“Funny is Funny”- Joan Rivers
But how do you make it in the world of comedy if you are a woman?
With Stand Up and Sock It to Them Sister, writer, actress and performer Gwenno Dafydd looks at the genesis of female comedy from the time of music hall and supper clubs in Victorian London through to the excitement and challenge of the international world of stand-up from Edinburgh to Cape Town to Mumbai to New York and Los Angeles before finally returning to the comedy clubs of London.
Stand Up and Sock It to Them Sister tells us in the words of the performers themselves what they had to face and overcome, in an often male-dominated and aggressively competitive world, to make it to the top in comedy. And why and how they do it.
Stand Up and Sock It to Them Sister seeks to explain why the women chose comedy and what they have had to sacrifice to make it. It is an inspiring story of empowerment with a resonance for women everywhere trying to create, work and achieve in the modern world.
With insightful interviews from over seventy performers and a concise and entertaining commentary this book offers a practical guide and invaluable advice on the practice and challenges of being a stand-up comedian through a unique section of Tips for the Top.
Stand up and Sock it To Them Sister is the result of twenty years of extensive research with interviews with over seventy comics working world-wide from the pioneering Joan Rivers, Jo Brand, Jenny Eclair, Helen Lederer, to newcomers such as Nina Conti, Shazia Mirzah, and Amy Schumer.
'It was about time that a book of this nature was written and female performers given the recognition that they deserve. These amazing Role Models from the last hundred and fifty years or so that Gwenno has compiled, can only inspire future generations of funny women. She has done a great job.'
'This book had to be written and now it has – a product of love, intelligence and wit - every home must have one - read, learn and yes laugh.'
'This is a comprehensive look at the past and present of funny women. Gwenno Dafydd is asking important questions about women and comedy and answering them perceptively. A must read for anyone interested in women's comedy today.'
Gwenno Dafydd has been a professional broadcaster, singer and actress since 1980, when she began her performing career as a street singer in Belgium, soon after taking up a post as an au-pair in Brussels, after completing her Drama and Welsh Certificate in Education at Barry Teacher Training College.
Since that time she has worked extensively in film, television, radio, theatre, in education and cabaret. She has sung extensively in Belgium and several times in the United States including once in Los Angeles and three times in New York's world famous "Don't Tell Mama" piano bar. She has had numerous pieces of work and articles published including a one-woman show about French chanteuse Edith Piaf, entitled No Regrets, and she has been touring her new show Passionate about Piaf extensively.
She has had children's poetry published and wrote the script and lyrics for a children's musical Christmas show for BBC Radio Cymru, called Santa on Strike? In addition, Gwenno Dafydd has written over 150 lyrics in both Welsh and English, with several being recorded by Welsh artists including the new Saint David's Day Anthem, which she both instigated and wrote the lyrics to. This book came about as part of her research for a Master's degree in Women's Studies which she began in 1994. It has been a labour of love and a long and fascinating journey.
She is married to Pol van Steelant who is a freelance project manager and who runs Cardiff Cycle Tours and they have a daughter, Lowri, who is an artist. You can find out more about Gwenno on her website: https://gwennodafydd.co.uk/.
Gwenno loves to sing and travel but her other passion is running. She came reserve in the 400 meters Welsh School Championships and vowed that she would never give up on her dream of getting a Welsh vest, which she did, 37 years later at the age of 54.
You've got to give it to this woman- she doesn't give up easily!!!!!
Due to be published August 2016.