Funny Cow 15
Maxine Peake gives a formidable, fearless performance as an aspiring female comedian trying to make it in the very male dominated (not to mention extremely politically incorrect) world of 70s and 80s Northern working men's clubs.
From a troubled childhood to her abusive adult relationships, comedian Funny Cow (a stage name - her real one is not revealed) uses the raw material of her life to bring her unique style of comedy to the stage. Surrounded by people trying to dissuade her against her dreams ("Comedy is no job for a woman, love... women just aren't bloody funny"), and battered and bruised by her husband, she is nonetheless determined to make it...
The comedy here is sometimes difficult to watch (it features the kind of racist, sexist and crude gags that were pervasive at the time) but Peake is simply tremendous in a heartbreaking role. With a sweet, stirring soundtrack from Richard Hawley and acting appearances from comedians Vic Reeves and John Bishop, this is a great story about standing up for your self.