Edinburgh’s a funny old place

EDINBURGH can certainly boast its fair share of funny women.

Susan Morrison has compered at The Stand since it first began in the mid-90s. She believes that women’s comedy is developing and there are more exciting female performers than ever before. “We are now up there playing with the big boys, and our subject matter is becoming more diverse and innovative,” she says.

“But to be a stand-up comedian you have to be slightly mentally ill, incredibly self-obsessed, and have a very selfish world view,” she laughs, “and few women have that. I do – my family dances to my tune.”

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Jo Caulfield, a regular on Mock the Week, Have I Got News for You and other TV panel shows, may not be from Edinburgh originally, but after ten years of sell-out shows on the Fringe, she’s now moved here.

The comedian, who also has a Radio 4 show, says: “Edinburgh was the plan for a couple of years. I’ve been coming here every August for the last ten years and I’ve always have a great time.

“I’ve made a lot of good friends here and it’s a great place to work.”

She’s certainly rarely off stage, whether it be performing here, touring the UK or taking her feisty brand of humour overseas.

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Then there’s Keara Murphy, who has been described as “Eddie Izzard with less make-up” and performs regularly at Laughing Horse at The Three Sisters in the Cowgate. The comedian, impressionist, actor and writer has been performing stand-up for eight-and-a-half years and also runs Fit O’ The Giggles, a comedy and entertainment company.

Finally, Jane Mackay, above, who along with her former business partner Tommy Shepherd launched The Stand, has become one of the city’s comedy legends.

Her acidic put-downs of hecklers were second to none. Indeed the word “controversial” always preceded her name until she hung up her mic in 2007.