Laura Lexx: 'It's really hard to be a good person'
- Brian Donaldson
- 29 January 2020
Award-winning rising star takes Knee Jerk on tour
Having supported the likes of Tim Vine and Russell Kane around the country, Laura Lexx is now taking the plunge with her debut solo tour. Here, she talks about improv, club comedy and the rubbish ways people use the internet.
In Knee Jerk, you claim it's difficult to be a good person these days. Is this any more or less true now from when you first sat down to write that show?
There's that famous quote about all that has to happen to let evil win is for good people to stay quiet. So I think 'ok, I'll voice my opinion' and then you voice your opinion. But actually that hasn't taken into account what everybody needed from a statement so you think 'should I have just stayed quiet?' So then you end up reading a lot more to take into account everyone's views but then you realise you're not saying anything about the subject. You end up getting into a whirlwind, feeling like your opinion is constantly needed on things and that everything affects you and actually, maybe it has nothing to do with you. Basically, it's really hard to be a good person!
Do you think people are using the internet to offload unnecessarily?
A lot of the things that people are throwing their toys out of the pram for, I wonder if people are actually walking down the street and just finding everyone intolerable. Is everyone screaming at each other, or are they just going on an internet forum where people are screaming at each other, and they're surprised that people are doing that.
You have a background in improv: how has that fed into your stand-up?
I think I'm quite unintimidated onstage and trust myself to find the funny thing so it's meant that I've never been too reliant on the same 20 minutes or the same jokes. I have staples to my set but they can go in any order; I can change it on a whim and can throw in any of the four hours of material I've got or just pull something out of audience interaction. It has definitely made me more confident on stage.
You've won awards for your MC duties in clubs. Do you feel more of a club comic or a Fringe act who does 'shows'?
To me, the comedy industry is the live circuit, that's where comedy is happening. This idea that you have only been around for a couple of years for the public to think that you're brilliant is really not sensible in my opinion. When Michael McIntyre broke, no one said 'but he's been going to Edinburgh for ten years!' The general public went 'who's this? He's brilliant!' because he had so much time to get good. As a club comic you aren't brilliant immediately, of course. There's a place for both and I think the better a club comic the better your Edinburgh hours are; and the more you can write about interesting subjects that can stand out in the big sea of the Edinburgh Fringe, the better your club comedy is. When you look at people like Mark Nelson or Geoff Norcott or Milo McCabe, they do brilliant Fringe shows and can cut them up and give them back to people on a Saturday night and it's something I'm doing myself now. And there's nothing about that which should be sniffed at.
Laura Lexx: Knee Jerk is on tour Wednesday 5 February–Sunday 21 June.