Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Suttie show: interview with Isy Suttie

LOVEABLE comedian Isy Suttie is on tour with a heartwarming show about internet romance and real-life dating disasters. Catriona Reeves spoke to her while on route from Birmingham to Berwick-Upon-Tweed.

CATRIONA REEVES: You’re currently on tour with a show called Pearl And Dave. Are you preparing for the Edinburgh Fringe?

ISY SUTTIE: This is actually the show I did at the Fringe last year, and also on Radio 4. I can’t do Edinburgh this year because I’ll be filming the next series of Peep Show over the summer. It’s actually nice to give my brain a bit of a break - if I had been developing a new show, I would have had to start thinking about it around Christmas.

CR: I thought Peep Show [Suttie plays quirky geek Dobby in the Channel 4 sitcom] had ended!

IS: We had a break from it last year so it hasn’t been on since 2010, but two more series have been commissioned. I’m really looking forward to going back to it. Everyone involved in it feels like family, and David [Mitchell] and Rob [Webb, who play the central characters] are a real laugh.

I’m lucky that I’ve ended up being able to do a mix of things; Peep Show, the touring, and I’m working on a sitcom pilot. I can’t imagine just doing the one thing. Touring as a stand-up can be a bit lonely, although it is a nice feeling that you’ve done it all yourself. 

Luckily I’ve got a support act with me on this tour - Chris Neill, who is in the car with me right now. We’re on our way from Birmingham to Berwick-upon-Tweed. We didn’t realise how far it was until we set off. It’s about a six hour drive!

CR: So tell me about the show Pearl And Dave...

IS: It’s the story of a couple who met at Butlins, then get in contact through Facebook many years later. I perform their emails to each other as songs. Then there’s stuff about my own love life over the years mixed in.

I’ve always performed songs in my shows; I can’t imagine doing something without music, as I’ve been songwriting since I was 11. But it’s taken a long time to get comfortable with a show format where I can fit everything together. Now I’ve found that having a narrative and singing in character really works best for me. It’s a bit more theatrical than what people might have previously seen me do.

CR: Are you planning to take the show further afield?

IS: I’d like to take it to Australia next year. I’ve performed in Australia before, and they’re very comedy savvy over there, so they’re happy to embrace something that’s a bit idiosyncratic. Generally though, I’m not that fussed about travelling. I like to go home to my own bed wherever possible - I’ll be able to do that after the Basingstoke gig.

CR: You seem like such a warm person; do you tend to attract a nice audience?

IS: My audiences are lovely. When Chris and I turned up at the Birmingham venue last night, we got a bit worried because it seemed to be full of rowdy hen parties, but then we found that we were performing in a different room, and there was my audience, with their anoraks and flasks. I was very relieved.

Isy Suttie brings her show, Pearl And Dave, to The Forge at The Anvil, Basingstoke on Wednesday, June 6. Anoraks and flasks are welcome.

  • First published in Newbury Weekly News on Thursday, May 24, 2012

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