Fall about laughing

Marissa Burgess gives you her seasonal comedy round-up and a Q&A with master of the one-liner, Glenn Moore 

Hero image

Shazia Mirza shot to fame when, post 9/11, she was performing stand-up in a hijab and talking about the fact that she is Muslim – a rare event at the time on the UK circuit. Over the years Mirza’s material has broadened but one thing you can guarantee is that whatever the topic, she will give as intelligent a response to it as it is funny. Catch her as she drops by the Lowry (6 Nov) with her latest show, Coconut.

Colin Hoult’s comedy career has passed through a few different phases. He first appeared within a double act with Fergus Craig, then went solo, emerging eventually as his alter ego Anna Mann. For the last few years the middle-aged luvvie has been name-dropping her way through a series of acclaimed shows but now the end draws near for Anna. The Death of Anna Mann, which was nominated for the main Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, will be played out over and over in Manchester (14 Nov), Leeds (15 Nov) and Liverpool (16 Nov). It’ll be emotional!

Having recently become a first time mum, what the world will be like for her daughter growing up has become a major concern for Harriet Kemsley. She looks back at the magical, imaginary hideaway, Honeysuckle Island, she created for her 11-year-old self as she takes on the many injustices served against women in this world. It’s a take filtered through her trademark quirky style with which she is guaranteed to charm an audience. See her in Leeds (13 Oct) and Manchester (1 Dec).

Probably best known as Dobby in Channel 4’s Peep Show, Isy Suttie has always been a distinctive voice on the comedy circuit. Turns out she’s also something of the thrill seeker, as explored in her latest solo show Jackpot, which pops by Leeds (11 Oct) and, her hometown, Matlock (5 Nov). Now a mum and married to a man who doesn’t like surprises, she finds that she has to be a touch more inventive to find a buzz in life.

Anyone on the live circuit has known Dan Nightingale’s comedic brilliance for years. He’s a tour de force on stage but it always seemed that wider recognition evaded him somewhat. Not anymore, largely thanks to his popular podcast with Scouse comedian Adam Rowe, Have A Word – live in Liverpool (9 Dec). His stand-up can still be viewed on his solo tour Smasher in Leeds (20 Oct), Manchester (23 Oct and 6 Nov) and Chorley (12 Nov).

Q&A: Glenn Moore

Over the last few years Glenn Moore has carved out a niche for himself as not just an acclaimed writer of one liners but also for material that employs a cerebral take and a bit of a twist, making him stand out from the other quick joke merchants. See him on tour with Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, Glenn I’m Sixty Moore in Bradford (29 Oct), Sheffield (30 Oct), York (18 Nov) and Leeds (19 Nov).

How was Edinburgh for you? I saw those impressive star ratings building up on the posters!
It was nice, thanks, and the reviews were very kind – although I’ve since realised you could probably just make up star-ratings and splash them over your poster and nobody would ever check. Five stars – Big Issue North. There, that’s going on my posters now.

Though you write one-liners anyone who has seen one of your shows knows that you somehow theme and create stories with them, so what’s interesting you this time around? 
Rice! I don’t know why but when it came to whittling the show down to a reasonable length (initial length: two and a half hours), I had three separate routines about rice. This would have tested any audience’s patience, so this eventually became one routine about rice, and that has since become one lonely sentence about rice.

And how do you manage to write so many while keeping them so fresh and inventive?
Twitter’s always been the most effective way to try them out. I used to set myself a target of putting at least a couple of jokes on there each day, and if any worked particularly well, I’d try them on stage. The only downside has been I have been told by audience members after gigs on three separate occasions that they’ve heard one of my jokes before somewhere else. Each time, it’s been me stealing a joke from myself from Twitter a year previously.

You started out writing jokes when you were a teenager. What was it that drew you to comedy and one-liners in particular?
Yeah, what a weird hobby for a teenager to have! At least have the decency to learn Smoke On The Water on guitar or practice kissing/shaking hands on your pillow like every other teenager. I think I was just blown away by any comedian I saw on TV and wanted to at least try to understand how they do it. I’m still very much learning.

Do you have any particular comedy influences?
When I was growing up it was Lee Evans all the way, but my stuff couldn’t be more different to his – for a start, it’s difficult to be that physical in a cardigan. How he did it in a full suit is astonishing.

Anything you’d like to do given half the chance?
It has been my dream – and this is no exaggeration – to go to a Wetherspoons for opening time, have breakfast, lunch and dinner there and stay till closing. I don’t want to do it on my own though and I am yet to convince anyone in my life to go with me. People always think I’m saying this sarcastically – I am not. I love Wetherspoons food, and the menu has so much choice I just think it would be an incredible day of trying nearly everything on there.

Do you ever worry you’re going to run out of puns for your titles?
For sure, there are only so many titles that contain something that rhymes with Glenn and something that rhymes with Moore. Maybe next year I’ll go for Billy Idol’s Glenn The Midnight Hour, She Cried Moore Moore Moore. Does that work?

If you liked this article, we think you’ll enjoy these:

Interact: Responses to Fall about laughing

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.