The Best Acts to See at this Year’s Women in Comedy Festival

Already in full swing, Women in Comedy Festival continues until next Monday, so we’ve put together our top picks featuring shows from the ‘goth of comedy’, self-deprecating sketches and much more!

By Emma Davidson | 4 October 2022

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The Women in Comedy festival began back in 2012 to champion and support women in the industry, showcasing huge names from across the UK at various venues in Manchester. 

Originally founded by Hazel O’Keefe, the festival is now directed by Jessica Toomey who also leads Northern Quarter’s famous comedy club, The Frog and Bucket. 

A true showcase of the rich, diverse and extremely talented pool of women in comedy from the UK and abroad, this year is possibly the most important yet for the festival, as those in the industry have had limited outlets and exposure for almost 2 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2022’s celebration has a huge focus on bringing together people once again to socialise, network, showcase, learn, teach and reconnect. 

Umby Winters at Fierce Bar

Wednesday 5th October
A non-binary, pansexual ‘goth of comedy’, Umby Winters brings their unique take of love and life to Fierce Bar tomorrow! Born in North Shields, the comedian would watch comedy classics such as ‘The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer’ alongside their Dad, prompting their future standalone sets, that have garnered incredible praise from reviewers and comedy greats. 

Alex Stringer, Molly McGuinness, Tegan Marlow – Gorgeous, Gorgeous Girls at Cane & Grain

Thursday 6th October
This is an hour of stand-up from three comedy greats, each bringing their own blend of satirical material to Manchester for one night only. Known for her brilliantly deadpan delivery, Alex Stringer is joined by Molly McGuinness who has worked alongside the likes of Joe Lycett and Tegan Marlow, most well-known for her anecdotal and observational-style exploring the realms of sex and dating.

Amy Webber – No Previous Experience at Northern Monk Refectory

Thursday 6th October
Amy Webber is a professional musician who started life on the comedy circuit back in 2019. Never losing touch with her musical roots, the performer combines music, delusional comedy and a business card like sketch to create an intriguing show that you won’t want to miss.

Pooja Mallipamula – Unfortunately Straight at Northern Monk Refectory

Thursday 6th October
Written and performed by Indian American comedian, writer and actor, Pooja Mallipamula, Unfortunately Straight hilariously documents the emotive narrative of Pooja’s life, learnings and the misfortunes of being attracted to men! This one-hour show is a debut performance at Women in Comedy Festival.

Su Mi – Banana Bread at The Fitzgerald

Friday 7th October
Looking for something a bit different to your traditional stand up comedy show? Su Mi presents an immersive, surreal sketch featuring everything from guitar solos to imaginary costumed personas. Expect an unforgettable force of energy, combined with wild storytelling and nonsense everywhere you look!

Allyson June Smith – Smithereens at Fierce Bar

Sunday 9th October
Star of the WTB Podcast series, Allyson June Smith brings Smithereens to Fierce Bar this week – a combination of everything she’s kept to herself for too long! Described as ‘one of the funniest comedians’ by the likes of Jason Manford, Allyson’s courageously self-deprecating sketches make every room feel like a much needed intimate group therapy session.

Arielle Souma – P.H.A.T at Fierce Bar

Sunday 9th October
A French comic at the forefront of the UK scene, Arielle Souma is a true breath of fresh air. P.H.A.T (Pretty Hot and Tempting) is a show about accepting insecurities and imperfections, brought to audiences in a very funny format that won’t make you feel alone! 

Jeni Kirwin – Pardon My French at Northern Monk Refectory

Monday 10th October
Exploring a sometimes silly take on social media, anti-vaxxers, QAnon and much more, Jeni Kirwin will end this year’s festival with her electric set at Northern Monk Refectory. The stand-up comic, writer and author touches on life as an expat, as well as marriage and motherhood – all of which come with their hilarious, relatable quips.