Photo credit: Karla Gowlett
Tell us about your show, Knee Jerk.
The tour version of Knee Jerk is so exciting for me. I’m taking 50% of the 1hr version of the show, and mixing it with 50% of my previous 1hr show Trying and making this really cool extended fusion show all about personal anxiety, social anxiety, worry, the environment, conception.
I’m really thrilled to have so much time to play with on stage and have more material than I know what to do with so I know the show will be bursting with really good set pieces.
What inspired you to write a show centred on the anxiety caused by the biggest problems facing humanity?
I always end up writing about what’s on my mind, and I was really interested in other ways to be a political comedian. Trying is such an internal show, so I wanted Knee Jerk to look out a bit more, but my way, you know?
I’m not really interested in telling jokes about politicians or about what’s happening in Westminster. I want to be rooting around in people’s behaviour and what that means for politics.
Did writing this show teach you anything about coping with reality that you can share with us?
It didn’t… hahaha! I’m so sorry. People always really want to hope that doing these shows is somehow therapeutic or helpful but for me they just aren’t really.
They’re not the process of me dealing with my shit, they’re the result. I’ve had loads of therapy, and done loads of work on coping with myself and the world, but putting it on display for judgement in the name of entertainment definitely isn’t the learning part of it!
What do you think humanity’s best bet of reconnecting might be before we reach a point of mutually assured destruction?
Boom that’s a question innit?! I don’t know… I have a feeling we won’t learn until something big happens to shock us. I don’t think history has often caught humans backing away from the brink without something forcing us.
What’s your secret to finding the funny side of society’s more serious issues?
Honesty. You have to take the big huge scary idea and find all the small components that make it part of everyday life and then focus on those.
This is your first full UK tour. How are you feeling going into it?
Full of beans! I’m so excited about having 90 minutes on stage every time I do it. That’s so much time to enjoy and get deep and really build a world with an audience! Ahhh!
What do you hope people take away from your show?
Stomach ache from laughing. I hope people just have a really good laugh and come away feeling slightly less exhausted.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to break into comedy?
Be prepared to want to do everything straight away, but realise that you’re best when you’ve had time to learn slowly. I think the best comedy is the stuff that’s aged a bit before it’s given exposure.
Laura is touring Knee Jerk from 5th February to 21st June.