Susan Calman is keeping positive on the Lady Like tour
It's all about those shiny, happy people laughing for the corporate lawyer turned stand-up comic
Describing her current touring show as 'a proper night of good, old-fashioned entertainment', Susan Calman has nevertheless been getting quite a lot off her chest with Lady Like. The show is partly about the Radio 4 stalwart trying to enjoy her own company and personality more these days. While it does touch on dark moments from her distant and recent past, a joyfulness runs through it, from a romantic gesture gone awry in Paris, and trying to realise her dreams of being a ballerina, to a daft TV escapade in Iceland with Phil Tufnell. For Calman, it's essentially all about being positive.
'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. 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.'
A corporate lawyer turned stand-up comic, the clients she looks after these days are all shiny, happy, laughing people. And given that Calman won Chortle's best compere award in 2012, she clearly knows how to please an audience. 'Fundamentally, you want people to leave feeling better than they did when they came in; for me that's the ultimate goal. Compering can be a gentle thing. A lot of people are frightened of comedy because they've seen a compere who's really gone for somebody in the audience, or been particularly acerbic or rude. If I ask a question, it's just that I want to know an answer. Comedy is a conversation, in every way, and hopefully you get a response.'
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 4 Mar; Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Sat 21 Mar