Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Sarah Callaghan: Elephant

By | Published on Wednesday 9 March 2016


Next week, up and coming (not to mention youthful) stand up Sarah Callaghan takes her critically acclaimed show ‘Elephant’ to Soho Theatre following a highly successful run with it at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
She’s a comedy natural, oozing with talent, so of course I wanted to talk to her. I asked a few quick questions, to find out more about the show, her career, and what’s coming up next.

CM: Tell us about ‘Elephant’ – is it a show with a specific theme? What sort of topics do you cover?
SC: It’s a show about being trapped, about how many of us live in small worlds unable to break free, struggling with money and that, but more with a lack of ambition. I talk about my bedroom: I’m the elephant in the room, dreaming of flying away, Dumbo style.

CM: Where does your comedy come from? Do you draw on your own life experiences?
SC: Yeah, it’s from my life experiences, but I try to look at what people of any generation might think about the things I’m talking about, and I talk with older friends and family all the time to get their perspectives. My audiences have been from like 16-80 and I love it when everyone is enjoying the bits equally.

CM: When you work on your stand up material, how do you do it? Do you sit down with a pad and pen and write, or is it more organic than that?
SC: My stand-up material is organic, yes, meaning I can charge more for essentially the same thing. I’m a pen and paper girl and think I always will be. I have a laptop that I don’t use, and I still have a VHS video recorder. My bedroom is like a museum.

CM: You’ve been doing stand up for about six years now, is that right? Does it get easier with time? Do you feel the same urge to do it now as you did then?
SC: Easier in the sense that I don’t have a choice now. Back in the day I did a few other jobs, now it’s just the stand-up and TV stuff. I feel more of an urge to do it now than when I first started as I’m doing better quality gigs now and getting good responses for the shows so that keeps me going.

CM: What made you want to be a stand up in the first place?
SC: I never really wanted to be a stand up, I sort of fell into it and can’t really back out now! I used to watch French and Saunders on TV growing up but stand up comedy is something I never thought of doing. But now I’m doing it full time and getting to perform at the Sydney Opera House in Australia so I’m pretty happy about it.

CM: Do you do other things in addition to stand up? Can you see yourself writing or acting more in the future? Where do you see yourself going?
SC: Writing and acting, definitely. We are talking to a few people about turning ‘Elephant’ into a sitcom. Ideally I want it to be really hammy, badly produced, and then sink without trace.

CM: This was your Edinburgh show this summer, wasn’t it? Have you made any changes since then?
SC: Yes, I’ve changed one word. It’s the word ‘Scottish’. I’m more flexible than Beth Tweddle. Particularly since ‘The Jump’.

CM: What’s next for you? Anything new in the planning stages?
SC: Nice of you to ask. My new show ’24’ is previewing in various places, before I return to the Edinburgh Fringe like a tramp returning to his favourite skip.

Sarah performs ‘Elephant’ at Soho Theatre from 17-19 March, see the venue website here for more info and to book. For dates her ’24’ preview shows, follow this link here.

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