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Posters For The Edinburgh Festival Fringe | © ZoeTNet/Flickr
Posters For The Edinburgh Festival Fringe | © ZoeTNet/Flickr
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Brilliant Up-And-Coming Female Comedians In the UK

Picture of Maisie Hayden
Updated: 13 October 2016
The UK’s annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe is on the horizon and more women have been added to the arts festival’s bill than ever before. In honour of this stepping stone for household names in British entertainment, meet the top ladies taking comedy by storm. These witty women are more than making it by revolutionising how funny femmes on the rise to stardom use their spotlight.

Diane Spencer

Diane Spencer is a comedian, writer and actor that performs live stand-up at various comedy clubs and functions in the UK. She is developing Galaxy Ball, a radio sitcom with B7 Media, while keeping busy engaging with fans via several social media channels. Fans keep up with her touring schedule and other announcements on Facebook, while Twitter is reserved for jokes, news and sharp social commentary.

Her YouTube channel houses complete, hour-long comedy specials that shed light on the side splitting nature of her live shows. In addition to over half a dozen of these filmed shows from various locations, the award-winning comedian offers a collection of jokes handpicked from her many shows. Tickets are currently available for ‘Seamless,’ her brand new stand-up show, which fans can catch on tour, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe or on YouTube after the autumn of 2016. She tackles new terrain in her storytelling in her seventh show, as she transitions from the sexually explicit girlfriend type she once was to a caring wife. Diane chronicles her journey in these clever, entertaining shows by taking spectators on a joyous ride through life’s many trials and tribulations in pure comedic fashion.

Aisling Bea

Ever since she broke out onto the entertainment scene in 2002, Aisling Bea has been an active comedian, actor and writer. She hails from Ireland and is widely known for winning the So You Think You’re Funny? competition for new stand-ups. Aisling is one of two women that have won the award in its 25-year history.

Her inaugural stand-up routine ‘C’est la Bea’ made her an instant hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which led to her nomination for the Foster’s Best Newcomer Award. She has been recognised by various organisations since then, most notably the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, for her comedic genius and has also appeared in many television programs and films. Since she became a classically trained actor at LAMDA in London, Aisling has achieved much success with her award-winning stand-up shows. ‘Plan Bea,’ her second show, has sparked as much enthusiasm as her first, selling out its entire run at the fringe like its predecessor. While she works on her upcoming films and TV shows, she records her travels and many adventures on Instagram for her fans to enjoy, and stays in touch via Twitter with current events and endless amusing tweets.

Katherine Ryan

Katherine Ryan is a comedian, actor, writer and presenter based in London. Although she is originally from Canada, Katherine has made a name for herself in England by appearing on a number of British panel shows and other television programs. She has been working as a stand-up comedian in recent years, appearing most notably on the BBC’s Live At The Apollo. Katherine has performed her many routines at the Edinburgh Festival, and she has won the Nivea Funny Women Award at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. After being featured on the Whitney Cumming’s Just For Laughs Gala in 2013, she has been busy with her many roles on television.

She also has a weekly column for NME, the British music journalism magazine. Katherine keeps her fans entertained with news and jokes on Twitter, while her Instagram captures the spirit of the many events she takes part in. She is also on Vine and has a huge following on YouTube. Her comedic material is rather confrontational in contrast to her sweet personality, so Katherine thrives on her ability to present a demure image whilst shocking her audience with offensive yet always enjoyable subject matter in her routines.

Sara Pascoe

Ever since Sara Pascoe began performing stand-up comedy in 2007, she has been working as a writer, stand-up comedian and actor. Sara was born in London and did her first stand-up routine at the Edinburgh Festival, performing ‘Sara Pascoe Vs Her Ego’ to an eager crowd in 2010. Two years later she appeared on Live At The Apollo, and in another two years returned to the Edinburgh Festival and toured the UK for the first time. ‘Sara Pascoe Vs History,’ her second show, was nominated for the Foster’s Edinburg Comedy Award in 2014 as Best Comedy Show. Sara is now known for being a vegan, and she has lent her comedic talents to the cause by performing at the Bristol Vegan Fest.

This vegan festival promotes vegan and vegetarian lifestyles by incorporating stand-up comedy and live music into its annual festival. Her social efforts do not end here, as she inspires a lifestyle without institutionalised religious beliefs and supports feminist efforts. Sara has been a patron of the British Humanist Association since 2015, working on issues of humanism, secularism and human rights. Fans keep up with Sara on Twitter and Facebook, and she can be found on tour.

Alice Fraser

Alice Fraser is a writer, broadcaster, performer and comedian heading to the Edinburgh Festival with her popular solo shows ‘The Resistance’ and ‘Savage.’ After her successful run at the Sydney Comedy Store, she will now play packed shows at the Fringe. Alice is best known for mixing comedy and tragedy in her routines, making her audiences laugh and cry simultaneously with her intellectual take on life and death. She spent five years writing, directing, producing and performing during university, studying law and the arts. Once she left the Improvised Comedy scene in Sydney, she continued sketch comedy writing and performing at Cambridge through its Footlights Drama Club.

She has been doing stand-up every since university, performing at countless festivals and events around the world whilst enjoying life as a full-time comedian and writer. Alice frequents corporate events and charity fundraisers to share her material, and she also does stand-up and comedy debates in clubs and theatres. She also spends much time writing for television and radio. Alice composes a column for SBS Comedy in addition to appearing on television and in films. Fans may learn more about her daily thought processes through her blog and can catch her at upcoming gigs or on Twitter.

Katie Mulgrew

Katie Mulgrew prides herself as a comedian, thinker, writer and gin drinker from Lancashire who loves making people laugh. She performs gigs in clubs throughout England and has achieved much success by doing so. Katie has toured in support of acts like The Boy With Tape On His Face and Vikki Stone while also writing for The News Quiz. Her work in comedy has led to her contribution to BBC Radio 2 as well as a various television programs. She is now working alongside the Liverpool Royal Court Theatre and Unity theatre to bring the award winning play she wrote in 2015 to life.

Katie entertains her fans with her FunnyGirl podcast through which she speaks about musicals while providing guest appearances from other stand-up comedians. Now that she has performed two solo stand-up shows at the Fringe, she is currently working on her third show. She keeps fans entertained in the meantime with her personal blog and makes sure they are up-to-date with her latest news on Twitter.

Alice Marshall

Alice Marshall is a comedian, writer and actor that delivers smart female comedy. She is bringing her show ‘Vicious’ to the Edinburgh Festival this year after she was well-received at The Brighton Fringe.

Her show addresses how life is cruel and the way people suck in a way that has made it popular among her fans throughout 2016. She keeps fans in tune with her news via her website, which also details future performances and other important announcements. Alice is focused on her performance at the Fringe and continues to entertain the masses on Twitter. Stay tuned for more from Alice as she continues to change the way women perform comedy.