Try not to hitch a lift with a psycho pig hunter... | 20 Questions: Sarah Kendall

Try not to hitch a lift with a psycho pig hunter...

20 Questions: Sarah Kendall

Without spoiling the show, My Very First Kidnapping, how did you get to be kidnapped?

It was a college initiation, a thing the seniors traditionally did to the freshers. Looking back I can’t believe I let them do it to me, but I think at the time I just wanted to fit in…

What one bit of advice would you give to anyone who ever found themselves in a similar situation?

Try not to hitch a lift with a psycho pig hunter.

While it was happening, did you ever thing, ‘wow, this would be great material’.

I wasn’t a comedian at that stage of my life, I didn’t even have any thoughts of doing comedy. I guess as your career progresses, you start to look back for material. 18 is such a fertile stage of life for material, because I think it’s the most painful stage of growth. And I know that made me sound like a dickhead, but I stand by it.

Where and when was your first gig?

Manning Bar, Sydney University. It was a pit back then. It now looks like a casino.

How did it go?

So-so. I threw up before I went on stage, it was kind of a blur.

At what point did your parents accept this was a proper career for you?

At first they were quite opposed to it, but after a while they accepted that I could support myself. I think they quite like it now. Most of their friend’s kids are now lawyers or in banking, I’m regarded as the slightly eccentric circus act.

How does the UK comedy scene compare to the Australian one?

Because we have a much smaller population, spread out over a huge distance, the scene isn’t quite as fecund (do I get bonus points for using the word ‘fecund’?) You need high density living in order to go out and practice your craft each night to a decent sized audience. Australia isn’t really big enough to go out and do comedy on a nightly basis.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever had?

I did a women’s festival in Cumbria, and my dressing room was right next door to Marianne Faithful’s. I was able to sneak into the back stage area and watch her from the wings of the stage - when she did As Tears Go By I got a bit tearful. It was one of those moments I was so glad I’m a line of work where something like that can happen.

And the worst?

I did a corporate gig eight years ago where I sucked so bad they refused to pay me. To be fair, I really sucked that night. In my defence, I’d only been doing comedy for a year.

Why do you think women are still under-represented in stand-up?

Because we have gills. I don’t know. I’ve answered that question so many times, I can’t do it anymore.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever regretted saying on stage?

I once told a heckler that he’d die alone and no one would come to his funeral, that the two or three people who even noticed his death would probably breath a sigh of relief that ‘that stupid annoying guy’ is now dead. But the heckler started it. Still, it felt a bit harsh.

What’s the worst thing a critic or punter has ever said about you?

Someone once stopped me in the street and said, ‘You’re that Australian comedian- Sarah Kendall. I saw your show. I hated it!’ He was genuinely enthusiastic and smiling. It threw me. I think I said, ‘Oh’.

When did you first come to Edinburgh, and what did you do?

My first show was called War and it was in 2001

What’s you favourite Edinburgh experience?

Wine and cheese with my beautiful flatmates Lucy Porter, Richard Herring, Justin Edwards and Henry Naylor. And drawing dicks all over the cricketers in the sports section of the newspaper at breakfast with them this morning.

And your worst?

I once got strep throat and ended up at the hospital at 2am needing antibiotics.

Where’s your favourite place to eat in Edinburgh?

Monster Mash!

And to drink?

Any quite pub away from the major venues.

Where do you go to escape the festival?

I go swimming at the Victorian baths. I’ve always hoped that the attendants there would have wooden teeth.

What one thing would make the Fringe better?

Cheaper ticket prices.

Apart from your own, what other show would you recommend?

My flatmates shows- Lucy Porter and Richard Herring, and Joanna Neary’s show Little Moments.

  • Sarah Kendall: My Very First Kidnapping is on at the Assembly Rooms at 20:55

Published: 10 Aug 2007

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