You might not know it from looking at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist, but this year’s Fringe was when the women finally took over.
From fresh new faces to Fringe veterans, the ladies of comedy achieved excellence with astonishing regularity.
Here we select six of the best - most of whom will be touring their shows around the UK’s comedy clubs and theatres in the coming months.
Hannah Gadsby: Nakedy Nudes
Take the history of nudes in art from ancient Egypt to Picasso, throw in a slideshow and a huge amount of fascinating facts. Doesn’t sound like a comedy show does it? The fact that the likeable Aussie gets consistent laughs throughout this standup set/lecture is testament to the quality of writing on show.
Diane Spencer: Hurricane Diane
Pushing vulgarity to a new level of brilliance, this fiery redhead has been demolishing boundaries throughout her last three Edinburgh appearances. While this show doesn’t quite match up to previous efforts, it is still a wonderful piece of standup which successfully mixes gasps with laughs without ever really genuinely offending.
Bridget Christie: A Bic For Her
The Edinburgh regular hit paydirt this year after leaving behind her usual whimsical surrealism and taking on the subject of feminism. Stopping short of full polemic, Christie gets her points across with a selection of winning diatribes on sexism and equality,
Claudia O’Doherty: Pioneer
Following on from her comedy award shortlisted show last year, O’Doherty delivered a show to Edinburgh as ambitious as anything the capital has ever seen. A full-on multimedia experience, complete with holograms, films and a booming soundtrack, it’s a breathtaking journey into the nature of performance itself.
Aisling Bea: C’est La Bea
It’s only taken the talented Irish standup a year to go from winner of the star-making ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ competition to completing her first hour-long Edinburgh Fringe show. It’s as fresh as it is funny and she’s clearly going to be a massive star in whatever career path she decides to take.
Sarah Millican: Homebird
Demonstrating exactly why she’s one of the most popular comedian’s in Britain today, Millican played a month of shows in the tiny Stand Comedy Club to warm up for her upcoming national tour. What her set lacks in originality is more than made up for by the wealth of belly laughs elicited by her warm and intimate stage persona.