Lou Sanders: ‘I’d like to be described as a Bobby Dazzler more’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 April 2017

Lou Sanders

Lou Sanders

Archant

Zoe Paskett talks to Kentish Town based comedian Lou Sanders, who is capturing tour audiences with her surreal style

From “how to make toast” videos on YouTube to dealing with surreal workplace dilemmas, comedian Lou Sanders has a lot of wisdom to share with the world.

Last week, the Kentish Towner unveiled her hotly anticipated web-game show, What’s in the Dish? – a series of 20 second long episodes where she invites the viewer to guess what is under her pan lid. (Spoiler alert: episode one is parsley.)

Her current show ‘What’s That Lady Doing?’ gained rave reviews when she took it to Edinburgh last year, with critics deeming her “hugely likeable” and “genuinely different”.

She laughs at the fact she’s called an avant-garde comic, saying “I honestly think I am quite mainstream but I think we need some new labels.”

What’s That Lady Doing? derives from a question one audience member asked her friend when Sanders decided to wear a dragon costume in a previous show for no apparent reason.

She’s got a knack for original show titles, with ‘How To Be Awesome: An Introduction’, ‘And Now For a Nice Evening with Wallan’ and ‘Excuse me You’re Sitting on my Penis Again’ in her archive.

This says a fair amount about Sanders’ style of comedy. She might not identify with the term “avant-garde” but it’s certainly better than some of the other things she’s been called, including “Female Comedienne” – one of the worse comments you can level at a woman comic.

“I would like to be described as a Bobby Dazzler more,” she says. “Of that I am sure. But honestly, and it’s always cringe to share your praise but – well, you asked for it – I really liked this from Fest [Edinburgh Festival guide]: ‘One of the best innovators in comedy.’ Unfortunately innovators often die impoverished.”

Innovative she certainly is, and there’s definitely an appetite for the surreal. She’s been on Comic Relief, Russell Howard’s Good News and is a feature of pretty much all the British comedy podcasts you can think of.

If you consider the stadium comics of the likes of Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard and their ilk, Sanders is on a different planet. Audiences at her gigs will either be weeping and clutching their sides or completely mystified – but there are more than enough fans to give her a rapidly growing following.

Which is why it isn’t surprising she writes for some of the ultimates in comedy mainstream entertainment: Mock The Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats. Does her approach to TV script writing differ to working on her own shows?

“Not really, because there’s lots of one-liners in my shows,” she says. “But I enjoy writing in other people’s voices, it’s sometimes easier.”

As well as writing for TV, her short film Elderflower, which she co-wrote with Hannah George (starring alongside Tom Rosenthal, Sheila Reid, Mike Wozniak and Marek Larwood) came out at the end of last year. There are whispers of a feature film as well.

“My dream show at the moment would be to host a travel show with a pal with physical feats and dares,” she says of what she wants to try her hand at next.

No word on whether she’s returning to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, but she does have plans for something a bit closer to home: “I’m doing a new show on social and sexual shame, but I’m doing it in London. Give London a chance you know. Save on travel.”

Lou Sanders is bringing her show ‘What’s That Lady Doing?’ to the Soho Theatre until April 15. For more information visit lousanders.com

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