Women have the last laugh at Edinburgh Fringe

Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:07pm EDT
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By Stephen Eisenhammer

LONDON (Reuters) - Stand-up comic Bridget Christie was about to put her career on pause as she realized that at 41 and with two young kids she earned less than her babysitter. But on Saturday she won the most prestigious prize in British comedy.

After sell-out shows and rave reviews Christie's show "A Bic for Her" won the Foster's Comedy Award for best act at the Edinburgh Fringe.

When she first booked the quiet 11 a.m. slot at the basement bar of a comedy club in Edinburgh, Christie never expected her show to take off.

"It took me by surprise how packed it was. I hadn't anticipated it... I expected it to be quiet and then I'd duck out for a while," Christie told Reuters in an interview.

Christie is only the third solo female comic to win the award, behind Jenny Eclair in 1995 and Laura Solon in 2005 and women still remain under-represented in comedy at the Fringe, with only 18 percent of all stand-ups being female.

But Christie's success with such a polemical feminist set suggests things might be changing.

"I think there's definitely something in the air," she said.

"I think people have sort of arrived at the same point at the same time. Everyone's just gone 'hang on a second is this (sexism) still not sorted out yet'."   Continued...