Stand Up For Women

Originally published at What The Frock!
Working for a violence against women charity, like being an Arsenal fan, is no laughing matter – as Denise Marshall, CEO of women’s charity Eaves, pointed out at the start of their Stand Up For Women comedy night in the Soho Theatre. Yet the amazing women (and men) who work at Eaves certainly know how to have a good time with their fundraising.

Organised by comedian and Eaves supporter James Mullinger – the self-styled “bad boy of feminism” – this fundraising event brought together a whopping 14 acts, and a packed audience of more than 100 people, for a great night of comedy in aid of a totally brilliant cause.

Compered by Mullinger, the line-up included What The Frock! regular Kate Smurthwaite, along with a host of other up-and-coming names from the stand-up and television comedy circuits.

With 14 acts, each performing for only 10 minutes, it’s hard to pick out just a few highlights. Standout moments included flirty show opener Carly Smallman, whose risqué brand of musical comedy raised laughs and eyebrows alike, and Joel Dommett, who’d come dressed to match the set.

Television comic Sara Pascoe, who’s appeared in Stand Up For The Week and The Thick Of It, had the entire audience in stitches recounting the embarrassment of her first period, feuds with her sister, and the two occasions she faked her own death to get out of a job.

In the second half my highlight, by far, was brilliantly dry comedian Ed Aczel, whose utterly bizarre set was hilariously mundane, straight-faced and surreal. In the ten short minutes of his performance, the audience reaction went from perplexed amusement, to nervous giggles, and culminated in a room full of people crying with laughter.

Other brilliant performances came from Robin Ince, Angela Barnes, Wendy Wason, and headliner Hal Cruttenden, with anecdotes ranging from family life, and yoga classes, to awkward weddings, and a private trip on the Megabus.

Most important of all, the night raised over £1,000 to help Eaves support vulnerable women who have suffered violence and trafficking.

The charity’s second comedy night, scheduled for January, already boasts big name comedians Richard Herring and Shappi Khorsandi on the line-up, with more to be confirmed. Details here.

Review by Sarah Graham, who went to see Stand Up For Women at the Soho Theatre, London, on November 5. Sarah is on Twitter here. 

Find out more about Eaves, which works to help women who have experienced violence, by clicking here.

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