Laura Lexx is one of my favourite comedians and has been ever since I saw her two fantastic shows that are up on the NextUp stand up comedy streaming site, Tyrannosaurus Lexx and Trying. In a review I described the former as “A master class in stand up”, and The Voice called the latter “A masterpiece, ★★★★★” and they’re not wrong either. Last year her show at Edinburgh led to her winning the Comedian’s Choice Best Performer Award and received critical acclaim across the board, and now she’s back at the festival with her new show, Knee Jerk. Here she tells us all about it, her fondest memories about the Edinburgh Festival and what she doesn’t like about it, what it was like to appear on Live At The Apollo, and how she’d like to use comedy to influence wider world changes.
Comedy To Watch: You’re returning to the Edinburgh Festival with your new show Knee Jerk in August, can you tell us a little about it?
Laura: It’s a really exciting show using comedy and therapy techniques to expose the irrational fears at the base of some of society’s knee jerk reactions to things. I’m tearing apart my own anxieties, as well as looking at things that other people seem terrified of that I’m not.
CTW: What are your fondest / happiest memories of your times at the festival?
Laura: My first festival will always be my favourite… I burned the candle at either end and down the sides that year and went home utterly shattered but feeling like I’d really lived it all. Everyone should have a year like that.
CTW: And is there anything you dislike about it?
Laura: I mean… of course there is?! Hahaha! The fact that it costs so much to do that it’s starting to rule out more and more comedians and creativity? The competitiveness, the exhaustion, the constant naval gazing…? There’s loads that really tough about it, but, that much pressure produces some shiny shiny diamonds by the end of it.
CTW: Which other shows are you looking forward to seeing?
Laura: I can’t wait to see “Hench” when Jess Fostekew has finished it, and I’m excited to see “OddPaul” by Paul F Taylor. I’ll also always go and see anything Garrett Millerick is serving up so that should be fun too.
CTW: Many comedians gain larger audiences by appearing on panel shows, is that something you’d like to do? If so, which ones? And what are your feelings about them in general?
Laura: Yes, I’d love to do panel shows, particularly Cats Does Countdown and QI. They’re a fun format.
CTW: You appeared on Live at the Apollo last year, what it was like performing on the show, and what takes place behind the scenes?
Laura: It was an absolutely mind-blowing experience. For me the whole thing was a crazy whirl-wind with barely any notice I was doing it and then squeezing in filming before I flew out to Dubai for a run of shows so it all just felt like a mad, mad week. Amazing, but mad. Suddenly I’d gone from being in Edinburgh to standing behind the Apollo screen listening to Sarah Millican (I know, right?!) say my name and then I walked out through the smoke to some banging Christmas tunes and it was all happening. It was the gig of a lifetime. I can’t wait to do it again.
CTW: You’ve written a novel, but do you have any desire to write a sitcom, or perhaps even a film? And if so, what would they be like?
Laura: I’ve written one, as yet unaired, television show and I’m just working on my second scripted one now. I don’t think I have the interest or structural awareness of films to think I could turn my hand to that but I do like writing for TV. It’s fun being able to work on ideas that are better suited to a few different characters instead of a solo stand-up voice.
CTW: And finally, if you could do anything in the comedy world, including working with those you admire, what would it be?
Laura: I’d like to be able to use comedy to influence wider world changes… I’m currently working on some ideas for entertainment formats that help people be a bit more carbon sensible and if I could get those out to the general public then I’d really feel like I was making a difference. That would be amazing.
You can buy tickets to see Laura at the Edinburgh Festival here.
And details on Laura’s Edinburgh previews are here.
Laura’s Official Site.
Laura on Twitter.
A clip of Laura on Youtube is here.
Our first interview with Laura.