Kate-Lois-Elliot Camden Fringe 2022

Camden Fringe 2022 Interview: Kate-Lois Elliott on her show Gentrif*cked

The stand-up and podcast host tells us about cults, comedy and influencer culture

What’s your show about?
Gentrif*cked is about a lot of things – village life, generations, class – but it’s mainly about being at a crossroads during a really chaotic time in our history and trying to figure out what your meant to do whilst, amidst the chaos, the goalposts keep changing. 

There’s also a story about me getting emotionally terrorised by a small dog, so something for everyone…

…and cults?
Yes, my mum was brought up in a Christian sect (cult) and left on her own when she was a teenager. When I was younger, I was obsessed with cults… for quite a while, to the point where my mum was worried I might join one. But what I was trying to do was to figure out why my family would be in one in the first place.

What has stand up taught you about people?
It’s reaffirmed for me that you can’t control how people are going to react to things, and that everyone has a tribe. 

The comics I’ve met doing Diversify Podcast, and on the circuit, have taught me that the we’re all just scrambling to get it right, and the fear of messing up never really goes away, no matter how far up the ladder you are.

Do you get nervous before performing? What helps you overcome that?
Nerves are good, as long as you can use them to your advantage. I think doing standup has forced me to accept nerves as a part of my day-to-day existence, but also, if you die on stage (and you will at some point) the world isn’t going to end. I suffer from a specific form of anxiety, and that process has really helped me stop obsessing over things that I ultimately can’t control. Gentrif*cked is playing for one night only, Friday, 5th August at Camden Comedy Club. Tickets and Info.

comedian kate Lois Elliott

What is your process like?
Generally, the same as any other comic: if something funny happens, I’ll write that down and try to make it funnier. But I come from a theatre background, so what ties it together is usually a thought or a story. I don’t like the idea of going out there with a bunch of one liners, what excites me is interacton and being in the moment.

Who inspires you?
On the surface, my humour is quite dry. I grew up watching standups like Eddie Izzard and Victoria Wood, and theres a video of Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore (in the pub) that I could probably recite for you word-for-word. It’s the ridiculousness and, frankly, the corpsing (when the performers lose it and laugh) that gets me. You feel like you’ve been invited into their world. Female comics who led the way for my generation like Aisling Bea and Katherine Ryan have massively influenced me. When I was growing up there was (the brillaint) Jo Brand and that was pretty much it. 

Your British Writers’ Guild Award nominated series, How To Be Maggie: With Maggie P, was described as an incredibly nuanced observation of influencer culture. Would you say that all your work falls into a similar realm?
Absolutely not, but I might be wrong! I don’t really think about those observations when I’m writing. Obviously, they do come from my brain, but mainly I’m just enjoying coming up with stupid gags. The web series I’m currently working on with writer Chloe Partridge, The Real Wicked Witches of the West Country, is about traditional witches stuck in a modern world (think a hipster What We Do In The Shadows) and it’s completely absurd. I guess that’s what makes it relatable is that the two of them just want to be seen for who they are, but someone recently told me they thought it was a clever social observation of that whole ‘yoga and spirulina smoothies spiritual thing’ and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, also that.’

Why is comedy so important in today’s world?
I’m not saying anything new here, but laughter is a gift! It took me a long time to realise that being able to make people laugh was a valuable thing. The comedy industry has changed a lot in recent years, not only when it comes to representation but in terms of its audiences. It’s not just about the working man’s clubs anymore. I love going to see a person’s show and hearing about their real experiences, and they make me laugh but also, maybe, they challenge the way I see the world… or maybe they just make me feel seen because I’m that weird too…

Hear Kate’s Fringe voicemail below, and discover more from all the artists on the exclusive audio listings page

Gentrif*ucked

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