Fancy a laugh? If so, you might want to start thinking about
getting yourself to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August.
One of the acts on offer there will be DIVA favourite Suzi
Ruffell. It's not just us who like her, either; Suzi is a Leicester
Mercury Comedian of the Year nominee and Latitude New Act of the
Year finalist. If you can make it to Edinburgh, you can catch her
playing to audiences daily from 1- 26 August (excluding Monday 13
August) at the Pleasance Cellar at 6.00pm.
Suzi's been tipped as 'one to watch' by Time Out, and with good
reason. Her show Let's Get Ready to Ruffell opens the door on her
inability to grow up, her social ineptitude and desperate need to
fit in. Let's Get Ready to Ruffell is a hilarious insight into life
of 20-something with tales of acute embarrassment, terrible bullies
and holding desperately on to the fun and freedom of
We grabbed a couple of minutes to chat with Suzi, and here's
what was said:
DIVA: For those who haven't seen your stand up before,
can you tell us a bit about your comedy style and what they can
expect from Let's Get Ready to Ruffell.
Suzi: Let's get Ready to Ruffell is my first
solo hour. Its basically an excuse for me to talk about myself for
an hour. I do observation storytelling with a physical kick- I am
aware that makes almost completely no sense.
DIVA: You've been doing stand up for three years now. Do
you remember your first paid gig? When and where was it and how did
Suzi: My first paid gig was doing the ten minute
spot at Banana Cabaret. I was utterly petrified, but it was great
fun. It is one of my favourite London clubs to play.
DIVA: You're doing warm up for Kevin Bridges though July.
What's the secret to "warming up" an audience? Generally speaking,
is it difficult to go on first, is it easier to be in the middle..
Suzi: I can't wait to get on tour with Kevin; it
starts in just a few days. Warming up is basically getting the
audience ready for the show, a bit of chat and some jokes. Getting
them excited for the main attraction. I did the warm up for Josh
Widdicombe earlier in the year and it was so much fun!
First, middle or last? It's different each night. Some audiences
are up for it and ready from the off, some take a bit longer and
some are drunk by the time the last act gets on. You never know
which is part of the thrill of stand up.
DIVA: How do people respond to references to your
sexuality in your sets at mainstream venues? Do you think lesbian
stand ups might be less threatening that gay male stand ups? Or is
it not an issue at all?
Suzi: I don't think it's an issue at all. I
always talk about being gay on stage in mainstream clubs, I have
very very rarely had any kind of problems. Once a guy shouted he
that he could fix me. I told him if there was an off switch my
mother would have pressed it years ago and moved on.
DIVA: That's a great response. Do you get nervous before a
gig? How do you deal with the nerves?
Suzi: Yes I get nervous before every gig, I
need it for the adrenalin. The day I stop getting butterflies will
be the day I give up, it will mean that I don't care anymore and I
never want that to happen.
DIVA: Can you describe the feeling when you're doing a set
in front of a big audience and it's going great?
Suzi: Like going really fast down a hill on your
bike. Feels great but you have to concentrate because you could
fall off at any moment.
DIVA: Are there any subjects you think should be out of
bounds for stand ups?
Suzi: No, if it's funny do it.
DIVA: Can you confirm that your taxes are fully paid
Suzi: Yes, just about!
DIVA: Finally, other than your show, what should we
definitely go and see at Edinburgh?
Suzi: Jen Brister of course; Susan Calman for
Luisa Omelian is doing a show on the free fringe which will be
Josh Widdicombe - I have already seen the show, it's great.
There are so many great shows at the fringe, definitely go and
see some of the big names but why not try a newcomer like me, you
might just find what you are looking for (you might not, terms and
Suzi will be performing nightly throughout the Edinburgh
Fringe Festival at the Pleasance Cellar at 6:00pm.
Follow her on Twitter: @suziruffell