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With three successful Fringe shows, a BBC pilot and an ensemble TV travelogue about Brexit on Viceland, this loud and proud Scottish comedian is as a force to be reckoned with. Featured as one of Vogue’s Top 5 Female Comedians, former mental health worker and patient, Fern Brady is known for her fiery stage presence, bravado and passionate voice on social issues.
Previously finding employment as a comedy reviewer, Fern first tried stand up after the magazine she worked for suggested writing an article where she ‘faked it’ as a comedian. She enjoyed it so much that one year on, she embarked on a career as a stand-up, and she’s certainly reaping the rewards.
A 2011 So You Think You’re Funny finalist at the Edinburgh Fringe, Fern made a successful 2015 debut with her solo stand up, People are Idiots. Her exploration of gender politics in her biting follow up show, Male Comedienne, has set her up as an incisive new talent on the live circuit. She has also been seen on the small screen in Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central, Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience and 8 out of 10 Cats. On the airwaves, she’s featured on Radio 4’s State of the Nations, The News Quiz, and The Now Show, and on BBC Scotland’s Breaking the News. But it’s Fern’s eventful past that makes her stand up really stand out from the crowd, fueling her dark and brooding humour with an admirable authenticity.
Watch Fern Brady: Male Comedienne
A sharp look at gender, class and Catholicism from this dark humoured ex-stripper. Male Comedienne addresses Brady’s self-image, being mistaken for a man, and her complicated relationship with womankind.
See Fern Brady Live
Fern is currently touring her solo show Suffer, Fools! Throughout the UK and internationally in 2018. Dates and booking info can be found here.
Born and bred in Bathgate, West Lothian and studying in Edinburgh, Fern is open about her remarkable past, working as a stripper to fund an apprenticeship in journalism and a degree in Arabic and Islamic history. As a self confessed “terrible” reviewer for Fest magazine, she found her calling whilst trying stand-up herself for a 2009 feature, admitting to The British Comedy Guide “ I secretly did want to do stand-up so I was hyperventilating a lot and puking from nerves. I was shaking a lot on the stage, the gig was probably rubbish but after, I knew I was going to do stand-up instead of journalism.”
In 2011, Fern came joint third place in So You Think You’re Funny at the Edinburgh Fringe, with a memorable skit on the Clone-A-Pussy, a device that allowed her to make a perfect rubber replica of her vagina. The following year Fern was also a finalist at the Piccadilly Comedy Club’s New Act competition. In 2013, after a few years on the circuit alongside her employment as a support worker at a hostel for ex-convicts, Fern was asked to appear as one of the newest acts on The Alternative Comedy Experience, curated by Stewart Lee for Comedy Central, filmed at the Edinburgh Stand. As more opportunities came knocking Fern made the move to London, shooting the self-penned BBC Three pilot, Radges, a loosely autobiographical sitcom inspired by her own experiences in a Scottish Child and Adolescent Mental Health unit when she was diagnosed with OCD and depression at 16.
Fern continued to make herself noticed on the small screen, getting recruited to panel shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats, being voted 99th in The List’s Hot 100 run-down of Scotland’s top cultural contributors in 2013, and a Channel 4 News appearance in 2015, after which her Scottish independence views went viral. 2015 also saw Fern bring her Edinburgh debut, People are Idiots, to the fringe – a show giving voice to her anger at everything from men who take up too much room on public transport to Londoners who mock Scottish accents. The following year, Fern returned to the Festival with Male Comedienne, a show focusing on what what stripping taught her about feminism and female behaviour that was met with acclaim from punters and critics alike. In 2017, Fern’s solo “Suffer, Fools!” debuted at Edinburgh before a successful run at London’s Soho Theatre. Fest, the magazine partly responsible for where it all began praised the show praised Fern’s ever growing stand up skills “the Scottish comic’s on caustic form here, once again laying everything bare and inviting us to have a peek at the inner recesses of her bleak mind. Seeing the comedic cogs of her mind turning is a privilege”. With the show now becoming a hit on the UK and international touring circuit, there’s no stopping Fern’s insatiable appetite to share her hilarious truths.