The duchesses of stand-up

By Audrey SomnardEric Engel Switch to French for original article

The stand-up sector has boomed in Luxembourg in recent years. In addition to the headliners who come to the Grand Duchy, open mic nights are multiplying. Although this is a predominantly male environment, the collective "La Grande Duchesse of Comedy" offers a comedy meeting place where everyone is welcome.

The days when comedians had few options for performing in Luxembourg are long gone. With the burning down of 'Show Time' in Esch-sur-Alzette in 2018, comedians have become a trend in the Grand Duchy and programmers are snapping them up. Comedy festival in Differdange, Nasty Comedy Club at the Gudde Wëllen, recently announced Comedy Club at the Hôtel le Royal, comedians on the stage of the Casino 2000, the Abbaye de Neumünster, Atelier and Rockhal, fans of the genre have plenty of options.

Florence Foresti, Blanche Gardin, Marina Rollman for the French speakers, Aisling Bea, Amy Schumer, Hannah Gadsby for the English speakers, Carolin Kebekus, Martina Hill, Hazel Brugger or Ines Anioli for the German speakers, to name but a few of the comedians who fill the halls. Born of a long American tradition, stand-up comedy has long been the preserve of men. Because yes, it's easy to imagine a man recounting his daily observations of life in the back of a smoky bar in a big city, late at night. New York grew the industry from which the biggest names emerged.

Women came to the forefront later: "It's still difficult today, often a woman is put in the middle of men for a stand-up night, but one more would be too much! As it is rarer to see women on stage, it is more difficult to create vocations, it is a chicken-and-egg situation", explains Erin Crouch, an American comedian who lives on a military base in Germany. She started doing stand-up while living in Estonia in 2016. There, open mic nights were stammering, and dominated by men: "I started by going as a spectator and frankly I quickly thought I could be funnier than them! So I went for it, it was great the first time, and I haven't stopped since."

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