• Ron RoXtar*

Brit(ish) Girl Power at Just For Laughs

July 23rd 2018

I am very happy to share a double interview with two hilarious female comics, Sara Pascoe and Lauren Pattison. They will both be appearing for the Montreal Just For Laughs Brit(ish) shows on Wednesday July 26th and Friday July 27th 7pm at the Maison theatre. Let’s see what they have to say about doing stand up, their careers and favourite comedy film of all time.

Sara Pascoe is a multi-award winning stand-up comedian, writer and actor. Over the last year alone, Sara has starred on Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief (making it to the Final); filmed a solo stand up special for TV: Sara Pascoe Live from the BBC; and much more. Sara has also been seen on television shows ranging from Have I Got News For You, QI, Travel Man and filmed and co-stared in the most recent WIA series. Following the enormous success of her debut book, Animal, Sara is presently writing her second book, Sex Power Money. Sara also sold out her entire run at the Edinburgh Festival (before the Festival even started) with her critically feted show, LadsLadsLads. In between the Brit(ish) shows Sara will be a part of the 9:45pm Ken Jeong gala on July 26th at Place des Arts.

Ron : You’ve had such a success with LadsLadsLads. Is this the show you are bringing to Montreal’s Just For Laughs?  Sara : It’s my first time at JFL so I’m doing short sets at galas rather than a full show, but maybe next time!

Ron : How did you decide to get into comedy? Sara : I don’t know that it was a conscious decision- more like something that I did every day and eventually got paid for.   

Ron : Who was your inspiration? Sara : I didn’t have any comedy heroes before I started because I hadn’t seen very much comedy. Nowadays I am inspired by the brilliant, boundary pushing people making work- Katherine Ryan, Hannah Gadsby, Maria Bamford, James Acaster.  

Ron : You come from a family with some musical background and you were on Let’s Sing and Dance. Did you or do you have any aspirations to do something on the music side of things?

Sara : I was always very shy of singing, it felt so personal and nerve wracking. As a child I once auditioned for a TV talent show called ‘My Kind Of People’ and I started singing at the wrong time and cried in front of a shopping centre full of people, then went home thinking I’d be on TV because I was delusional! Stand up and getting older have combined to make me fearless now. Mixed with my delusion, this is dangerous!

Ron : You’ve had a lot of television credits. Do you enjoy doing television more or stand up?  Or maybe even prefer writing? 

Sara : I like it all. There are pros and cons to the different types of work- writing is wonderful but also isolating, so having a gig at the end of the day is perfect because it gets me out of my head. TV is really good fun sometimes- and when it’s not, they edit out any bad bits and make it look fun!

Ron : You had success with your first book. You are writing a new one now.  What’s this one going to be about?  

Sara : It’s called SexPowerMoney and it’s about porn and sex work from an evolutionary perspective. I’ve been researching for a really long time, it’s taken me longer than my last book, and I am writing a lot more about male sexuality, physiology and theories of domination and status.

Ron : As a vegan is there any specific meal or recipe you’d recommend?

Sara : I’m no cook- I would recommend putting ‘vegan’ into Deliveroo and having someone moped you over something delicious!

Ron : It’s time for the 2018 Just for Laughs question of the fest.  What is your favourite comedy film of all time… and why?

Sara : As children, my sisters and I watched ‘Coming to America’ every day for several years. Mainly for barking like a big and small dog and “the royal penis is clean”. Nowadays my comedy is a little more sophisticated !

Lauren Pattison has had a very impressive debut as a comic with her critically acclaimed 5 star show Lady Muck. Lauren also won a Herald Angel Award and was nominated for Best Newcomer 2017 at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. She was runner up at the Funny Women Awards 2014, was the only female comedian to reach the final of the Chortle Student Comedy Awards 2015 and in 2016 reached the final of the BBC New Comedy Awards. Aside from her two nights at the Brit(ish) shows she will be appearing at the Stand Up Show with Katherine Ryan on July 26th 10pm at L’Astral.

Ron : What made you decide to ever want to do stand up comedy? 

Lauren : I always liked making people laugh, I was involved with drama groups from my early teens and gravitated towards the more comedic roles rather then the serious gritty parts. I think part of it was maybe something about having a strong regional accent, I never felt like I could pull off those serious roles as well but my accent seemed to lend itself well to comedic parts and I could play up to it. I just loved making people laugh, and when the opportunity to try stand up rolled round it seemed a very natural segue. I didn’t expect to be bitten by the bug, but I definitely was.

Ron : Who was your biggest inspiration? 

Lauren : When I was starting I looked up a lot to Russell Howard, I loved how much fun it looked like he was having on stage and I thought – I want to be having that much fun! I like it when people genuinely look like they’re loving every second on stage, it makes such a good energy and atmosphere for a crowd. Now, I still adore Russell but I’d say my biggest inspiration is someone like Katherine Ryan. She’s sharp, and funny, doesn’t take any shit, is genuinely a nice person, supports new talent and works so damn hard. She is so deserving of every success and I feel lucky to have got to work with her!

Ron : Congratulations with Lady Muck. There has been so much praise and accolades for your debut year in comedy.  Can you please tell us more about this?  

Lauren : So I worked really hard for 5 years, and finally felt experienced enough as a comic to do my debut hour in Edinburgh. I’ve always said, I write comedy that feels right for me, I don’t

talk about stuff just because it’s a hot topic, I only ever write what I know and care about cause I think it’s more authentic and that comes off on stage. I wrote this very honest, personal show Lady Muck, about a break up, being ghosted, feeling insecure and learning to be more comfortable in your own skin, tackling those insecurities that eat away at you. It blew up in a way I could never have expected and gave me the dream of Edinburgh. The run sold out entirely, it actually sold out so early in the festival we had to add 3 extra shows. I was getting 4 and 5 star reviews left, right and centre, and I couldn’t quite get my head round that I’d made something special, that people were relating to and enjoying. It meant so much to me as I’d been so concerned it was too personal and nobody else would ‘get’ it but I was determined to stick to my guns as I knew it was the show I needed to do. It got nominated for Best Newcomer and then when I came back had a whole host of amazing opportunities. I’ve been able to see the world, from India to Australia, New Zealand and now Canada! It’s been overwhelming at times but I’m so proud.

Ron : I’ve heard it said “Fame is the best revenge.” I read about the ex-boyfriend who ‘ghosted’ you. Do you know if through the grapevine he’s now aware of your achievement as a comedian?

Lauren : You have to be careful when you talk about real people in comedy, which is why I made him aware and involved from the start, he knew exactly what he was letting himself in for. I wouldn’t have done such a personal show without his consent, because even though he showed me no respect in the past, I’ve been brought up too respectful to do the same to him! We still have each other on social media, so he’ll see everything that’s going on. I bet in a weird way, he’ll be proud, he’ll know how hard I’ve worked and that it’s all deserved. But at the same time, it must be strange for him knowing his story was the catalyst.

Ron : Will this be the show you are bringing to Montreal? If so or not what can we expect from your shows here.  

Lauren : I’m not doing a full show here, I’m doing a spot on the mixed bill show of British acts. So it’ll be like a taster of my comedy, an intro to Lauren.

Ron : From your own list of 10 things that make you laugh. What is the weirdest looking vegetable you’ve ever seen?  

Lauren : A potato that looked like a butt. Like, genuinely. It had the crack and everything. I wanted to keep the butt potato forever, but sometimes you have to put the need for mash potato first.

Ron : Since you like videos of dogs doing things do you own a dog yourself?  If not what kind of dog would you like to have? 

Lauren : I’ve never had a pet, which is why I think I love animals so much. When you’re not allowed something, it makes you want it even more! I want a dog more than anything though, I love Labradors and husky dogs. My friend has a maltipoo which is a cross between a Maltese and a poodle and she is adorable (the dog, not my friend, but she is nice too.)

Ron : It’s time for the 2018 Just for Laughs question of the fest.  What is your favourite comedy film of all time… and why?  

Lauren : Does Wreck It Ralph count as a comedy? I don’t care if it doesn’t because my all time favourite film is Wreck It Ralph and I’m sticking with it. No seriously though, if that doesn’t count, I love Pitch Perfect. Strong, funny females who can sing and do choreography, what more could you ask for?

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