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Vintage Funny Women Awards: Kay Thompson

Vintage Funny Women Awards: Kay Thompson

18th December 2014

Each month I take a look at Funny Women from throughout the 20th Century – stating their case so that you may decide which to vote your favourite Vintage Funny Woman. So far we have looked at Fanny Brice, Lucille Ball, Yorkshire’s Marti Caine, Music Hall star Vesta Tilley, the great Judy Garland, Carry On star Hattie Jacques, the ‘Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat’ Carmen Miranda, the dazzling Ginger Rogers and for December we have the versatile Kay Thompson.


Sadly when I say the name Kay Thompson not many readers will know who she was, but she was one of the most talented, creative ladies of the 20th Century. I first saw her in the Fred Astaire and Audrey He…

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Diary of a Comedy Writer: Is that Normal?

Diary of a Comedy Writer: Is that Normal?

15th December 2014

We're in an L-shaped black box upstairs at a London pub, the lights are down and my friend Katie is waiting to go on stage. I’m listening to The Antipoet delivering a fantastically furious rant when I see Katie rummaging in a sequinned purse. "What are they?" I whisper. "Vagina magnets," Katie says. Of course they are.

Fuzzy Felt-style fannies are the absolutely perfect prop for Katie - aka Mama Tokus, extraordinary performance poet, singer and puppeteer. Then she's up on stage and I'm laughing out loud at a poem about eating people and another about new words for one's women's area. You have to be there, really, but you get…

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Vintage Funny Women Awards: Ginger Rogers

Vintage Funny Women Awards: Ginger Rogers

3rd December 2014

Each month I take a look at Funny Women from throughout the 20th Century – stating their case so that you may decide which to vote your favourite Vintage Funny Woman. So far we have looked at Fanny Brice, Lucille Ball, Yorkshire’s Marti Caine, Music Hall star Vesta Tilley, the great Judy Garland, Carry On star Hattie Jacques, the ‘Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat’ Carmen Miranda and now the dazzling Ginger Rogers.

I have always loved old musical films – I say ‘loved’ but you could actually substitute that with ‘been obsessed by’. At seven years old you may have faked being ill so that you could miss a horrible spelling test, but I woul…

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Vintage Funny Women Awards: Carmen Miranda

Vintage Funny Women Awards: Carmen Miranda

13th October 2014

Each month I take a look at Funny Women from throughout the 20th Century – stating their case so that you may decide which to vote your favourite Vintage Funny Woman. So far we have looked at Fanny Brice, Lucille Ball, Yorkshire’s Marti Caine, Music Hall star Vesta Tilley, the great Judy Garland, Carry On star Hattie Jacques and this month it is the turn of my namesake, the ‘Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat’ Carmen Miranda.

Whenever I introduce myself to someone from my grandparents' generation they always say "Ahh you’re called Miranda like Carmen Miranda", ask me where my fruit hat is or they just launch straight into "I YiYIYI". The…

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Diary of a Comedy Writer: Dead Bear through a Letterbox

Diary of a Comedy Writer: Dead Bear through a Letterbox

9th September 2014

We are sitting in a circle and as Funny Women guru Lynne Parker explains how to beat stage fright I'm sort of trying to hide behind a pillar.

I stab myself a bit with my pen but no this isn't a nightmare. I am indeed at the Stand Up to Stand Out workshop at Leicester Square Theatre where Lynne is teaching us cunning comedy techniques for world domination. There is a very real possibility that at some point I'll have to perform in some way.

"I'm not a stand up," I tell Lynne firmly, more than once. "I'm a writer. I watch, I observe, I lurk at the back and scribble."

"Just write your name on this sticker and sit down," she says. …

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