Monday, 17 June 2019
CALLING someone “the comedians’ comedian” would be a shameful thing to do if it didn’t just so happen to be true.
Last summer saw Lou Sanders’s sold-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival win her a Comedians’ Choice Award for “best show”. She also took home an Edinburgh Poster Award.
Now she is taking her show — the intriguingly titled Shame Pig — on a four-month UK tour that brings her to Norden Farm in Maidenhead on Wednesday, May 15, followed by the Kenton Theatre on Friday, May 17.
Having previously shone on Russell Howard’s Good News and
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, next month will also see her make her Taskmaster debut on Dave. Does she enjoy switching between stand-up and doing TV comedy?
“Yes, because they feed into each other and make you better at both,” she says. “I love both TV and stand-up, but you get free food when you do telly and I do like free food.”
Sanders’s appetites are part of the subject matter of her current show. She has previously written about her relationship with alcohol and her decision to give up drinking. But what else can audiences expect from Shame Pig?
“It’s true stories which are weird and sometimes horrific but crucially I’ve made them funny. What we are looking at, if you strip it back, is a real nice piece, delivered by a lovely, nice lady.”
Now 33, Sanders was a relative latecomer to comedy, having previously worked in television, developing ideas for different shows. When did she first discover her talent for comedy?
“I guess when I tried to do other stuff like ballet,” she deadpans.
And her inspirations? “In the early days you’re looking at Tom and Jerry, really. Then my brother. I know I’m supposed to give some deep answer about Peter Cook and Dudley Moore but I lived in a bubble and didn’t really idolise anyone.”
Her working habits, it turns out, are just as unconventional.
“I do everything but the writing and I don’t know why. I hate it but I do it. For example, I am leaving for a new material gig in an hour and I am doing things that can wait and, ironically, this interview rather than writing stand-up. I’m a big pig.”
Speaking of pigs, has Sanders ever had a pet? “God, yes, thanks for asking. A great cat called Crunchie who called America accidentally by knocking the receiver off and sitting on the phone. He was in the local paper for that. A slow news week, but still — Crunchie made the headlines! My school friends didn’t believe me when I told them, though, and they thought I was a liar. My mum couldn’t find the news story so I couldn’t prove it. So ups and downs to having a famous cat.”
Fame, more of it, is clearly heading Sanders’s way, but would she ever consider doing a show like Strictly Come Dancing or The Great Celebrity Bake Off?
“I had to watch Dancing on Ice the other day for something and I immediately emailed my agent saying I really want to do Dancing on Ice. But we both agreed it wouldn’t be the best career option for me right now. And they probably wouldn’t have me anyhow, luckily. But I love the shows where you are learning something and being tested and developing a skill. My agent said ‘You know you can just go ice skating, don’t you?’ Ha ha. But it’s not the same without the public humiliation of failing. I’d like to do some of those shows one day because they look so fun. Even the jungle one looks fun and you would learn a lot about yourself with so much silence and no media — so part of me would like to do some of them where you’re thrown into the deep end. But I definitely won’t. Probably.”
Away from the world of TV, is there anywhere she would really like to perform? “I’d like to do my show in South Africa — mainly so I can go to South Africa.”
If Sanders was ever to find herself stranded on a desert island, which three people — living, historical or fictional — would she most like to have for company?
“God, or that spoon bender Uri Geller. Basically someone who can create miracles — that’s number one. Number two guest, we’re looking at John Krasinski, Adam Driver or Keanu Reeves. That’s for obvious reasons — kissing and all the other stuff. And the third one, Sarah Silverman or Zach Galifianakis. Its a bit man-heavy but hopefully God’s a woman, which would balance it out a bit.”
Tickets for Shame Pig at the Kenton are £13. To book, call the box office on (01491) 575698 or visit www.kentontheatre.co.uk
Sanders is playing the studio at Norden Farm, tickets for which are £12. To book, call 01628 788997 or visit www.nordenfarm.org
For more information, including a full list of tour dates, visit www.lousanders.com
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