Interview with comedian Angela Barnes

Thank you to comedian Angela Barnes for this Q and A ahead of her tour.


How long does it take to prepare a comedy routine?

How long is a piece of string? Some routines fall into your head fully formed and just work, but more often, they have to be dragged out, kicking and screaming and get knocked about a bit until they work.

Are you always looking for new material? How often do you lack inspiration?

I tend to make a lot of notes as I go about my day. I don’t trust my brain to remember anything, so every little thought, starting point, amusing thing I see, I make a note on my phone, and most of them make sense to me, but some are just nonsense. If my phone was stolen, my notes app would freak a burglar right out

Do you think that comedians can cease to be funny if they appear on television panel shows too much?

I don’t think that’s the case. Obviously when you appear on a TV panel show, there are certain constraints, keeping within the format, the time and channel that the show is being broadcast on. But I don’t think appearing on these shows zaps your power. But if you want to see a comedian at their best, then live is always the way.

What do you do before you go on stage? Do you have a set routine to squash some of your nerves?

I’m a bit of a pacer if I’m nervous about a show. I don’t have any rituals as such. I do always check for bogies. I have nightmares about stepping on stage with a booger hanging out and I don’t realise!

What advice would you give to a school pupil that wants to be a comedian?

I would say that they should have a life first. Comedy is a competitive industry, and there are a LOT of comedians. If you’ve had another career first, then I think you have something else to bring to the table. How you relate  to an audience is so important.

If you want a great day then what 5 things do you find yourself doing?

Listen to The Archers. Swim. Visit a Nuclear Bunker. Drink a decent session ale. Play with a dog.

Angela will be performing ‘Come As You Are’ at London’s Soho Theatre from the 13th – 16th April at for details.