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I TALK TO Lou Sanders

"I wasn't allowed the title I really wanted which was The Face That Launched a Thousand Dicks."

Comedian Lou Sanders sold out her run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, extended her Soho Theatre run three time, toured the UK, supported Katherine Ryan on her Glitter Room and won Taskmaster and now she's returning to the Fringe with a brand new hour, Say Hello To Your New Step-Mummy.

During our chat she reveals what she really wanted to call the show, why she enjoys Edinburgh more now and why she loves her venue.

Did your 2018 show Shame Pig feel like your breakout show?

It did actually. If I'm honest, yes it did. Why not? As for why, I think it's because I got myself together more than anything and having two years to write a show does help. But having said that, I do feel like the show I've written this year is better so hopefully you keep getting better the more you do it and you learn how to write a show better.

Why did you decide to return this year?

You've gotta keep going baby! You can't go giving yourself a year off at this stage in the game.

What can people expect from your show this year?

Not what I said in the blurb, that's for sure. For some reason, in the blurb I said I was going to talk about mental health - but not my own, other people's! The arrogance of it is unbelievable.

The show is mainly about relationships and trying to sort out patterns in relationships because I was on a man ban for a year, so I talk about what I learnt from that. Turns out that after a man ban you find yourself having flings with the wrong people.

Why did you call the show Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy?

Because I wasn't allowed the title I really wanted which was The Face That Launched a Thousand Dicks. I was told that it would be hard to get in anywhere with that show title. And actually my producer and my agent said I could if I wanted to but it's a harder sell - especially when you go on tour. Sometimes the venues don't like it and I'm trying to go more mainstream so I thought I'd play by the rules.

You've been touring Shame Pig whilst writing the new show. Has that been difficult?

I was annoyed when I got given the tour dates but I was just being a little brat because it's actually been fine. Some shows I do 25-minutes of new material at the start and then a break which was really useful.

But I do like to keep my shows pure. I like to keep the shows completely separate and would never want anyone to see my shows back-to-back or anything like that. I don't why, I just wouldn't.

Do you still enjoy Edinburgh?

I like it more now. It's like an abusive relationship if Edinburgh was the man and he's got older and can't be bothered so there's more love there. The fight is over. It's so mad that as a performer you call Edinburgh exhausting, but to the outside world they're like "Shut up mate, you're working an hour a day you little ponce."

I think it's to do with your adrenaline spikes because there's so much pressure on you and you put so much into it and you care if you get a bad review. Whatever anybody says, you care if you get a bad review.

I say I don't look at reviews but really I do and last year I did because they were all nice apart from one, which was three stars, but it does bum me out. It's so stupid really. I thought I didn;t get affected by bad reviews but I really do.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Yeah I do have one but I'm not going to tell you what it is. You can put that in there, it's private.

You're back at the Monkey Barrel this year. Do you enjoy performing there?

Oh I love it. It's a slightly different room this year, it's across the road. We bought off land. But it'll still be good because it's a similar layout and because they're a comedy venue all year round, they know what they're doing

I love it there and you actually make money which is great. It's a mad model that you're like - "Ooh, I could make some money for this year's amount of work."

Outside of the Fringe, what are you working on? Congratulations on winning Taskmaster.

Thank you. I really miss Taskmaster. I love being on TV every week. It really suits me. I loved everyone on that show and it was really fun. What else? I'm doing some other TV bits. I pop up in Aisling Bea's new comedy This Way Up playing a Psychic, that was fun. I've got my own script in development with Big Talk.

And we're talking about a book proposal at the moment so I'm very excited about that. I can't tell you what type of book it'll be but I can tell you some possible titles; Life Lessons from a Woman who Once Puked in her Own Privates, Sexy Isn't Always Sexy and other Life Lessons, We've All Got an Auntie Sue... so we're going back and forth on that at the moment. So that'll be good if that happens.

Finally, how would you sum up this year's show in just five words?

Love and my other mistakes.

Lou Sanders: Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy runs from 1st-25th August (not 14th) at 3.15pm at Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 3). Book tickets here.


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