Lucy Porter has been a huge hit with comedy audiences up and down the country for over ten years with her distinctive, bouncy, feel-good comedy.
She’s on her way to Swindon where she is due to appear at the Arts Centre on 24 February.
Ben Fitzgerald managed to fit in a high-speed power chat before she had to rush to school to pick up her children.
I’m aware that you need to be rapidly heading out of the door for the school run – how do you balance childcare with touring?
It is quite a challenge at times – and it’s made a little worse by the fact that my husband Justin Edwards (an actor) also has a ‘weird’ job as well. If it wasn’t for my network of friends and family I don’t know how I would manage to be honest.
My children are 6 and 7 at the moment, which means that yes… childcare is something of an issue, bless ‘em!
They don’t quite understand the job I do – but they know that they are not allowed to see the shows. They have been telling people that Mummy is an adult entertainer… which is not quite right I’ll have you know!
Your new show – ‘Choose your battles’ – what does it all mean? Do you pick the title ahead of writing your material and then furiously backfill?
You do have to choose the title of your show ahead of time – I draw my inspiration from real life and the things I observe around me. Something will suggest itself as a topic and then I will run with that. You can expect the content of the show to change from the time when you have put together the poster – but I’ve never had anyone come back to me to complain that they have been mis-sold a show.
Do you evolve the show through feedback with the audience?
Yes of course – in fact I’m the worst for that.
But that is what’s so great about performing live in front of other people. I love connecting with the audience – bouncing off the audience. I like to take people on a journey – there are other brilliant comics out there who bang out the one liners – but that is not my style. While I have my script, it’s great to depart from that and explore different avenues. That’s why I absolutely love doing stand up. I’ve done a bit of acting in my time – but I guess I’m not the greatest actor, stand up is my thing. It’s genuinely wonderful when you get people coming up to you afterwards and saying that you made them look at something a different way.
Can you remember your first gig? What persuaded you to continue?
I can remember it well – It was a show in a jazz bar where you get a two-minute slot and if you were no good then the fun police would come on the stage and hit you with rubber truncheons and haul you off.
Luckily they seemed to like me – no rubber truncheons. I thought this is great it was only later that I realised how difficult stand up can be.
Is it really you up there on stage?
Very much so. Some comics like to develop a persona which is quite different to their real personality. I’m very much me. I probably should have created a new stage personality when I started out because then I could blame it on that person if I bomb badly.
Career wise – can you afford to be choosy about what you take on?
There is that temptation when you are self-employed because you might not know where the next job is coming from. But I’m lucky enough to have great management now and I’ve got a lot better at choosing what work to do and what is best for me.
Also, I’m fundamentally quite a lazy person so that is a good thing. Being lazy is an important life skill.
Is stand up any kind of job for a grown up?
Not really I suppose – it is a strange way to earn a living as people around me are keen to remind me. The trouble with being a comedian is that it is hard for people to take you seriously.