Women in Comedy festival: Full line-up revealed

The full line-up for the fourth annual Women in Comedy festival has now been revealed, with standup stars like Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Jackie Hagan, Harriet Dyer and Sophie Willan all on the bill.

Feature by The Skinny North | 02 Aug 2016
  • Jackie Hagan

If the idiotic outcry by MRA bedwetters over the idea of four women bustin’ ghosts in horror-comedy Ghostbusters proves anything, it's that Manchester’s kickass Women in Comedy festival, the only festival of its kind in Europe, is still vital as it approaches its fourth edition.

The festival returns 20-30 October 2016, with most shows taking place in Oldham Street venues Gullivers, its sister bar The Castle, and The Frog & Bucket. It kicks off at the latter on 20 Oct with opening night trio Suzi Ruffell, Angela Barnes and Jen Brister, with Kerry Leigh on MC duties.

Over 11 days, Women in Comedy offers up a wealth of comic talent. Some of The Skinny’s favourites are among the line-up, including Gein’s Family Giftshop’s Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Bolton standup Sophie Willan, and Katie Mulgrew with new show Saboteur.

Also on the bill is the deeply perceptive Harriet Dyer, plus All Killa No Filla podcast co-host Rachel Fairburn, and Jackie Hagan with her stunning show Some People Have Too Many Legs.

Other familiar names making an appearance include nicest woman in standup Barbara Nice; Fringe favourite Hayley Ellis; ace character comic Joanna Neary; Irish over-thinker Eleanor Tiernan; dark comedy duo O&O; rising star Lauren Pattison, and Amy Vreeke, owner of the festival’s most eye-catching show title – 2016: The year my vagina tried to kill me.

If previous years are anything to go by, attendance is also essential at the festival’s closing party, the line-up for which is yet to be announced. 

In short: Women in Comedy 2016 promises a riotous 11 days of unmissable standup. If you need any more convincing, here are a few words from Maxine Peake, who joins Isy Suttie and Jo Caulfield as a Women in Comedy patron:

“I’m proud to be supporting the UK Women in Comedy Festival as a patron,” said Peake, who describes Women in Comedy as “a festival filled with laughter combined with feminist principles taking place in the North … what’s not to support?”

What's not to support, indeed.


Women in Comedy takes place 20-30 Oct in various venues across Manchester; for the full programme, head to womenincomedy.co.uk