Each year, anarchic comedy troupe Weirdos put on a panto* to raise cash for charity. It’s officially December, so we womanned up to using the C-word and asked the Weirdos broads about their weirdest Christmas to date. *Not your traditional pantomime.
I spent all last Christmas Eve vomiting because I was so hungover from the night before. We went for a lovely dinner and everyone was drinking champagne while I continued to puke. We got home and there was a beautiful full moon and my boyfriend kept asking me to go for a walk with him and I kept shouting, “I CAN’T: I’M VOMITING!” Then I made everyone watch A Very Murray Christmas which was really bad.
Finally, at 10pm, I felt ready to eat and went in the kitchen to put some toast on and my boyfriend sat me on a chair and asked me to marry him. It wasn’t perfect but it was a great moment: a proposal and toast in the same minute. Also it was way better than the year before when we had to get our cat put down.
My brother is a turkey farmer so Christmas is even more stressful than it should be. One year when I was helping to pluck the turkeys, (you have to do it when they are still warm so that the feathers come out properly) I was so tired and so cold and a bit drunk on mulled wine I fully inserted my finger in the warm dead turkey’s bum. NOT ON PURPOSE. I haven’t been asked to help since.
In primary school we used to have a fancy dress competition every Christmas. One year my parents dressed me as Anne Boleyn – post execution.
I wore a black velvet period dress my mum had been hoarding, which was way too long and very dusty. My dad had painted a massive 1970s male mannequin head a puke green colour and adorned it with a scary black wig. I walked with it held under my arm and had a very serious expression on my face. The hall fell silent, except for the cries of a few small, terrified children.
Four years ago I went straight from my first bit of clowning in Paris to Sydney, in order to spend Christmas with my dad’s side of the family – none of whom really want to acknowledge that I do comedy.
The flight got delayed because a stewardess accidentally released the emergency slide while we were taking off, which was very funny to watch, as she couldn’t stop herself uncontrollably laughing of shame. Another stewardess quickly took charge of the situation, stifling her colleague’s laughter in a tight embrace to make it look as if she was choking back tears/nuzzling her breasts in anguish.
“Every single present I’d got was drenched; the whole room looked like a sick bomb had hit it.”
I missed my connection in Abu Dhabi and ended up going back to a hotel room to play whist with Eric Lampaert, who I’d never met before, and an Australian girl who happened to live around the corner from me in Dalston. We drank about five bottles of red wine in the eight-hour layover (and ate the five baskets of bread that were brought with the wine because the hotel staff couldn’t serve alcohol at 4am without some sort of breakfast accompaniment).
Very drunk, we got back on the plane with all the other passengers who’d had a nice nap and a wash. I think I was attempting to show Eric a comic on depression that I’d found really inspiring, but he wasn’t at all interested. Eric and the Australian from Dalston fell asleep straight away and I was left alone, increasingly paranoid and less and less drunk.
We got delayed again in Perth and ate Jumbuck’s Aussie Pies to kill time.
I finally arrived in Sydney on Christmas morning, 20 hours later than expected, full of bread, wine and pies. All I remember from that holiday was feeling very jet-lagged and not shitting enough.
One Christmas when I was eight or nine, I gorged myself on so many Celebrations and mince pies that during the night I was sick. I had a loftbed and instead of getting up and going to the bathroom, I just leaned over the side and projectile vomited all over the room from a great height, like a gargoyle on a cathedral.
Every single present I’d got was drenched; the whole room looked like a sick bomb had hit it. My poor parents had to spend their Christmas evening cleaning up the mess, all because of my uncontrollable greed.
Every year my Nanna decorates the Christmas cake with a special scene. She uses marzipan, icing and food colouring to create a tableau of anything from the Antarctic to a Tibetan monastery (she’d been to some Tibetan monasteries that year like a legend). The Christmas cake’s scene is always a Christmas Day highlight, way better than when we have to play her 1984 edition of Trivial Pursuit and I have to answer questions about Radio 1 DJs I’ve never heard of.
Anyway, the weirdest Christmas memory I have is when Nanna’s cake-scene was Tilsworth Manor. Heard of Tilsworth Manor? Nope, me neither. The reason this was a noteworthy cake is the tableau looked like Auschwitz. It looked like my Nanna made an Auschwitz-themed Christmas cake. Pretty weird.
My sister’s the wild cracker of the family and one Christmas morning I was woken by my mum poking her head suspiciously round my door. She quietly beckoned me downstairs where I found my parents huddled around a pair of men’s shoes. “Whose are these?” my mum asked, and promptly started to cry. Although I didn’t know, things became clear when we found a solitary shoe belonging to my sister next to it.
It transpires that, after a particularly boozy Christmas Eve, my sister had bagged a bloke and brought him home, but not before the pair did a runner from a taxi, causing my sister to lose a shoe in a neighbour’s bush.
To say that Christmas morning was awkward may be an understatement: my dad had to drive the random guy home, while my mum refused to speak to my sister, choosing instead to violently stuff a turkey while crying. My sister retreated back into the bush in a hungover hunt for her shoe, leaving me with nothing else to do but announce, “Merry Christmas one and all!”
My family is a large rowdy, noisy bunch of berks. Every Christmas consists of sitting around a makeshift table, courtesy of Dad’s DIY mad skills. Food is brought out, passed around and fought over. The decibel levels could compete with the O2 Arena during a fan frenzy at a Bieber gig.
One year, we ran out of the good gravy, you know, non-packet stuff. My youngest sister hadn’t been feeling very well, and just as someone announced that the gravy had gone, my sister threw up all over her Christmas dinner. So, selfishly, she was fine for gravy.
“I wore a black velvet period dress my mum had been hoarding, which was way too long and very dusty. My dad had painted a massive 1970s male mannequin head a puke green colour and adorned it with a scary black wig.”
Every year we would go to visit Father Christmas at Van Hage garden centre where they had a miniature train to visit Santa. I had decided at the age of 10 to get a French crop because I was in love with my art teacher who had the same haircut, but also the elfin features to carry it off. Unlike me, who just looked like an awkward teenage boy.
Santa sat my younger sister down on his knee (back when this was allowed) and then very loudly said, “What would your brother like for Christmas?”
Out of a weird respect for Santa no one, including my parents, corrected him. I was already having doubts about his validity but this was the nail in the coffin. Now I’m pretty impressed by my androgyny at such a young age. But then, yeah… awks.
The weirdest thing to happen to me around the festive period was when I was visiting my family in America for Christmas. My uncle is known for liking the drink and over Christmas we were staying in his home, a house best described as ‘Tim Burton-esque’. The type of home in a fairy tale where kids dare each other to go inside and tell stories of ghosts. (All the surrounding houses were spotless havens whereas my uncle had no interest in upkeep.)
We were joking about how my uncle has selective hearing and wasn’t listening to any of us, so people were saying words like ‘puppies’, ‘sexy ladies’ and ‘chocolate’ to try to get his attention. I said ‘gin and tonic’ and suddenly his face lit up and he was listening to us.
I’ve never seen a ghost, but I always got a weird vibe from that house. A few years ago I found out my uncle moved house because he was certain it was haunted as he’d discovered a man had died there not long before my uncle moved in. Creepy.
My Big Fat Weirdos Christmas Wedding is on 7-9 December at Leicester Square Theatre, London, 9.30pm, £12. Tickets available here.
All proceeds go to Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity
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Weirdos are a London based collective of alternative comedians, idiots and a crocodile. Expect silliness and anarchy.