Going along to a show featuring Pippa Evans generally means confronting some fears of many a comedy-goer. Audience participation has been her thing since she arrived on the Fringe in 2008 with an if.comedy Best Newcomer-nominated debut which revolved around a self-help group for lonely people in which the crowd slapped on name-tags and discovered facts about their neighbour. The follow-up involved her entire audience hamming it up in a fixed game of bingo.
For those with any kind of phobia about public exposure, her Stand appearances should offer some solace as she’ll most likely be performing her top character, Loretta Maine, a psychologically-scarred US singer-songwriter. Though one particular celebrity had better not be in attendance. ‘Loretta came from me listening to an interview with Courtney Love where she sounded so terrible and I just thought she was ready for a kicking. I used to work in a health food shop so I’ve created a new one from that. Health food shops can make people feel very important; it’s like a brand new religion with people trying to convert you to quinoa.’
Having studied drama at the University of Birmingham in the same year as textiles-obsessed duo Girl and Dean (while Idiots of Ants crawled around in the year above), Evans remains a sensitive actorly soul. When asked about the ongoing tabloid assault on comedians, she insists that ‘the things said to me by audiences in the clubs are worse than anything I’ve come out with. They should wash their mouths out.’ Perhaps she’s feeling extra tender right now after the recent shedding of a family secret. ‘I don’t know if I was funny as a child, though I always thought my parents really enjoyed listening to me sing. But my mum revealed the other day that I was a real pain in the arse because I insisted that they watched me do shows where I charged them 50p to come into the front room.’
The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 1, Thu 2 Dec; The Stand, Glasgow, Wed 2 Dec.