What lead me to set up my own comedy night?
I had to leave my job of 15 years in 2017. This was a difficult time for me. I was unemployed and a single parent. I tried to set up my own business called Loving Mental Health to provide awareness of mental health in the workplace. However I discovered that there was not a place in the market for me. During this time my mental health support dwindled
A year later I completed a stand up comedy course for mental health service users in May 2018 in Leicester with Brightsparks who provide Arts in Mental Health. I enjoyed the course so much that I wanted to carry on performing comedy. I did some initial research locally and as I was not in the comedy network at the time I decided to set my own all female comedy night called Tickled Pink Comedy. Through my comedy night I have met other comedy promoters and female comedians. I have built my own comedy network. This has lead to a steady flow of female comedians who would like to appear on my comedy night line up. Most of the time comedians first try stand up and then maybe put a comedy night together.
My Tickled Pink Comedy night has been successfully running for over a year in Leicester and it is still growing, Comedy is a male dominated industry and my experience of being a female comedian has had its challenges. I have often been the only female comedian on line ups and I have found the material from some male comedians to be sexist and misogynistic in 2019. I have often felt uncomfortable and unwelcome at some comedy nights. My vision is to create a permanent platform for female comedians to perform in a safe and supportive environment.
I set up a Tickled Pink All Star Comedy Night Facebook group in December 2018 where I advertise my comedy nights for comedians and the prospective audience. I now have 321 members.
I also joined Meet Up to spread the word of Tickled Pink Comedy. I post regularly on the UK Female Comedian Facebook Group to advertise Tickled Pink to female comedians.
It is a monthly event with eight female comedians on the line up who have travelled some distance to perform and spent plenty of time honing their craft. They often work and have family commitments. My all female comedy night is unique to the East Midlands.
I promote my event via social media using posters I have had designed for me and then printed.
The main expenses for me have been the venue hire, the sound tech and marketing. I chose to move venue this year so I can continue to put on my night.
Tickled Pink Comedy nights requires money to cover marketing, my admin time, my travel expenses. I charge an entry fee of £10 that just about covers these items.
I would like to increase the marketing to increase my income, to be able to pay for venues, performers and myself, and to cover my overheads whilst I grow my comedy night, to get more people through the door and build my Tickled Pink Facebook Group.
I can carry out most of the tasks I need to complete for each comedy night from home, which suits my family and mental health needs.
I entered Tickled Pink Comedy at the Leicester Comedy Festival February 2019 and it was a full house.
I entered my comedy night at Nottingham Comedy Festival November 2019. It was a success with 20 people in the audience.
I have entered Tickled Pink Comedy into the Leicester Comedy Festival February 2020 in five separate shows. I want to encourage more women to participate in this comedy festival. I also do stand up comedy and I find this helps my mental health recovery.
Testimonials from comedians and the audience`
It was a pleasure, the quality was really good. Great to see sisters doing it for themselves. 31/10/19
Thank you for a brilliant night of comedy. Laughed my head off. 31/10/19
Reply from performer
Its a testament to how you set it up Judith Critchley! Well done.
It was a great evening, well done everyone! 12/10/19
What a lovely gig you put on Judith. This will build and build xxx 1/11/19
Thanks for the great evening. 09/19
Love Tickled Pink gigs. What a lovely atmosphere, just perfect to try out new stuff.
Thank you for all you do with this Judith. It's awesome.
I think you are doing wonderful stuff in providing a safe and supportive environment for women to perform comedy. 09/19