Please tell us about your brand of comedy- what can audiences expect?

When you come and see my shows, you're getting a 'show'. Expect high energy riffs, unexpected impressions, vocal stings, physical comedy and my own world view. I believe in throwing it all in to the mix. I'm not a comedian who looks at their shoes or mentions how clever they think are every 10 minutes. I don't do stuff that's niche and my aim is also to get maximum laughs and I think that comes from working in comedy clubs every week. My brand of comedy has been described by the press as 'stand-up plus' and a reviewer last week said 'She's unique...there is nobody like Abi Roberts'. That will do me.

Which comedians have been your biggest influence since you decided this was your path?

Kerry Godliman - she makes it look effortless, Russell Kane - throws it all in there, he's amazing, Richard Pryor - his ability to story tell and paint characters whilst being hilarious is second to none. Robin Williams had a massive influence on me as well I saw him in the USA a few years back when I was working over there and it was just something to behold.

What random things make you laugh in everyday life?

My dog dragging its bum along a carpet. In fact, anything with dogs doing silly things.

Please tell us about your best and worst moment on stage so far.

Best moment was being on stage in Moscow earlier this year and getting big laughs for my routines in Russian. That was a major career high point for me. Worst moment was being heckled by the mafia during one of those shows. Come to Anglichanka and hear why!

Do you still get nervous when you do a gig?

Oh yes. The day a comic doesn't get those butterflies, they should quit. Lots of comics used to throw up in the sand bucket backstage at big theatres before going on.. including Frankie Howerd. In my opinion, nervous energy is part of what makes a really good performer and I channel that energy into the show as best I can.

Why is Edinburgh Fringe Festival such a great platform for comedians?

You've got thousands of people all looking to watch comedy! Plus, it's the best place to do 28 shows and get better as a comic. It's also great for comics like me who play quite a few comedy clubs throughout the year doing 20/25 minutes or MCing because we get to do an hour maybe about something we wouldn't normally do. It's also brilliant for creating more awareness within the industry and for me more importantly for building your own audience. I am seeing the same people coming back after 3 years.

Who are you looking forward to seeing as an audience member?

I'm looking forward to seeing Carey Marx, Carl Donnelly and Kirsty Newton's shows.

What is your advice to aspiring comedians?

This is something I got from the wonderful Barry Church Woods - Be good, be nice and be present. Also, if you know your writing needs improving then work hard on that and if your performance skills are lacking then do as much of that as you can. Don't run before you can walk - stand-up is a marathon not a sprint. Say hello to your fellow comics in a green room and be especially nice to the MC. Stick to your time.

What is the oddest heckle you've ever received?

"Be careful, the windows have ears" - it was a member of the Moscow mafia at one of my Russian shows in Moscow. I could see the gun in his jacket. I also once had a dog being violently sick in the front row. Not much you can say to a heckler who is throwing up grass whilst puking.

What is next for you?

This show ANGLICHANKA is going on tour - the UK, one or two dates in the US and then over to Russia and Eastern Europe next year, plus the usual comedy club gigs. I also just did my first feature film One Under for the brilliant director Ruth Pickett, my first TV pilot for SKY called Bucket List (both released later this year), plus I've got another TV thing which starts shooting later this year and a radio pilot in the works. Watch this space!

Abi Roberts

Abi Roberts


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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