Shunning dresses and dolls, donning a football kit and picking up a cricket bat, Karen Bayley’s 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Geezer Bird explores this unladylike behaviour.
“I was sitting in a green room talking football with a male comedian when he turned to me and said ‘You’re such a Geezer Bird’ I asked him what he meant and he said ‘You’re the kind of woman men want to hang out with…’ “I replied ‘Yeah but I want to be kind of woman that men want to hang out of.’
“The more I thought about it the more I realised that I am a Geezer Bird, even when I try to be ladylike something scuppers it.”
Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?
“I’ve worked with Alex before and he’s always very organised, has great venues and works tirelessly to ensure that the Free Festival runs smoothly.”
Why did you get into performing comedy and how did you get started?
“I have always loved comedy and often went to see shows on my own, eventually friends sick of me talking about it, entered me in Channel 4″s So You Think Your Funny competition. Although a new act competition, many entrants have some experience of performing. I was unaware of this, so my first ever gig was in front of 300 people!
Tell us your best and worst experiences as a comedian?
“There’s no better experience than realising that the whole audience are with you; listening and laughing. This is magnified if at first they seem against you. One of my favourite memories was when a prize meant for the ‘best audience member’ was being voted for and someone shouted ‘Give to it to the female comedian’. It was a bottle of tequila, I have kept that bottle – although I drunk the contents.
“A particularly awful gig was at Butlins to an audience that did not want to listen. After 15 mins of being heckled by a group of men, I ended up insulting the whole of the audience and had to leave via the fire escape. Made worse by the fact it was raining heavily and the fire escape was down the side of the audience, in full view of the whole room.”
If you were curating a stand-up show for TV, who would be your guests?
“I would invite my fellow Brummie comedians – plus a few add ons. We get together every now and again and have a Comedy Curry. That would make a great show…”