Fighting Talk

Round & About

Comedian Lucy Porter brings her smash-hit Edinburgh Fringe show Choose Your Battles to various venues Peter Anderson catches up with her…

In Choose your Battles Lucy Porter, with the aid of the audience and a punchbag, works out when she should stick to her guns and fight and when she can use her disarming charm to defuse a situation. I caught up with her and, while ducking the boxing glove, asked her about her life and the tour.

Q. Is your current tour based purely on your life and experience, or observation as well?
“It’s a bit of a mixture. Most of the material comes from my own experience, but my audience are wonderful at coming up afterwards or emailing me and saying ‘that story you told reminded me of something awful my husband did…’ or ‘when my kids were little, I found this was a really useful tip…’ so I get a lot of helpful feedback that finds its way into the show.”

Q. Have your husband or children seen the show?
“Oh goodness, no! My whole act relies on the fact that my husband is looking after the kids while I’m out talking about them on stage. I don’t know what I’ll do when the children are old enough to see my act – I’ll have to change it and just talk about our cats.”

Q. How long does it take you to collate and write material for a show?
“It’s a never-ending process of writing, presenting stuff to the audience and then revising it. It’s 100% my favourite thing about live stand-up; the fact that no two shows are alike. The skeleton of this show was written for the Edinburgh festival in August last year, and some of my favourite bits have stayed in, but there’s always stuff that’s new this week, today, or even on the night.”

Q. As someone who prefers not to make a fuss, and carefully choose your battles would you like to have lived in 1717?
“Ooh, I hope you’re referring here to my play the Fair Intellectual Club, which was set in 1717 and concerned a group of young women who decided to set up a secret society for studying maths, physics, astronomy and all the other things that ‘nice girls’ weren’t supposed to concern themselves with. I hope I’d always have been a mouthy, opinionated and difficult woman like they were.”

Q. You write both comedies and dramas. Is it easy to switch between the two?
“I never had any ambition to write drama, but as I’ve got older I’ve realised my life experience has gifted me some serious points to make. That said, even when I’m writing drama I can’t help playing for laughs sometimes. I hope never to have to take life, or myself, too seriously.”

Q. If you were stranded on a desert island, who would like to be stranded with?
“I love my own company and I need a holiday, so I’d be delighted to be on a desert island for at least a week. If I could be stranded with Dolly Parton and Paul McCartney, I could have the music and good company as well.”

Q. You are appearing at The West End Centre in Aldershot. What memories do you have of appearing there?
“The West End Centre is one of the nicest and most welcoming places I’ve ever encountered. Also, the people who run it have impeccable taste in music (and comedy too of course!).”

For more details visit www.lucyporter.co.uk

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