An exciting world comedy premiere is taking place at ARC Stockton this month and it’s the brainchild of Teesside based writer and director Vici Wreford-Sinnott, bringing amazing women comedy writers and performers from around the country to showcase their work under the title of Funny Haha, A Comedy (R)Evolution. Vici was writer and director of Hen Night commissioned by the BBC in 2021 and she created one of the first disabled women- led production teams to create broadcast drama in the UK.
Vici tells us, “Dreams really can come true. Funny Haha is proof of that! We’re a group of disabled women from all over England who are passionate about making people laugh. We originally got together not knowing where it would take us but three years later and we’ve got a comedy showcase and are launching a book of our work – in just two short weeks!”
The writers initially got together after Vici put a call out on social media. She had invited the brilliant Rosie Jones to do a couple of comedy workshops to help survive the first lockdown and couldn’t believe how quickly it became fully booked.
“The demand was huge – there’s obviously lots of very funny disabled women out there, and working with Rosie was amazing. People don’t realise all of her writing credits – she’d written for loads of comedy shows alongside her stand up career taking off, including The Last Leg, Harry Hill, 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown and Would I Lie to You.”
Vici Wreford-Sinnott performing as her alter-ego Raquelle Squelch at a Disconsortia DIY Cabaret
The Funny Haha group decided that they loved making each other laugh so much that they would stay together and become a writer’s room who met each week – other comedians, satirists and comedy writers were invited in to share their experience including Dolly Sen, Cheryl Martin, Francesca Martinez and Jess Thom. “Jess was part of one of the Writers Room projects we ran and we were delighted that she went on to be commissioned by Channel Four to write a comedy pilot”, Vici added.
The writers in the group are a mix of award winning writers and new cutting edge stand up artists and each of 8 writers will present a brand new piece of original work – JulieMc McNamara, Karina Jones, Honor Flaherty, Porcelain Delaney, Tanya Akrofi, Vici and two other Teesside writers India Robertson and Lynne McFarlane. “There will be something for everyone. Although we are writing as disabled women who want to explode negative stereotypes, we are all bringing something different – there’s stand up, comedy monologues, comic storytelling and character based work.”
As well as a warm welcome for the public, the group are very excited to have invited many representatives from the comedy industry such as commissioners, programmers and producers from production companies and venues. Honor Flaherty from the group said, “We’re being bold, we’re putting ourselves out there – some of us are happy tucked away as writers and haven’t performed our work before, so this feels huge. We can’t wait to share it with you!”
Another writer, Tanya Akrofi, told us, “We’re shaking off our invisibility and daring ourselves to be fierce. This group has so much to say and has such brilliant ways of saying it – come and join our gang!”
Teesside writer Lynne McFarlane said of the event and the book, “The greatest comedy comes from truth, but why let truth stand in the way of a great fabrication. Biography or flights of fantasy, you decide. We’ve had so much fun working on this project that audiences will be able to feel it.”
Main Theatre, ARC Stockton and Livestream
27 September 7.00pm
Tickets are Pay What You Decide and the book will be available to buy on the night and afterwards from ARC Stockton
BOOK TICKETS HERE - Funny Haha Comedy (R)Evolution - ARC | Stockton Arts Centre (arconline.co.uk)
For interviews with Vici Wreford-Sinnott please contact email email@example.com