“Oh it is bleak! But that doesn’t mean it can’t be funny.” | Jojo Sutherland on finding the joy in dark places in Riches to Rags

Tell us about your show, Riches to Rags.

It’s a romp through the things that have shaped me thus far with a reveal in the show that has shaped me for the future. Humour and context lies at the very core of everything I stand for.

This is your first solo show in five years. What made you decide that now was the right time for another show?

I’ve been gigging a lot since my last solo show. But there was an event in my life that happened in that time that prompted me to finally talk about it onstage. I’d be spoiling the show if I told you what it was!

In your comedy, you discuss moments from your life that you describe as tragedies. What made you want to include such personal things in your act?

I’ve always talked (and laughed) about my own personal experiences. Tragedy, in some form, happens to everyone so using humour to relate to other people with similar experiences is something I find very rewarding.

You’ve talked about some quite dark topics in the past, but this show is the most explosive yet. Just how much harder hitting can it get?

Oh it is bleak! But that doesn’t mean it can’t be funny. Some of the best comedy comes from the darkest of places and I am genuinely proud of the subjects I tackle and the fact that people have laughed heartily. Not everyone, but then comedy is subjective and you can’t make everyone happy… unfortunately.

Your show explores the pursuit of happiness. Do you have any existential secrets you’ve learned that you can share with us?

See above. You can’t hope to make everyone happy and you shouldn’t compromise or bend your beliefs to try to persuade others – just speak your own truth and respect those that don’t always agree.

What made you want to debut Riches to Rags at the Women in Comedy Festival?

I was asked and I have always been a huge supporter of women in comedy. It fills me with joy that there are so many wonderfully funny and talented women now working in the industry.

Are there any other shows at the Festival that you recommend people catch?

The choice is phenomenal and I’m always drawn to the likes of Harriet Dyer, Louisa Omeilan and Jo Neary. There are names I haven’t had the pleasure of working with yet so I’d like to catch some new faces. It’s always good for audiences to move out of their comfort zone.

How do you think comedy as an industry could improve to be more supportive of women?

Having a vagina should not automatically gain you a gig but neither should it preclude it! The wheels are turning slowly and more and more women are coming into the profession but I’m a firm believer in – if you are funny you will get the gigs and supporting and promoting each other is a no brainer.

Do you have any advice for other women looking to break into comedy?

Do it, just get along to an open mic and do it! 

Jojo is performing Riches to Rags on October 11th as part of the Women in Comedy Festival.

Book your ticket here.

Find out more about the Women in Comedy Festival here.

To keep up with other things Jojo has going on, you can check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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