Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Jessica Fostekew

Following a run in Edinburgh Jessica Fostekew is taking her latest show, The Silence of the Nans, on tour. Her UK trek starts at the Newcastle Stand on January 21 and there are dates all over the shop until the Machynlleth Comedy Festival on May 4. 

The Silence of the Nans is based on real events.  A comedy-horror-story about a painful misadventure. Jess thought having a baby might hurt. This was so much worse, because this hurt in the soul. A surreal story of torture and entrapment, weirdos and wonders, gelato and geriatrics.  

Jess Fostekew co-hosts the Guilty Feminist podcast which has reached well over 10 million listeners. She appeared in this year’s hugely acclaimed new BBC2 sitcom from Sharon Horgan and Graham Linehan Motherland as well as the award winning BBC1 drama Three Girls. She also regularly hosts BBC Radio 4 Extra’s Comedy Club and BBC Radio Comedy Awards (Radio 2) and is also a writer on News Quiz, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Mock The Week. 

Click here for dates and to buy tickets.

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)?
I keep my legs moving, I visualise the first two or three things I’m going to talk about while I scrummage my hair around.
2. What irritates you?
The absolute zero fucks that the vast majority of people give about the environment. Virgin Trains won’t serve you a coffee into your own sealed mug because it’s against policy, they’d rather further the extinction of seabirds than risk getting sued by someone asking to use a safer cup than the plastic one-use-only one they would serve you with. I hope the last ever gull uses it’s dying flight to drop a load in Branson’s eyeball.
3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
Once I gave up carbs. I was about three weeks in and my anxious rage got so bad that when a car full of huge, hairy men honked at me for not going through a red light - I got out of my car to stand and scream abuse at them, to four men big and strong enough to kill me with their hands.
I also stood at the top of a bubbling volcano while it was erupting in Nicaragua once too but this other one was worse.
4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?
In 2001, I was 18 - I was just withdrawing the last tenner from a building society savings account which had once housed my meagre savings that I’d been casually ploughing through in my first year at University. The cashier asked “would you like a mortgage?”, I said “are you joking? I’m 18 and I haven’t got any money” and she said “that’s okay, we’re able to offer you a 100% or even a 120% mortgage”. I laughed and told everyone for years about the silly lady. Now I realise that that was my one and only chance I’ll probably ever have in my life to own a property.
5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?
How awful the vast majority of comedians are, socially. At every birthday or gathering I’ve had in ten years where my various worlds collide, family, friends and those from comedy  everyone else is funny, moves around meeting people, reading the room and being funny, kind, interesting and interested... and the comedians stand alone or with each other, talking only about comedy or themselves.
Once I had a birthday where the two comedians there went and sat in a room upstairs on their own. Even in Edinburgh when I’ve had civilian friends visit, once a comedian asked my friend what she did for a living (no doubt it was the table’s MC) and she said “I work for a charity in Ghana” and they whole table cleared. They all physically left. Ha ha. They couldn’t bear the thought of having to talk about something not only so far from the bubble of themself but that was also something so glaringly more valuable.
Interview continues here.

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