Boston hosts an awesome women in comedy festival, now being a comedy festival veteran (14 one hour shows over ten years at Edinburgh Fringe) I was expecting a town under siege – much in the way Edinburgh gets every August but this one is very different.
Firstly it’s pretty small and I mean really small and secondly it is located in just a few venues in the Cambridge Area of Boston near the famous Harvard University. I suppose I was unprepared to just be doing odd slots of 7 to 14 minutes but I did get to attend and take part in their workshops and comedy panels. My favourite part was getting to meet loads of American women comics from all over the US and share our experiences, normally that is done in busy bars as comics come off a show and scream at each other over loud music and warm beer. This way was much nicer, also getting to see a variant of comedic styles, sketches, musical and dance comedy really made the festival an experience for me.
Women comics in one venue in a line up usually eye each other up like wary cats in an alley, or maybe am just used to dealing with lots of egos back stage in comedy gigs, but here the women were very supportive of each other. The organisers of the festival tried their best to include me in lots of the events and were generally well co ordinate and made sure I knew exactly where and when I should be. The upside is Boston is an amazing backdrop to a comedy festival, the city is just breathtakingly lovely and the people were so sweet and chatty.
We stayed in a stunning brownstone apartment/hotel which was so stocked with antiques and original fittings, I felt like I had broken into a museum, who gets to put their knickers in an armoire? I can’t describe how beautiful the place looked.
The downside was after the hot weather slid off to be replaced with a cold front we got mice running the floor and that made comedy seem that much more comedic and scary for me and my pal Shirley who came with me. The enduring memory of a mouse stuck to a sticky trap screaming for death at 5am will stay with me forever, but the hotel did discount us and were profusely apologetic. I have to say the place was stunning and very clean, it’s just old houses will get mice...I wish they had added to the charm and gave us a cat with the room. Then again a cat ripping mice apart might not be a nice memory either.
Luckily my daughter Ashley wasn’t with me on this tour as she would have rescued the mouse knitted it mittens and called it William Shatner.
I can’t say anything bad about this apartment it was just so welcoming, but am hoping when I head down to NZ in mid April for their comedy festival I don’t have to deal with mice.
Boston women in comedy festival will grow and develop nicely and I hope to make a return.