GRADUATION 2O20: Comedy graduate Maisy Whipp is a one-to-watch
For 23-year-old Maisy Whipp, university hasn’t just a time for personal development, it’s been life-changing. Since enrolling on her BA (Hons) Comedy Writing and Performance course back in 2017, she has developed a passion for acting and stand-up comedy, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and doing over 150 gigs around Manchester and beyond.
During her first year, she performed her stand-up comedy routine at the New Adelphi Comedy Nights which led to her successfully representing the University of Salford as part of the very first SalFUNNI group to perform at Edinburgh.
“The first time I did stand-up was at my interview for university, something just clicked right away. I went on to join the Comedy Society and later auditioned for the SalFUNNI group, doing a mix of sketch writing and stand-up. I went on to chair the Comedy Society just two years later, so it went full circle,” she said.
Around this time Ribble Valley-born Maisy started to get good feedback from fellow comedians on the circuit, which boosted her confidence and gave her encouragement to succeed.
“Edinburgh Fringe was a mind-blowing experience and looking back it really cemented what I wanted to do. The audience was laughing on every word, even things I didn’t know were funny. When I got back I threw myself into gigging.”
When asked about her style, Maisy looks close to home, citing her dad as a huge inspiration: “We’re a family of story-tellers and my dad has a classically northern sense of humour.”
She also looks up to Ruth Jones, Aisling Bea and Dawn French, admiring the way they have written and played iconic parts, something she too aspires to do.
Graduate Maisy is keen to be a champion for female comedians, acknowledging there is still more work to be done to give women in the industry a platform.
“Things have started to improve but we still have a long way to go - it’s something we need to keep pushing. When I ran comedy nights, I always made sure there was an equal ratio of women to men on the bill.”
Maisy scooped the Performance, English and Creative Writing Award at the School of Art and Media’s Create Student Awards on account of her passion and commitment for the comedy industry, as well as being adored by her tutors and fellow students alike.
Speaking of her win, she said: “I’ve loved my time at Salford and the endless opportunities it has given me. The award really was the cherry on the cake.”
While at university, Maisy was picked up by Cartwright Higgins Management who now represent her as an actor. She has just graduated with a first class honours degree and is currently writing material alongside her role as the North West Producer of Funny Women. In the future she is keen to pursue roles in theatre and on television, as well as growing her own production company GhostCow Productions alongside fellow graduate and Salfunni member Beth Westbrook.