Comic Calman comes to stage

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Scottish comedian Susan Calman is bringing her show to the Royal and Derngate next week.

Often heard on Radio 4, she brings her show Lady Like to the stage on Saturday May 30.

Talking about her experiences on the road, she said: “Because I live in Glasgow, travelling is a large part of the job and, for this tour, I’ll have my laptop and my box sets.

“Whenever I travel I take two things with me: one is a very expensive shower gel so that when I’m staying in rubbish hotels I can still pretend that I’m not. And I take proper coffee with me for a nice cup in the morning.”

The show she is bringing to Northampton is a generous two-parter made up of a first half best-of from the Edinburgh Fringe work she’s performed since 2006, while the second half is her new show Lady Like.

Susan said: “The first bit is really about getting to know me, so you have a better idea of who I actually am. It’s basically an introduction, so everyone hopefully relaxes and there are no surprises. It’ll be a nice relaxing 45 minutes, go away and have a drink, come back for the second half. It should be a proper night of good old-fashioned entertainment.”

While that first-half compilation effectively acts as a warm-up, Lady Like is partly about her trying to enjoy the company and personality of one particular person: herself.

While it does touch on dark moments from her distant and more recent past, a wide-eyed joyfulness runs through the show from a romantic gesture gone awry in Paris and trying to realise her dreams of being a ballerina.

For Calman, it’s all about accentuating the positive.

“This show is saying you can learn to like yourself more. People can look at me and know that I’ve had a difficult time but I’m still here standing on stage. We all know as comedians how badly affected we can be by a bad review, but it’s all about positivity and I like to be positive.

“In terms of the more difficult stuff, you hold back a little bit. There’s a fine line between pity and laughter, and I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. There’s so much negativity around these days. People are keen to tell you in 140 characters just how much they think you’re rubbish.

“I think Twitter is an amazing thing but it can turn you on a pin, from happiness to despair. Anything you say can be dissected. It was bad enough when I was growing up thinking whether I was good enough, never mind now. People just want a rise out of you but you can block them and move on.”

For tickets, costing £15, call 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.