What should people expect from Victorious?
Victorious is an hour-long one-woman show – just me, my piano and guitar paying tribute to my hero, the late, great Victoria Wood. It’s a mix of poems, original songs and Victoria’s classics and it tells the story of how she influenced me as a performer and what she meant to me. There are a couple of poignant moments but overall it’s an uplifting and joyful tribute to an absolute genius who is sorely missed by so many.
Was Victoria Wood always an inspiration for you?
I grew up watching her on TV and my mum would always call me through to watch her, especially when she was playing the piano. I had music lessons from an early age so was always quite fascinated by other female musicians and performers on TV. I really loved French & Saunders and the Smack The Pony series too, which both featured musical comedy and song parodies.
How did you get into musical comedy?
I studied music all through college and university with the intention of becoming a ‘serious’ songwriter – I’d never really planned to be a performer, I just wanted to write songs for other people. But friends kept encouraging me to get up on stage at open mic nights and acoustic nights, and this became a regular thing. I would perform a set of my own songs, but then I would throw in a Victoria Wood song at the end and the reaction was always so huge! It was addictive. Then I discovered another musical comedy performer called Tim Minchin who made me think about writing my own comedy songs and from then I never really looked back! Once you’ve had that buzz from making an audience laugh it’s difficult to go back to being a ‘regular’ singer-songwriter again.
Are you excited to get back to performing live on stage?
Oh yes absolutely! I’ve only had one ‘live’ gig in the last 13 months so this will be my first one back in a long time!! I can’t wait. I’ve done a few online gigs over the last year but they are just not the same. It’s very difficult to perform comedy without a live audience to feed the energy from.
You’re based in Brighton, what are three things you think someone who’s never been to Brighton needs to try (in normal times!)?
I would say a barbecue on Brighton beach at sunset is probably one of my favourite activities. Nothing quite beats that atmosphere – but my pro-tip is to always take a cushion with you – those pebbles are tough on your bum after a while! I would also recommend a wander around the Pavilion and its gardens. If you’ve never seen that building before it’s pretty special, and there’s always a great busker or two to stop and listen to. Finally my other favourite activity is a bike ride along the Undercliff Walk all the way along to Saltdean and back. On a sunny day it’s a lovely way to get some exercise and sea air in your lungs!