CB: What’s your show about?
SW: I’ve had a lifetime of being branded by others. Branded by my working class background, my gender even my ‘Northerness’. I challenge all of these labels and show how simplistic branding of identity doesn’t work.
I look at the social context of my background and explore working class identity through my own personal experience.
CB: Why did you write this show?
I wanted to write a show that was in direct response to what I have experienced this year – both personally and politically.
SW: What comedians and comedy writers have impacted the way you write your show structures and material?
SHOW STRUCTURE: Coming from a background in Theatre and Live Art background, I’ve been more influenced by Theatre than comedy … people like Forced Entertainment, Bryony Kimmings and Stacy Makishi were big influences on my work when I first started out.
MATERIAL: When I first got into stand up I was blown away by Richard Prior, Robin Willaims and Louis C K. And watching Joan Rivers really helped me break down joke writing.
I think theatre/live-art tends to be better at well throughout show structure. But I think the material is often much more precise and sharp in stand up.
So I like to utilise both these skill sets.
CB: What is your advice for new comedians and writers who want to write their first show?
SW: Give yourself a few years honing your skill as a writer and understanding yourself as a performer before you commit to a full hour… Then when you’re ready, go for it and have fun!
Sophie Willan will perform her show Branded at the Edinburgh Festival. Tickets.