“We love dark humour. Grief can have a funny side.” | Leopardess on the dark joy of hosting a funeral at Vault Festival

Tell us about the show you’re bringing to the Vault Festival.

Our show is based around the death and funeral of Leopardess member Sarah. She’s actually very much alive and is writing on the show (unless tragedy strikes between now and January 29th). The service will be led by member of the clergy and budding YouTuber, the Reverend Doctor Ro Hooley. You’ll meet lots of characters along the way, all of whom are trying to come to terms with Sarah’s mysterious passing…

What inspired you to centre your show around a memorial service?

We’ve previously performed as a sketch troupe of three (Rosie, Rosie and Sarah) but Sarah wanted to stay behind the scenes this time, so naturally we decided to kill her off. She’s looking forward to attending her own funeral in disguise — maybe she’ll wear a false moustache or a big hat.

What is your trick to making themes like death and grief funny?

We love dark humour and are big fans of shows like Nighty Night (and anything Julia Davis does). Grief can have a funny side. Lots of people (including us) cope with sadness and death through humour. Our director Mairin wrote a comedy called Bereavement: The Musical for Edinburgh Festival a few years ago, so we’ve got form on this.

You haven’t been afraid to shy away from topics like politics and climate change in your previous shows. How much of that kind of thing can audiences expect from this show?

Our last show was about a political party fighting for power and trying to combat environmental disaster by banning custard creams (they contain palm oil) and up-cycling like Kirstie Allsopp. That was five years ago. Since then, we’ve been less amused by politics and climate change. So we’ll be avoiding those topics in this show.

How did you get into sketch comedy?

Rosie and Rosie have previously been members of sketch troupe Simply The Jest. They started at The University of Exeter and went on to appear at Edinburgh Fringe from 2011-2013, playing such venues as Just The Tonic, the infamous Banshee Labyrinth, and not forgetting the acclaimed Chiquitos Mexican restaurant basement. 

Mairin has written and acted with the Cambridge Footlights. 

Sarah has just tagged along with them all.

What do you hope people take away from your show?

We hope people will laugh and enjoy the characters mainly, and be inspired to photoshop their faces onto doves at their own funerals. 

Are there any other shows you’re looking forward to at the Vault Festival?

The thing we love most about Vault Festival is finding brilliant comics and shows we’ve never heard of before, so we’re looking forward to seeing lots of new comedy and theatre. We’d love to catch Nest, on the 16th/23rd Feb by Taffire Theatre, as well as anything by Fight In The Dog Ltd, their stuff is always awesome.

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

We’re not sure that we’re the best people to be offering advice, but we think: be brave and playful and make work that makes you laugh. Go and see lots of other people doing comedy stuff and see what floats your boat.

Leopardess will be at Vault Festival on 29th and 30th January.

Book your ticket here.

Find out more about Vault Festival here.

You can find out more about the group and their work by checking out their website or following them on Facebook and Twitter.

%d bloggers like this: