Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Juliette Burton

In Juliette Burton's latest show Butterfly Effect she investigates the power of kindness. While most of us find it hard enough being kind to ourselves – let alone others – is being nice outdated? Or can we still connect and change lives for the better? Burton is an honest comedian who always does her best to celebrate positivity, which does not mean she doesn't get angry. She went viral a couple of years ago when she objected to the Beach Body Ready adverts. She certainly does her bit to be kind and make the world a better place. Why not join her by a) also being kind and b) seeing her show.  

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect is at the Gilded Balloon from August 2 - 27. Tickets here.


1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)?

Before the show begins I’m chatting to the audience as they come in, asking them to fill up from the front (why wouldn’t you?! Best seats in the house! So close you can smell the perspiration. Worth paying extra for that…)

I’ve recently started dancing and singing along to my pre-show music. In my new show, I’ve set myself the challenge of learning all the lyrics to ‘Shoop’ by Salt ‘n’ Pepa. So far I’ve nailed one verse, I’m hoping to be word perfect by August.

2. What irritates you?

Myself. I irritate me. I apologise when I don’t even need to and that pisses me right off.

According to friends, colleagues and audience members I’m not irritating to them…so maybe I’m just allergic.

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Other than choosing a career in the arts? I guess buying into the idea that I should be seen and not heard, I should shy away, shrink back and not have a voice. Dangerous stuff right there.

4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

Other than choosing a career in the arts? Earlier this year I went up to an American comedian I love after one of her shows to thank them. But instead of saying “thanks for a great show” I said “thanks for coming!” Like it was MY show? When I apologised she was lovely and said “No problem! You said it cos you’re a comedian and you’re apologising because you’re British!” To which I awkwardly replied “Yes! Indeed! Please recommend the show to your friends!”

5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

How addictive it is. Turns out comedy is the precise best way for me to have a voice.

Talking about my mental health struggles is so much easier with the armour of comedy. Life is absurd and my mental health conditions ridiculous. Why shouldn’t we laugh about it? It has surprised me that no one can apparently tell on stage whether I’m having a good mental health day or a debilitatingly bad one. Even when I feel like it utterly obvious and seeping out of every pore of my body.

Oh and the incessant sexism that pops up. Even as recently as this month I turned up for a gig for which I’d been booked to be greeted by “Oh, when I saw there was a comedian I thought it was Julian Burton.” According to Google he’s a lecturer at Sheffield University. My shows do use multimedia projections and loads of “research” (aka months-procrastinating-on-the-internet) so I’m a lot LIKE him. Just with a career in comedy. And lady-parts.

Interview continues here.

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