“One guy turned up in a wedding dress…” | Jay Bennett on reliving the glitz and glamour of the ’80s in An Audience With Yasmine Day

Tell us about the show you’re bringing to the Soho Theatre, An Audience with Yasmine Day. 

It’s a character comedy show about a disillusioned ‘80s diva called Yasmine Day. She essentially attempts to put on this huge concert in front of an audience of celebrity guests to revive her career. It’s very silly and has lots of big costumes, dance routines and a few of Yasmine’s awful ‘80s ‘hits’.

What inspired you to write a show set in the music industry of the ‘80s?

The show isn’t really about the music industry of the ‘80s, it’s more about Yasmine and her slightly deluded personality! She came to life by accident at an ‘80s themed themed comedy night and I’ve been performing as her ever since! Obviously I still had to research the ‘80s music industry, which was fun. It was such a time of excess and some really crappy pop songs. 

What about that era and that aesthetic do you most think needs preservation?

The shoulder pads. Obviously. 

What drew you to combining comedy and cabaret?

I trained as a singer and always wanted to use it in comedy somehow. I always had the idea I was going to do some sort of singing character but didn’t know what. It was a happy accident I came across Yasmine! 

I love cabaret and variety too and love that I can sort of bridge the gap between both.

Can you give us a glimpse into the sort of juicy celebrity anecdotes the show contains?

Ha! There’s a GREAT one about Madonna but Yasmine would kill me if I told! You’ll have to come and watch! Let’s just say it involves a Wimpy burger and a very angry pub manager. 

You performed this show at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe. How did your run go?

It was great! I did it at the Pleasance Courtyard which was amazing. So many great comics perform there so the pressure is on slightly! 

I loved the audiences, although I was on very late at night so had a few drunken audience members to contend with. One guy turned up in a wedding dress…

What do you hope people take away from your show?

I hope they have fun mostly. I wanted the show to be really glitzy and fun and silly, but there is a darker element to Yasmine’s character, which we see throughout the show. 

I want the audience to fall in love with Yasmine, because she’s such an idiot but doesn’t know it. 

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

Do loads and loads of gigs! You’ll only get better, even if you feel like it’s a bit crap, you learn something from every gig.

Jay is performing An Audience with Yasmine Day at Soho Theatre on 20th and 21st February.

Book your ticket here.

You can keep up with Jay’s work by following her on Twitter, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as Yasmine.

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