Author: Tracey McAlpine

Last Friday evening I joined the throng of commuters crossing the river to go to Richmond. 

It was dark, damp and a bit dismal; thankfully for once it wasn’t actually raining.  After crawling along the high street and finding a parking space I could really do with cheering up.  I was about to attend part of the Richmond Literature Festival, an evening with Funny Women.

These aren’t any old funny women; they are a group of women who for the past ten years have been entertaining audiences all over the country with their blend of wit and observation.  The line up or should that be stand up, for the evening was Viv Groskop, Sarah Courtauld, Rowan Pelling and Julia Streets.  The evening kicked off with a panel discussion, led by Lynne Parker founder of Funny Women.  The obvious question to start off with was where do you find your inspiration for comic writing?  Life seemed to be the answer from all the panellists, observing and using snippets from life with their families, people they work with and even as Sarah Courtauld mentioned her time living with a religious cult.

The evening was titled Sex, Lies and Lots of Cake, the cake was in abundance and supplied by the Alberts Deli, the sex was covered by Kegel 8 who sponsored the event.  The pelvic floor was mentioned several times and Stephanie Taylor Managing Director of Kegel 8 took to the floor to explain that within the goody bag we were all taking home were some Kegel balls, which we could use to test and strengthen our pelvic floors.

The second half of the evening saw the stand-up routines perfected by Julia, Rowan and Viv.  Julia shared her experiences of working within the City, while Viv entertained us with her feminist rap or frap as she liked to call it.  Rowan Pelling drew from her time working as editor of the Erotic Review, amusing us with her tale of attending a ‘middle-class orgy’.  The women managed to succeed where so many men fail; they were funny without being crude or vulgar.

All proceeds from the event went to supporting the important work done by The Victoria Foundation.  Lorna Votier told the audience a little about the charity’s work which provides life enhancing medical assistance, medical bursaries, mobility aids for children and even transport, they have a fleet of minibuses for people who due to medical conditions or age find travelling difficult.  I was thrilled to win a raffle prize of a family portrait donated by the Desi Fontaine Studios.

So after an evening of fun, wine and cake we left clutching a bag of golden balls ready to improve and strengthen our pelvic floor – which as older women we know is no laughing matter!

Funny Women     Kegel 8    The Victoria Foundation