Image by Karla Gowlett
Tell us about your show, Catch.
This is a storytelling stand-up show which details where my life is right now and reflecting how I got here! It’s filled with gossip and ridiculous anecdotes but it’s fun and feel-good (I hope…).
Will your fantastic cartoons feature much in this show?
Oh I wish I could include them! Maybe that’s something I could work towards. But I hopefully will have my comic book for sale afterwards.
This will be your first hour long show. What about this show made you think yeah this is the one that deserves a full hour?
I wanted to express all the feelings I have in this show and think it’s all quite relevant to where I’m at right now. I’ve grown in confidence as a performer and feel as ready as ever. I had a sketchy show that was a 40 minute outing in 2018 and I think I was too vulnerable in it. And also a lot of people who came to watch expected a sex show so it is with some relief I didn’t perform that show as an hour!!!
Does it feel very different approaching an hour long show, as opposed to the shorter ones you’ve done in the past?
I think I definitely have a clearer idea of who I am on stage, and my voice, so it’s meant I am better at editing early on. Also it’s both nice having to write around a story – before I’ve just brought ideas out and been a bit aimless
How much has the show changed since the 45-minute version you performed at the Edinburgh Fringe?
Quite a bit – I’ve cut a lot out, slapped stuff in, and I’m tweaking bits endlessly! Edinburgh is an absolute beast and if there’s something that only half-works, you’ll soon know it doesn’t. I’m so glad I had the chance to do a work in progress!! The heart of the show is still very much the same though.
How did your Edinburgh run go?
It was really hard work – I had wonderful shows and mad tough ones. My venue (Gilded Balloon) were so amazing and supportive, so I never felt I was alone! I got some genuinely heartwarming responses from audiences and comedians I really respect. I did feel very lucky at the end, and ready for the hour.
What made you want to debut Catch at the Women in Comedy Festival?
I did a split bill in 2016 with Dannie Grufferty and it was such a beautiful festival that I’ve been itching to return ever since. I spent my formative years growing up in Manchester and it’s where I first got into stand up comedy as a punter. It’s a brilliant city and a brilliant festival!
Are there any other shows at the Festival that you recommend people catch?
Literally EVERYONE! If I could watch every show on I would. Thanyia Moore and Kathryn Mather are utterly brilliant, and have both made me cry with laughter. Harriet Dyer is a treat to be in the company of. The programming is incredible
How do you think comedy as an industry could improve to be more supportive of women?
I think booking more women for bills and comedy nights would be a brilliant start. I think the industry needs to be less ageist, and I also think it needs to really be more supportive to working class performers. According to comedians who’ve been around for a couple of decades the pay for comedy has gone down, which prices out a lot of people from doing it.
It’s also frustrating how a lot of panel shows (TV and radio) will book one female guest per show and that guest is either a reality TV star, pop star or journalist, and all the men will be comedians.
Things are getting better, I think and hope!
Do you have any advice for other women looking to break into comedy?
I would say reach out to every female act you perform with. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to help mentor you. The friendships I’ve made through comedy are the best and hopefully for life. It’s not a race, have tunnel vision and keep writing and performing. Doing comedy will change who you’re attracted to but best avoid male comedians.
Maddie is performing her show Catch on October 7th as part of the Women In Comedy Festival.