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Fiona Allen

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Words: Claire Smith

So you’re well known as an actress and as one of Smack the Pony – so how come this is a debut show?

It’s a weird one, because nobody knows me as a stand up.   It is my debut show – and I almost want to do it quietly without any attention.
People were saying: ‘But you‘ve done comedy for years – but this is so different.

What did you have to learn to become a stand up?

I was very actressy when I started.  I was sticking to my script.  Now it is like I am chatting – I worked it out but it took a few months to free up.

Your show is called ‘On the Run’. Did you feel like a rebel when you went out on the road?

I did!  I’ve had years of work, kids, work kids – and I happen to be living with a particularly work-shy family.   I feel like most women are always doing a hundred more things a day than everyone else.   I was getting so fed up.

I started thinking about stand up and I couldn’t get it out of my head.

So what do you love about it?

You can say what you like and that’s a real freedom.  And I love driving and going to new places.

Were people surprised to see you on the open mike circuit?

I did get one person in their twenties telling me I should move over and let other people come through.

I thought: ‘What, am I supposed to stay at home?”

There’s a lot of ageism.

And I was amazed to find it a thing that some people say they don’t find women funny.

Do people talk a lot about Smack the Pony?

Every few months it gets shown again and I get younger comics saying they used to watch it with their mum.  It’s stood the test of time, which is something I’m proud of.

Fiona Allen: On The Run
Pleasance Courtyard – Upstairs
2nd – 20th August 
2nd & 3rd August 


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