initiative to promote more working-class voices in comedy. Third place went to Charlie George from Swindon.

Other winners were also announced tonight:

The writing award went to Lydia Rynne, already a Royal Court Young Writer and one of five screenwriters selected for the Bafta mentorship scheme.

The comedy shorts award went to Neil’s Yard, from Samantha Lyden and Theresa Burns, about a ‘man’s man’ builder who offers a lesson in feminism to the other lads on the site.

The best web series went to Dreaming While Black by Laura Seixas, about a British Jamaican filmmaker trying to survive in London.

The best show award, voted by the public, went to Victorious, a musical tribute to Victoria Wood from Hannah Brackebury that was also named best of the festival at last year’s Brighton Fringe..

The full list of stage award finalists who competed tonight after seeing off another 400 entrants is:

Celya AB
Office worker from  Paris
Comedy heroes: Maria Bamford, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, and the French acts Les Inconnus Pierre Desproges (French)

Kemah Bob
A comedian from Houston, Texas, who runs the FOC It Up! femmes of colour comedy night
Comedy heroes: The women producing A Black Lady Sketch Show for HBO.

Sian Davies
A retail coffee specialist from Liverpool and founder of the Best in Class initiative to try to promote more working-class comedians
Comedy hero: Caroline Aherne

Charlie George
A sales manager from Swindon, who was placed third in So You Think You're Funny? at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Comedy hero: Maria Bamford

Liz Guterbock
A voice-over artist from Visalia, California
Comedy hero: Jen Brister

Jen Ives
A comedian and writer from Catford, South London
Comedy Heroes: Sarah Silverman, Vic & Bob, Steve Martin

Helena Langdon
A copywriter from Maidenhead, Berkshire
Comedy heroes: Josie Long, Amy Poehler

Sarah Mann
A musician and comedian from Hereford
Comedy hero: ‘My friend Emily’

Shelf 
Aka: Online content creator  Rachel Watkeys Dowie and data analyst Ruby Clyde from London London
Comedy heroes: The Pin, Ellen, Mighty Boosh, Claire Dowie. 

Laura Smyth
An English teacher and mother of three from Forest Gate, East London
Comedy hero: Jennifer Saunders

Published: 19 Sep 2019

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