Why I started an all-female comedy night
Stand-up comic Alice Frick reveals the inspiration behind Laughing Labia
Laughing Labia is an all-female comedy and cabaret night that features a diverse line up of funny women with unique backgrounds.
I do get controversial reactions about the name of the show: a white, male reviewer couldn’t resist leaving this review: “It’s a terrible name for a club, with a terrible catchline to match: 'Let the ladies entertain you!'” My conservative, religious grandmother, bluntly handed me back my flyers when I translated the name of the show into German.
The reason I wanted to do a show with an all-female line up was rather simple: When I started my own comedy career in Austria and Germany, I experienced inequality right form the outset, particularly in bigger and more traditional comedy clubs. The organisers of these shows never commented on my material and content. They instead advised me to wear a dress, to perform in high heels, and to “do a little twirl after you’ve finished your set”. Besides being taken less seriously than the men, and being considered incapable of knowing when to twirl and when not to twirl, I was also often the only woman in the line-up.
“The one woman” is there to represent all women, while on the same night there are at least four different men performing. This makes it so easy for the audience to generalise. If they don’t like the humour and style of the one woman they get to see, they conclude that all woman are not funny. The problem is not that women are not funny - the problem is that we just don’t get to see enough of them to even start a poll!
Transferring this anger into action, I started my own night. Laughing Labia has been running for several years now, and features diverse female acts to showcase how many different shades of humour we women have. It is a night of comedy, cabaret, burlesque, clowning, poetry, sketch, international, queer, old, young - you get to see a great mix of hugely talented, inspiring women.
Although my grandmother decided not to hand out my flyers to her afternoon-tea-party friends, the show has become a very buzzy night with a great crowd, proving that audiences love to see women on stage: in dresses, in high heels, or in jeans and trainers - there is not “the one woman” we need to conform to. People want and need to see all women. I stand by that catch line: “Let the ladies entertain you!”
Laughing Labia is at Soho's She Bar on the first Sunday of each month. Dates for this season are:
5 Nov 2017, 3 Dec 2017, 4 Feb 2018, 4 Mar 2018, 1 Apr 2018
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