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I TALK TO Lucy Beaumont

"Seven years ago women were still treated like a novelty in stand-up."

Five years on from her Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut, Lucy Beaumont is making her highly-anticipated return with her second hour Space Mam which promises to offer a surreal journey through modern day womanhood.

I caught up with Lucy to discuss what audiences can expect, how she's found returning to comedy and why she owes a lot to Johnny Vegas who's directing her new show.

Your debut was back in 2014, yet you're only just returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe now. Why so long?

Well I got married and got pregnant so that just ruined everything really. Two years ago I thought I'd never do stand-up again to be honest but I was writing material and before I knew it I had a good club 20 minutes and I was back on the circuit again.

And how are you feeling about being back?

I'm really happy with this show and where I'm at as a stand-up. When I started, it was a bit of a whirlwind because the first gig I ever did was for So You Think You're Funny? and the third gig I did was the final of that competition. I then moved to London, did a few competitions and seven years ago women were still treated like a novelty in stand-up.

Things are changing massively and you can see that on TV in comedies and on panel shows but it wasn't like that. You never knew any female comics because you never gigged with them. They'd never dare have two female comics on the same bill.

It got in my head a bit that women aren't really funny, they aren't as funny as men because when I did BBC radio interviews, the first thing I'd get asked is "Do you think women are as funny as men?" So much has changed now that I don't think they'd ask it anymore.

To be honest with you, I never thought I was really funny and would always criticise myself and having a child, having a bit of time out, made me realise that I had other important things going on. But now I'm loving stand-up because it's like a night out, a break away from the family.

I feel more relaxed and like a proper stand-up. I feel more accomplished. This'll be my eighth year now of doing stand-up. When I first started, another comic said to me "It takes 10 years to get" and I do think that's right.

What can people expect from your show this year?

A really good laugh! There's no sad monologues, no one has died, nothing horrific has happened to me. It's an hour of funny jokes based on my life. There's not 20 minutes of gags and then telling you something awful.

There's a place for that and I'm glad that things have evolved in that way but my show is just stand-up really. It's what I do, it's surreal, offbeat and all true anecdotes really. It's how I'm coping trying to be a mum and a woman.

How did you come up with the title Space Mam?

Well, I totally believe in aliens and spent seven months believing that I gave birth to an alien and it's because I was sleep deprived. I also met my hero Brian Cox and got to talk to him about aliens so I thought I'd discuss that.

I believe aliens first came to Hull and have tampered with people there which is why people from Hull are here to save the world.

And Johnny Vegas is directing the show. How did that come about?

We've become really good mates. Johnny was the first person to big me up really and has been like a mentor to me. When I first started and was doing gigs in Hull, no one was bothered, no one used to come and see me, but then I got a Radio 4 special and Johnny liked me so he came to be in it in a working man's club in Hull.

Once Johnny Vegas had given me his seal of approval, it felt like Hull was behind me. Since then, the support from the people of Hull has been incredible. I talk about Hull a lot because it's such a big part of who I am. The love in the room when I play a gig in Hull is just lovely. They're genuinely pleased that I've done well.

If it wasn't for Johnny, I don't think I'd be where I am. So it felt like the right thing to do to ask him to help me with this year's show and he's been amazing. He's come to gigs, we discuss the show a lot and he'll watch it closer to the time to see where it's got to - it's really good to have someone there who can look at the shape and the structure.

How have the previews been going?

Really well. We've got a pub in our garage because we live up north so you get more for your money. Once you leave London you can have a garage and we decided to put a pub in it. So last night I knocked on all the neighbours' doors, asked them to come round and I did a gig in there!

It went really well and I thought, why am I travelling up and down the country when I could just do one in my house. I even wore me crocs!

What are you most looking forward to about Edinburgh?

The atmosphere is brilliant, to feel like you're a part of something. For a comic, it's your marketplace. It's where you go to show off. I'm just looking forward to showing off for a month!

Outside of the Fringe, what are you working on?

I've been asked back onto Jon (Richardson)'s show Ultimate Worrier on Dave. I must have done a good job because I'm in three episodes. He didn't want me in every episode. He didn't want me cramping his style!

That was great and off the back of that we've got Meet the Richardsons which is a comedy about our lives really. I hope it's going to be lovely to watch, funny, warm-hearted and easy viewing. You should make stuff you want to watch and that's the sort of stuff I want to watch.

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

How to kill a man.

Lucy Beaumont: Space Mam runs from 31st July - 25th August at 5.45pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (Upstairs). Book tickets here.


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