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The leading showcase for British female comedy talent, the Funny Women Awards, has arrived at the exciting semi-final stage in their annual search for the next household names.
Now in its 16th year, previous winners and finalists of the Funny Women Awards include Zoe Lyons, Sara Pascoe, Sarah Millican, Susan Calman and Rachel Parris, with Thanyia Moore as the current title holder.
Heats are currently underway and will go on throughout June.
This year’s semi-finals are taking place across July and August with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe hosting a semi-final on Saturday 24 August.
The final will be in September in London – date to be announced.
In addition to the Stage Award result, the winners of the Comedy Writing Award, the Comedy Shorts (film) Award and the Best Show Award (for full-length shows during 2019) will be announced on the night of the final.
The Stage Award has attracted an important new industry partner in the form of Sky.
Morwenna Gordon, commissioning editor, Sky Comedy said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the brilliant and important work that Funny Women does by partnering this year’s Stage Award.
“With an impressive alumni of previous winners, we look forward to working with Funny Women and finding the new rising stars of the comedy world.”
Funny Women founder, Lynne Parker said: “After a little break to rework and attract new partners to ensure the future of the Awards, we are back with a new format that opens up the competition to even more women than before.
“Video submission makes entry to the Stage Award more accessible, and each of our live heats will be a showcase of the best new talent around.
“Women already have a strong and important voice in the comedy industry and so many of today’s big names have taken part in the Awards at the beginning of their careers. This year will be no exception when it comes to trailblazing talent.”