CB: What is your show about?
JS: Confidence, the Spice Girls and homophobia. Which I think we can all agree is the holy trio of comedy.
CB: Why did you write this show?
JS: To see if I could. I’m basically testing myself, because I had long thought that I was not the kind of comedian that could easily put together an hour of material. I thought I was better suited to 20 minutes of rude jokes rather than a cohesive body of wry social commentary. I’ll leave it to the Fringe audiences to decide which is more true.
CB: What comedians and comedy writers have impacted the way you write your show structures and material?
JS: I love shows that are quite confidently NOT stories. I mean I love a good story, but if you don’t have a single story to tell then you shouldn’t pressure yourself to invent one. Frankie Boyle, Phil Wang, Joe Lycett and Katherine Ryan are all great at ‘curating’ an hour of funny material which is still just as thematic, revealing and enlightening as any linear coming of age tale.
Lolly Adefope and Claudia O’Doherty are also so brilliant at adding in an extra layer of artifice, through silly characters and bonkers concepts that somehow seem so much more genuine than some straight stand-ups who are “being themselves”. A bit of an artsy concept can actually be quite liberating as it means you can go to unexpected places with the writing.
CB: What is your advice for new comedians and writers who want to write their first show?
JS: Don’t listen to me. I know nothing.
Joe Sutherland will perform his show Model/Actress at the Edinburgh Festival.