The newly neurotic world of mum Lucy
When: Saturday, February 9, 8pm
Where: Hull Truck, Studio Theatre, Ferensway, Hull
To book: 01482 323638
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Roots: Lucy Donna Porter was born in Croydon in 1973. She is half-Irish and half-Sicilian.
Career: After graduating with an English degree from Manchester University, Lucy initially wanted to be a journalist but after working as a researcher on the Mrs Merton Show at Granada TV she decided to try her hand at stand-up instead.
Cuckoo: Her first straight acting role was playing nurse Flynn opposite Christian Slater in the West End stage version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
Tiny: She is an elfin 4ft 11in.
Hubby: She is married to comedian Justin Edwards and they have two children.
Lucy Porter is a shiny, happy, people person. So why is the comedienne's latest show her darkest yet, asks Ian Midgley
L ucy Porter is newly neurotic. She never used to be. Once upon a time, not so long ago, she was a self-professed party girl with few cares in the world and a hedonistic enjoyment of life.
And then motherhood happened.
Now, the stand-up funny girl turned mum-of-two admits she frets. Badly.
Where once life on the road; travelling from town to town, gig to gig, was a Bohemian adventure occasionally punctuated with glamour, now she just worries if she is "screwing up her kids for life" by not being there.
"I'm seriously neurotic," she says, half-jokingly.
"I do worry about being away for more than two nights because I wonder if I'm giving my two daughters serious psychological problems by disappearing off for a couple of days.
"But, hopefully, I think I've got the work-life balance thing pretty good. And I organise my shows now so I'm never away for long.
"I'm doing 40 dates with this tour and it's taking me six months to do them – so it must be one of the slowest tours in history.
"Plus," she says mischievously. "It gives their dad something to do.
"My husband (actor Justin Edwards – star of satirical comedy The Thick Of It) gets to go away filming for weeks at a time, so I look at my nights away with a lie-in and a hotel breakfast bar as my little treat."
Lucy's stately progress around the UK arrives in town next Saturday when the diminutive comedienne (she is 4ft 11in in her cotton socks) brings her latest, acclaimed, show People Person to Hull Truck.
Among the subjects up for consideration on the night, in Lucy's usual happy-go-lucky, butter wouldn't melt-style, will be what George Osborne could learn from the Amazonian Nukaks, big fat Mbuti pygmy weddings, Pamela Anderson and Gloria Hunniford.
Imagine spiky satirical jabs delivered in a velvet glove and you are on the right lines.
Oh, and there will be a fair amount about kids, parenting and daytime TV thrown in for good measure.
"To begin with, I tried really hard not to talk about the kids," she says.
"There's a unwritten rule in the comedy world that you don't do it.
"It's perceived as being a bit lazy, as if it's too easy because kids are inherently funny anyway.
"But the way I look at it is I'm talking about how my life has changed and how I'm reacting to having kids, so it's about me, not them. That's my excuse.
"I suppose the underlying theme of the show, if there is one, is friendship.
"It's about how I met a new friend – with all these other surreal nuggets of anthropology along the way."
The Croydon-born half-Sicilian, who was once described as having the "face of a pixie and the mouth of a docker", also believes her new routine ventures into darker territory than the upbeat material she is usually known for.
She says: "When I wrote the show I thought 'Blimey, this is really dark. I wonder how people are going to react to it?
"But then, when the reviews started coming in at Edinburgh, they all said the usual 'Lucy Porter with her usual upbeat, life-affirming look at the world'.
"So I suppose I'm destined never to be the brooding bleak world view person.
"I'm going to have to leave that to someone else and resign myself to being the happy one."
Lucy describes her recent travels around the UK as "a low-budget British remake of Planes, Trains And Automobiles" as she has battled snowstorms, blocked roads and grounded aircraft to get to some of her more far-flung dates.
"The first week was horrendous," she says.
"Getting to Belfast was the worst. Everything ground to a halt because of the snow and there were several points where I just thought 'shall I give up?'
"But I carried on and got to the venue an hour after the show was supposed to start.
"Luckily it was a really good gig and I think everyone appreciated the fact I'd made the extra effort to get there. Plus, they had all had chance to have a few more drinks, so I was probably brilliantly funny.
"Of course, this week when I haven't got any dates the weather's been fine, which probably means we're due another ice age as soon as I hit the road again.
"But come hell or high water I'll be there in Hull," she says. "The weather won't beat me. I'm neurotic but determined."