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

Anna Morris

Anna Morris

I'm a character comedian - so I create naturalistic but ridiculous female characters, my most popular being a very snobby Bridezilla, who is the star of my comedy wedding blogs.

In Edinburgh, audiences can expect a different show every day, unique to them because they get to choose much of the content, and I semi-improvise! My shows are always set in a clear world, of which the audience become highly involved. In this case, they are invited to be 'guests' at the wedding rehearsal of Britain's Biggest Bridezilla, Georgina.

She's marrying a Conservative MP in Edinburgh Castle at the end of August, and so she's using the festival as an excuse to try it out…22 times, to make sure it's as perfect as her!

The audience are asked to contribute to the wedding planning - they can pick the song I walk down the aisle to, shout objections, write the speeches etc.… Expect chaos, an angry Bride, a surprising twist and most of all, the most fun you'll have in Edinburgh.

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

Victoria Wood without a doubt. I was devastated by her recent death. At the age of 8 my parents showed me one of her TV shows and I was hooked. I said 'this is what I want to do'. Her jokes are timeless, her characters beautifully observed.

What random things make you laugh in everyday life?

My Mum is very funny - often unintentionally so. When we were on holiday she rested her feet on a table heater and melted her shoes, and then got her lip liner mixed up with her eyeliner…. she is the funniest woman I know!

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

Best moment was last year's first show, when I finished, bowed and got a standing ovation. We'd had to turn 50 people away as too many people turned up. I'd kept the show really low key as I wasn't sure it would work, plus I had been diagnosed with a virus the day before and told to rest and not work so I felt dreadful. Somehow I got through it and I was totally overwhelmed when everyone stood up as I was really worried it would go horribly wrong!

Do you still get nervous when you do a gig?

Yes most of the time, especially if I'm trying new material. The adrenaline really helps. If I'm not nervous then I find I'm normally flat on stage. Nerves can be horrible - I sometimes shake or feel sick but once I get going I'm ok. On the day of the first show- I won't have slept much the night before and I'll feel sick all day until it's over!

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

I think the discipline of writing a 1 hour show to a deadline, and then having to do that show multiple times ensures that as a comedian, you improve your skills and find your style. I do about 22 - 25 shows each Edinburgh and can feel myself learning as I go along, binning bad gags, finding new ones, being braver. It's good place for TV industry people to see what you can do, and to build up an audience.

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

I'm excited to see new shows from musical comedian Rachel Parris and stand-up Ellie Taylor. The Birthday Girls also return this year - their shows are always like going to a brilliant party. And I cannot wait to see character comedian Colin Hoult give us an hour of his brilliant theatrical creation, Anna Mann.

What is your advice to aspiring comedians?

Read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic. Be prepared to fail and then get back up and do it all over again. You only improve as a performer by failing and learning. Don't ignore your audience or blame your audience. Listen carefully to them - if a gag doesn't work the first time try it another 2 times and bin it if it doesn't get a laugh. Find your own style and stay true to it. Don't get swept up in trying to impressive industry, trying to find an agent, trying to get constant amazing reviews. Remember it's the audience who are paying to see you - focus on them first, learning from them, entertain them and the rest will follow.

What is the oddest heckle you've ever received?

Well audiences are allowed to 'heckle' me during the wedding objections when I ask for them. I love this bit. They are heckling the character I suppose (who is a monster) but they constantly surprise me. The objection/heckle was a guy who stood up and shouted you can't marry him because I love him! I love Simon!' and then one by one all male members of the audience decided to join in and repeat the objection until everyone was chanting it!

What is next for you?

I want to write a new show for next year - perhaps another interactive one but with new characters. I've been in a few pilots this year so waiting to see if any are commissioned, I'm writing a Radio show and working on few sitcom ideas.

Wedding Invitation Trailer:

Listings

Title Of Show: 'Anna Morris: It's Got To Be Perfect'

Venue: The Voodoo Rooms - Ballroom (19a West Register Street)

Time: 3.55pm (1 hour)

Dates: 6th - 28th August (except 17th)


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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