In the lead up to our big Standard Issue Stands Up For Comic Relief gig on Monday 11 May at the Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, we’re asking each of our line-up a few questions. Holly Walsh is all about the dachshunds.
We’ve been merrily banging on about our brilliant forthcoming gig for Comic Relief (Monday 11 May, The Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, ON SALE NOW). And yes we’re biased, but it is one hell of a bill: Sarah Millican, Jo Brand, Jenny Eclair, Katherine Ryan, Susan Calman, Jess Fostekew, Sara Pascoe and Holly Walsh. And there are still more names to be announced.
We grabbed a quick natter with Holly Walsh, a talented standup who has made awkward the new cool. Well, kind of cool. Her carefully crafted jokes and sunny disposition have won her a legion of fans who appreciate her nerdy take on the everyday. She’s also a Radio 4 regular and co-wrote BBC3 sitcom Dead Boss with Sharon Horgan.
What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?
Two things: both at festivals. One time I was asking the security guard how good he’d be at protecting me if someone stormed the stage, and a bloke walked into the tent with a massive bow and arrow. And another time, I challenged an eight-year-old boy as to who could reach the back of the tent first via stage diving. He won.
Where do you get your inspiration for material?
I wish I knew that. I don’t really know. But wherever it comes from, it’s always a bit unexpected. And I’m usually either walking to or from the loo.
Which women have inspired you and how?
Recently, Libby Lane. She was the first female bishop to be ordained in the Church of England. That’s a tough job but a – long overdue – step forward.
If you could befriend anyone from history, who would it be and why?
Nora Ephron. Although that’s pretty recent history. I’ve just finished reading three of her books on the trot and I’m obsessed with her.
What were you like as a kid?
I was a total nerd. The highlight of my school year was parents’ evening. That’s like the swot’s sports day.
What brings you joy?
ANY VIDEO WITH A DACHSHUND IN IT.
Please could you share the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given.
Always check your flies are done up before going on stage.
What’s always on your ‘to do’ list that never gets done?
Back up my computer. I’m going to do that now.
Most people are well aware of the vital work Comic Relief does at home and overseas, but might not be as aware of the work it does with women. All the money raised by Standard Issue Stands Up for Comic Relief will be used to help vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls here in the UK and across Africa.
From tackling violence against women, raising awareness and educating communities about the harm caused by female genital mutilation to ensuring that the number of women dying in childbirth across sub-Saharan Africa continues to fall, the cash raised will help to make a big difference to women and girls living incredibly tough lives.
Standard Issue Stands Up for Comic Relief is on Monday 11 May at The Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, 7:30pm.
Visit nimaxtheatres.com/lyric-theatre/standard_issue_stands_up_for_comic_relief for more information.
All profits from this event will be donated to Comic Relief.