Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Catriona Knox: Thinks She’s Hard Enough

By | Published on Thursday 9 April 2015

Like us, you may have come across the ace Catriona Knox as one of comedy sketch trio the Boom Jennies, but we have also carefully followed her solo work, especially up in Edinburgh, where she has garnered high praise from our reviewers, most recently with ‘Catriona Knox Thinks She’s Hard Enough’, the show that she is to briefly revive in London next week.

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When I heard Knox was headed for Soho Theatre with her well received comedy characters, I sent a few questions over, to get an update on what we can expect from the show.

CM: Tell us about ‘Catriona Knox Thinks She’s Hard Enough’. What kind of characters can we expect?
CK: Ridiculous, high-octane, very very silly ones. This show’s definitely the most riotous one I’ve done, which is saying something, seeing as last year I made an audience member do an entire French oral and a ballroom dance. One of my characters this year is Nick Clegg, which is fun. Trapped people full of desperation and self-loathing are always fun to play.

CM: Does each new show have all new characters or do you bring old favourites back?
CK: I always try to make the show all new, despite the fact that my mum constantly implores me to resurrect a character I did back when God was a foetus. “I don’t want to do that one Mum, it’s from ten years ago”, “well why not just do it as an encore?” “I probably won’t Mum”.

CM: Do you have a favourite character in this show?
CK: The mad evangelical preacher Gaston Paul. He’s joyful. Sort of without meaning to I’ve created more male characters than female ones this year, which is ever so political of me, guys.

CM: We first came across your work as one member of sketch troupe the Boom Jennies. Are the three of you likely to join forces again in the near future?
CK: The second series of our BBC Radio 4 show, ‘Mission Improbable’, aired last year, so we’re still working on projects together. We have a lot of mutual friends so we’ll probably all get to be bridesmaids at a wedding at some point, and p’r’aps try out a few new sketches there.

CK: This is the show you took to Edinburgh last summer, isn’t it? How did the run go there?
CM: I am bringing last year’s show back to life, yes. And I should think this resurrection will be greeted with just as much excitement and joy as the one in biblical times. Edinburgh 2015 was brilliant, probably my best year yet. I had fun on stage every day, got lovely reviews and had plenty of bums on seats, and I don’t think you can ask for more than that really. Now’s a good time to revisit the show because I have properly fresh eyes on it. Not my puffy, alcohol-clouded Edinburgh ones.

CM: Have you been on tour with it since then? Are there more dates planned?
CK: I haven’t toured the show yet and at the moment it’s just these three dates at the Soho theatre, so grab them while you can! I am wondering about a possible 2016 US tour, coinciding with the presidential election though. Hoping if I attach myself to Hillary’s campaign she’ll agree to be my support act.

CM: Has it changed or developed at all at all since the early performances?
CK: Absolutely. The joy of doing a really audience-interactive show is that it’s different every day. Audiences love topical references and the idea that you’re sharing something totally authentic and in-the-moment. My Nick Clegg character has undergone a bit of a revamp because apparently there’s an election happening soon or something (the media have been quiet on that front so don’t feel bad if you weren’t aware). Poor old Cleggo’s even more desperate now than he was in August so his sanity loss is my show’s gain.

CM: You volunteer with London-based charity project Scene & Heard, don’t you? What’s that about?
CK: Scene & Heard is probably the most fun you can have as an actor. Each term they help ten nine year olds to write a play and then actors perform them. They’re not allowed to write human characters so last term I played the Loch Ness Squid. They’re always the funniest scripts I ever read. Everyone should go see it if they have the chance. It’s the most original night at the theatre you’ll ever have.

CM: What else are you working on at the moment? Any new projects coming up?
CK: I’ve been playing Emily Surname, a ridiculously generic news reporter in Charlie Brooker’s ‘Weekly Wipe’ on BBC2, which has been fun. I’m not going to the Fringe this year for the first time in eight years (in Edinburgh years that basically means you’re a narky pensioner on a mobility scooter) but I’m planning a corker for Edinburgh 2016, hopefully with a certain former First Lady in to.

‘Catriona Knox Thinks She’s Hard Enough’ is on at Soho Theatre from 16-18 Apr. See the venue website here for more info.

LINKS: sohotheatre.com | www.catrionaknox.com | twitter.com/catrionaknox



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