Interview with... Comedienne Jenny Eclair on her Taunton show

Bridgwater Mercury: JENNY Eclair. JENNY Eclair.

SHE’S a Grumpy, Loose Woman, utterly Éclairious and the first funny female to win the esteemed Perrier Award.

On Sunday, April 6, Jenny Éclair, writer-comedienne of 30 years’ standing, brings her successful stage show to the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in Monkton Heathfield.

It will be a honed show from the horn-rimmed humorist who has taken ‘Eclarious’ to Edinburgh and Australia since its 2012 launch.

Speaking to entertainment reporter DAISY BLACKLOCK, Jenny said: “It’s 45 minutes in the first half and 40 in the second.

“I do a head count and scout the car park after the interval to make sure nobody’s done a runner.”

Topics covered?

“It’s fairly autobiographical, as most of my work is, because I’m obsessed with myself and not particularly interested in anybody else, but a lot of women my age have had lots of shared experiences.

“It’s about the aging process, having older children, it’s ‘empty nest’, it’s wanting to have another baby, but being too late, watching One Born Every Minute instead, love, sex, romance, long-term relationships – everything under the sun.”

Éclair may now be in her third decade as a top-flight comedian, but it was to drama school that young Jenny went . . . to train as a straight actress.

“I wasn’t very serious and never quite convinced myself as an actress … the occasions when I completely lost myself in a character were very, very rare,” she says.

Done with drama in 1981, Jenny got swept up in a Manchester “cabaret outfit”.

“I was sleeping with the boss – that’s the only reason I was in it, ‘cos I couldn’t sing,” she says.

Then she hopped on to the circuit as a punk poet.

“I was about 22, performing poetry in rooms above pubs.

“I completely copied John Hegley and John Cooper Clarke – I did the female version and just shouted, really.”

It was, she says, “a bit limited, and I found it quite hard to write, so I started putting chat between the poems.

“Gradually the stand-up took over.”

Tickets cost £17.50 to see Eclairious at the Tacchi-Morris, starting at 8pm – book at tacchi-morris.com or 01823-414141.

  • STARTING on April 22, Jenny joins fellow feisty females Kate Robbins and Susie Blake for a tour of ‘Grumpy Old Women Live – Fifty Shades of Beige’, which comes to the Octagon, Yeovil, on Sunday, June 8.

She says: “Grumpiness is not just about grumpiness – it’s standing up for your rights and equality, for the feeling you get as a middle-aged woman that you’re being ignored.”

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