“Leicester is pretty special to me,” Lucy Porter tells me. “My first boyfriend came from Leicester, I have had many of the best curries of my life in the city, and I always love my gigs at the comedy festival.”
It’s good to know that Leicester has a special place in the heart of a comedian who is better known for her 15-year love affair with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Her latest show, Choose Your Battles, received universal praise at the Fringe, promising Leicester Comedy Festival audiences a memorable evening when Lucy performs at The Cookie in February.
“It’s all about when you should stand up and fight for what you believe in and when you should just back down”
Lucy’s latest show is about confrontation. “It’s all about when you should stand up and fight for what you believe in and when you should just back down,” she says. “It’s stuff about aggression, passive aggression and how we express our anger.”
It comes as no surprise that this affable, laid-back comedian has a lifelong fear of making a scene and has always erred on the side of caution when it comes to conflict. Marriage, and the arrival of her two children, has delivered its fair share of confrontation though, and provided Lucy with a wealth of embarrassing scenarios through which to examine her reaction to anger.
This exploration of wrath is carried out with the aid of secret audience ballots, visual aids and a punchbag with Mary Berry’s face on it. With these powerful tools, and a little help from her audience, Lucy works out when she should stick to her guns and fight, and when she can use her disarming charm to defuse a situation.
“It’s been therapeutic for me,” says Lucy, about the writing of the show. “Hopefully it will be therapeutic for the audience as well.” Therapeutic or not, it promises to be a deliciously well-honed performance, with Lucy often having spoken about her habit of adapting and perfecting her shows during a run. “You want to keep it fresh,” she says, “The beauty of stand-up comedy is that you get to do the same show every night, but if you get sick of it you can change it.”
If a string of Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows with consistently sell-out audiences and solidly excellent reviews isn’t enough to convince you that this is a gig worth booking, you can get a sneaky peek of Lucy’s style on TV and radio. She’s a regular face and voice on panel shows including QI, Mock the Week, Argumental, Insert Name Here, Have I Got News for You, Clive Anderson’s Chat Room and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
“Leicester is an incredibly welcoming city and the Leicester Comedy Festival gets better every year.” Lucy tells me. “I’m hugely excited to be performing to Leicester’s festival crowd at The Cookie this year.” The city’s festival crowd should be just as excited – Lucy’s latest show promises an evening of carefully-crafted comedy that will leave you feeling anything but angry.
Choose Your Battles comes to The Cookie on 11 February 2018.