Outspoken and alarmingly honest Tiff Stevenson coming to Norwich’s Laugh in the Park
- Credit: Steve Ullathorne
Heartfelt and hilarious, punchy and political, the stand-up who is a familiar face from Mock the Week and 8 out of 10 Cats will be shooting from the lip at she takes to the mic at the Norwich comedy festival.
She could well be running for prime minister soon, but first comedian Tiff Stevenson is coming to Norwich to perform at Laugh in the Park.
One of the region's biggest comedy festivals, organised by Red Card Comedy Club, the festival runs over four nights in Chapelfield Gardens. It has become an annual fixture in the city social calendar and features top stand-up talent and big names all on stage in a marquee.
Tiff will be performing on July 27, alongside Hal Cruttenden, Abandoman and David Morgan. Mark Watson headlines July 28, with Ian Stone, Jonny & The Baptists and Damian Clark; Terry Alderton top the bill on July 29, with Sean Collins, Ninia Benjamin and John Mann; while on July 30 it will feature Russell Kane, The Noise Next Door, Jeff Innocent and Tim Fitzhigham.
A finalist on ITV's Show Me the Funny, the charming stand-up comedian, actor and writer, known for her straight-talking material and instantly likeable disposition.
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You will no doubt have seen her on Mock the Week, The Apprentice: You're Fired and People Just Do Nothing, or heard her on Radio 4 Extra, 7 Day Saturday and Woman's Hour. She is a comedian who is always worth catching.
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You started out as an actress. How did stand-up happen?
I was forced into it by pushy parents… or I got fed up of reading terrible roles for women and decided I should get writing my own. You decide.
Can you sum up your style of comedy?
How hard was it for you to break into stand-up?
I snuck in like a thief in the night and knocked some of the boys off their rightful slots on panel shows. So pretty hard. Harder than Charles Bronson under a pile of suduko.
Could you mentor a budding funny girl? Or boy?
I have done, for the Funny Women final last year. We didn't win so I have demanded a recount – I think it should work like the electoral college in the US.
You're often the token woman on comedy panel shows. Can't we have two at once?
Great question! The answer quite simply is obviously we can't have two because what if we synchronise or something? Also I don't make the decisions as to who gets booked on the show. I've done shows like 8 out of 10 Cats where it is 50/50. If you want more women on the show then Tweet and email the producers, it's easy to find who they are and demand more women. Also I hate the word token.
Who are your main comedy role models?
I love Wanda Sykes, Roisin Conaty, Rich Hall, Joan Rivers (I believe she is still gigging), Katherine Ryan, Stuart Black, Kathleen Madigan, James Acaster, Mark Thomas, Johnny Open Spot is pretty good too, Nish Kumar, Sarah Kendall, Zoe Lyons and George Carlin.
Norwich is sometimes seen as the back of beyond. Do you know much about our budding arts scene?
Not a lot, but I hope my presence adds to it.
What's next for you in 2017 and beyond?
Might run for prime minister because I feel like the country wants ANOTHER election after this one. If not that then Game Face, People Just Do Nothing series four, some panel shows, Edinburgh Fringe, a couple of pilots which may become something or you may see me crying into a bin near you.
In comedy, is anything out of bounds?
No, all topics up for grabs just depends on how good you are.
The house is on fire, what do you go back for first? And why?
I'd say all the photos of me, so Instagram basically. Although I sleep with my phone in my hand so you know… I'd already have it. I'd probably also get some candid shots of me escaping the fire. It's what the fans would want.
• Laugh in the Park, Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, July 27-30, £22 adv/£25 door, 01603 508050, www.redcardcomedyclub.com