This Tuesday, Eastbourne's Lamb Inn on the South Coast of England once again plays host to the brilliant That Comedy Thing. This month's line-up sees Terry Saunders, James Sherwood, Thomas Hardie and Clint Westwood perform alongside Kerry Gilbert. On the eve of her debut visit to Eastbourne, Kerry tells BobbySix.com a bit about herself.
What can people expect from you at That Comedy Thing?
I’ll be presenting a small array of silly characters and strange behaviour, including a sexy bit, some culture and most probably some sort of wig.
Are you looking forward to your first trip to Eastbourne?
I’m quivering with anticipation. I’ve heard they have great fish n chips…
How did you get into comedy? Is it something that you always wanted to do?
I always liked playing the funny parts in school plays, despite being very shy and quiet in general. Being funny enabled me to come out of my shell a bit. Then at University I studied Performance Art as part of my English and Drama degree. It was the only practical bit of the course where we got to script and perform our own solo performance pieces. Most of the pieces I came up with were pretty twisted and self-indulgent performances about domestic abuse and sexuality, but the one I enjoyed the most was dressing up as a Bond Girl and belching my way through a rendition of Nobody Does It Better. I’m not proud of it, but I think that was probably the beginning.
After University, my friend Kelly and I decided to take a comedy show up to the Edinburgh Festival, as we’d been offered a free venue by someone she knew. We were on at midnight in an old church hall and had an average audience of about three people, but had loads of fun and even got a decent review so decided we’d keep at it. We called ourselves ‘Kerry and Kelly’, which I think probably indicated the level of effort we put into the whole affair, and spent most of the time eating humus and gossiping. But we did manage to put on a few more shows which were quite well-received. After a while, Kelly decided to pursue a proper career and is now a successful TV producer, whilst I decided to carry on, finally taking my own solo character comedy show up to last year’s Edinburgh Festival.
After Eastbourne, what else have you got planned for 2011?
I’m working on a new live comedy show which I’ll be taking up to next year’s Edinburgh Festival, so am doing gigs to try bits and pieces out in London. I also have a few writing projects on the go, including a sitcom set around an old-fashioned sweet shop in a small seaside town.
Longer term, what artistic aspirations do you have?
My dream is to write and perform in my own television sitcom/sketch show. I’d also love to be in a Mike Leigh film and a period drama one day. Preferably as one of those neurotic women they usually have in them, like Imelda Staunton’s character in Cranford or Julie Walters in Pride and Prejudice.
Check Kerry out at That Comedy Thing at Eastbourne's Lamb Inn this Tuesday night (April 5th). It all kicks off at about 7pm and entry is a bargain £8.50 (£7.50 concessions). You can pay on the door or get tickets in advance at oxboffice.com.
Interview by Rob Townsend.