CB: What is your show about?
SW: At 23 I got all my childhood records from Social Services, the show explores who I am today through the eyes of experts that assessed me. I talk very candidly about my experiences growing up and out of the care system and my mother being a heroine addict. There’s no blaming, it’s all about social responsibility and looking at the wider picture of things. It’s got some dark themes in it but it’s an optimistic show!
CB: Why did you want to write this show?
SW: I don’t think there are many people in comedy that are coming from my background and I thought it was a story and perspective that needed to be told.
CB: What comedians and comedy writers have impacted the way you develop your show structures and material?
SW: Before I went into Comedy I did Theatre, Cabaret and Live Art which has had more of an impact on how I create structure. The Live Artist who I really learnt from were David Hoyle, Stacy Makishi and Bryony Kimmings.
In terms of developing jokes; I learnt from a whole host of comics from Joan Rivers to Richard Prior. Every great comic had something to teach.
CB: What is your advice for new comedians and writers who want to write their first show?
SW: Spend time growing and getting to know yourself as a writer and human before you write a show. When you do write your first show, if it’s autobiographical, make sure you have processed the personal expereinces explored before you begin – that’s what will keep it objective and safe for you and an audience.
Allow time for ideas to ferment. Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t all come flooding out at once. Write drafts and then leave it for a few days/months… whatever it needs. As long as you’re subconsciously thinking about it, the show will come!
Sophie Willan will perform her new show On Record at the Edinburgh Festival. Tickets