Last summer, I dragged my bags through a muddy Highlands Park in Chelmsford, pitched up my tent- with a lot of help- and began to scour the V Festival schedule to get a better idea of the acts I wanted to see over the weekend.
Flicking through the set lists, I discovered out of just under 30 comedians on the bill, there were no females in the line-up. Craziness in the 21st century, right?
I had already read about Danny Cohen’s pledge to have a female on every BBC Comedy panel show so the whole thing got me thinking; why are we not seeing more funny women on our screens or on line ups like V anyway?
I never doubted that these female comedians existed, despite the sexist ‘women aren’t funny’ comments I’ve heard and seen on the internet, but I did want to know why it seemed so difficult for promoters and panel shows to book them.
So when it came to picking an issue for my final year university project, I knew I wanted to delve further into the world of comedy and I set about researching for my documentary.[Warning: Contains strong language]
Along the way I met plenty of funny women, got to see some really good comedy and discovered a host of cool coffee shops- through meeting up for interviews and killing time before gigs.
There are very funny female comedians earning their living on the comedy circuit and I got to talk to a few of them about their experiences and what opportunities are available to them.
Sadly it’s true there are still promoters, bookers and audiences out there who haven’t managed to shake off the old fashioned attitude that ‘women aren’t funny’ and I heard some really shocking stories about that.
But there are lots of opportunities and campaigns for female comedians to get their voices (and their jokes heard) and I think the most important message is that things are changing. There will always be a few who will not accept this change but I am positive that it will not be long before that V line up is balanced out with female acts and panel shows don’t only have a ‘token woman’ on the bill.