Lucy Porter

Lucy Porter: On Tour in Epsom

When comedian Lucy Porter comes to Epsom with her new show, she’ll be giving audiences an exclusive first airing of never-seen-before material. She tells Ting Dalton more

Even Lucy Porter, by admission, tells me she’s been around for ages. The diminutive comedian has been on the stand-up circuit since the1990s and is a regular on Radio 4, as well as appearing on many TV shows including Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You. She’s a prolific writer, too, writing for comedy shows such as ITV’s satirical series Headcases.

She’s currently back on tour around the UK with her new comedy Pass It On, and is excited to be returning to home turf – Lucy grew up in Croydon and went to school in Wallington – so it’s an area she knows well.

“My life is one big road tour really,” laughs Lucy, who lives in London with her actor husband Justin Edwards and their two children. “I’m always working up a new show or a new tour. The thing about stand-up is it constantly changes. I also love travelling and love chatting so I’m in completely the right job. And because I’m writing up new stuff for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the audiences of Epsom and surrounding areas maybe get some brand new material – some comedy gold that I have been working on!”

So even though Lucy may be trying out some new jokes – what is Pass It On essentially about?

“It’s about what we inherit from our parents and what we pass on to our children. There’s also lots of fun and silliness and a tribute to George Michael,” explains Lucy. “I talk about Marks & Spencer’s jeans, and the show also features a terrifying glass clown! There is an interesting thought underpinning the whole show which came out of thinking about death. But I should reassure people that this isn’t a morbid show!”

Does the mum of two young children find it hard to be on the road and away from her family? “I’m really lucky actually, as my shows finish around 10pm – no one in my audience wants to stay out till midnight these days. So I can drive back home and be up with the kids in the morning – which is a delight,” she smiles wryly. “If it’s been a really late night I can go back to bed after school drop off, I’m very good at napping still!”

She admits that because her husband is working away, it is challenging juggling motherhood with work and agrees that comedy is still an industry dominated by men. However, she believes that becoming a mum has broadened her comedy répertoire and has made her more confident.

“It would be ridiculous to say that my working life is now easier, because I have children,” she reflects. “I’m just very different to the person I was back then when I started doing comedy. My comedy isn’t completely different as I still have the same sense of humour, in that I’m quite self-deprecating. The thing that I have really noticed changing is that I am less nervous now than I used to be. And I realise now that it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things of how a gig goes.”

Lucy’s tour carries on until the end of May, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to kick back and relax. In fact, she’s currently writing her second play to take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as a new stand-up show. Meanwhile, she’ll continue to be a regular on Radio 4 – “Everything I’m doing is on Radio 4 – I really should get a different employer!” she laughs. But there is one desire that she is determined to fulfil. Having already been a contestant on several quiz shows such as Pointless and Celebrity Mastermind she wants to do them all.

Life is ridiculous and absurd, but it’s about reminding people to laugh and not take everything so desperately seriously even though there is a lot of terrible stuff going on in the world.

“My 2019 resolution is to do all the quizzes I haven’t been on! I’m actually doing one in a few weeks, but I’m not allowed to say which one,” she explains. “I really want to go on Tipping Point and Eggheads, too!”

Lucy tells me she enjoys making people laugh and, in a time of such uncertainty, even more so now. “I think the thing that comedy does is it reminds people of the fundamental absurdity of life,” she says. “I mean I started off thinking about my parents dying and out of the ashes came this comedy show that is funny.”

“But you can make comedy out of anything. Life is ridiculous and absurd, but it’s about reminding people to laugh and not take everything so desperately seriously even though there is a lot of terrible stuff going on in the world. I definitely think that being po-faced and miserable never really helps anyone.”

Catch Lucy in Pass It On at the Epsom Playhouse on 16 March and 18 May