Although it perhaps didn’t get the same coverage as some of the larger scandals in other sections of the media, there has been a reckoning in UK stand-up comedy due to the rifeness of sexual harassment.

In an unchecked industry that is majority male, parts of the comedy scene had become of a cesspit of verbal and physical abuse suffered by female acts. The problem as ever with comedy is how quickly people will write it off as ‘just a joke’—but with an unregulated business like stand-up where do you head to to complain about a co-worker when there is no HR department, or line manager? And then when you do you run the risk of being written off as too sensitive?

As is often the case, women were left to fix the problem by themselves—and so comedians Nina Gilligan and Kiri Pritchard-McLean teamed with Jessica Toomey of The Frog and Bucket and a collective of other likeminded women to try and create a place where women can be heard and action can be taken.

And so ‘GET OFF! Live Comedy’ was born, an independent and confidential HR support service that deals with sexual harassment in live comedy.

To celebrate the launch of this absolute game-changing initiative there are two comedy shows happening across the country, one in London at The Comedy Store with Nish Kumar, Sara Pascoe and more (which will be streaming online) and one in Manchester at The Frog (also streaming). Joining Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Nina Gilligan will be Rachel Fairburn, Daliso Chaponda, Stephen Bailey, Bethany Black & Erika Ehler.

A chance to laugh your self silly and also support a very important cause. Get on it.

Photo credit: Kayla Wren

Tue 23 Nov, 8pm, Frog and Bucket Comedy Club,
102 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LJ
, Tel: 0161 238 9805, £12 (£5 stream link)
John Stansfield
Published on:
Mon 15 Nov 2021