The audience would have been happier with a dog fight | Jenny Collier recalls her most memorable gigs

The audience would have been happier with a dog fight

Jenny Collier recalls her most memorable gigs

First gig

When I was about six years old I had a mad half-hour one day (additive-packed blue Smarties were still available) and started dancing and singing in a way that made my family laugh. It's unclear whether they were laughing at me or with me but all I knew was: they were laughing near me. I've been constantly trying to recreate that feeling of being lol-worthy since, although it's now much more word-based.

Worst gig

I once performed 'in the round' with a broken radio mic on a massive expanse of dance floor (expansefloor) in a social club. The punters were in a mood because who the fuck did we think we were, asking them to sit closer to each other? I got the impression they would have had a better time if they'd saved their £3 each and organised a dog fight in one of their front rooms. They didn't listen to the comedians. They just chatted, which is sometimes harsher than heckling.

Best heckler

An unfortunate man who had broken a rib came to my work in progress show, Jen At Work, in Brighton this year. Every time he would laugh he would then cry out in pain. The audience then had something extra to laugh at. Luckily he found the show funny and took the agony in good humour. 

Most unusual location

The last two years I've been to Australia to perform at the festivals. This year in Perth I performed on a balcony in the city. The backdrop for the gig was skyscrapers and a beautiful sunset. Every now and again us acts would think punters really dug us because they were taking photos but they were actually just impressed by the view. 

Best gig as a punter

In 2007, my Sisters and I went to the Edinburgh Festival for the first time, as punters. My Sisters organised it, booking tickets for things they'd heard or knew would be good. I was clueless.

The first show we watched on our first night there was Daniel Kitson's It's The Fireworks Talking at The Stand. Absolutely blew my mind. I don't remember any of the jokes but I know that it was brilliant and funny and that I nearly cried at least once. Lovely. 

Jenny Collier: Jen-Hur is at the Underbelly Med Quad at 17:30

Published: 20 Aug 2016

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