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Circuit Training 148: A Quick Festival Catch-Up with Isy Suttie

Isy Suttie

And now a nicely concise departure from our usual overlong natters. Manchester's Women in Comedy festival is already underway so we zipped a few questions to Isy Suttie, to find out what she's been up to since last we spoke, way back in 2010. Back then she'd only joined Peep Show fairly recently, which went pretty well.

Even further back - 2007 - Suttie's lovely show Love Lost in the British Retail Industry was the first Edinburgh Fringe hour I ever saw, I think, and thank heavens, as a lesser one might have sent me off in a very different direction; this slot might feature overlong interviews about neoclassical ballet, or origami, or something.

Not long after that Isy took a lengthy break from live performing to produce books and children, but is now making a very welcome return. She's currently touring the new show Jackpot, including a date at Manchester's Frog and Bucket this Wednesday. That's part of WiC, which also features Olga Koch, Sarah Keyworth, Rachel Fairburn, Helen Bauer, and many more. Details below.

Now, let's hit the Jackpot.

This new show then, have you squeezed a whole decade of stuff into it?

In a way! It certainly encompasses the growing up I've done since starting a family. Trying to cram in the adventures that seemed to come more readily when I was younger. There's also stuff about 'the other side', as I was massively into ouija boards when I was younger.

You're playing the Frog and Bucket at WiC - one of the highlight dates on your tour?

I love the Frog and Bucket as a venue and first gigged there years and years ago. Some venues are really memorable and it's one of them. The layout is perfect for comedy, and the venue really cares about comedy.

Isy Suttie

How are you finding the return to live performing? Was there a particular moment that made you want to?

I did a few gigs before Covid after a break of a few years and I did enjoy it, but hated all my material as it felt so old. Then it was the pandemic and I did online gigs which were odd but sometimes fun. Since returning physically onto the stage I've developed a newfound love of stand-up - I feel like it's in my blood!

There was no one particular moment that made me want to write this new show. It just emerged whilst I was exploring new material.

I think Love Lost... was the first Edinburgh show I ever saw (clearly an inspiration). Can you remember the first one your first one?

Yes, my dad lived most of his childhood in Edinburgh and I went to the festival every year from a very young age. The first show I ever saw that I remember was called Ivan the Slug and it was a puppet show. The first stand-up I remember seeing is Ross Noble at Late 'n' Live in about 1997 (in the old Gilded Balloon, which burnt down). He blew my socks off.

When we last spoke you'd just been in Whites - what roles are you most proud of since then?

Nat in Damned, which was a social worker sitcom written by Jo Brand, Morwenna Banks and Will Smith. It was brilliant because we did loads of improv as we were filming, which hardly ever happens normally.

Damned. Natalie Moore (Isy Suttie). Copyright: What Larks Productions

You'd also just started learning Welsh - how did it go? Could you do a stand-up set in it now?

Great question! I have done very small amounts of acting in Welsh. It was for S4C, the Welsh channel and me, Elis my partner, and Sian Harries did some sketches in Welsh. I found it pretty hard to get the lines technically correct and act at the same time.

I am trying to go on my phone less and I'm hoping it will free up some more time to learn Welsh. Apart from anything it's extremely useful to have a secret language I can communicate with Elis in.

Is there a next book on the agenda? Any themes you want - or need - to explore?

I would like to write a young adult book at some point, probably based on my experience of being 11 or 12. I'll give my creative brain a bit of a break after this tour then probably crack on with that.

Your tour ends in your home town, Matlock - was that always a plan? Or are you just hiding out until after the Wales/England World Cup game?

The game is a coincidence! If you knew how little I know about football you wouldn't believe it!

I think it's nice to end in my hometown and it's also a fundraiser for the pavilion in Matlock Bath. It's an amazing, historic venue. The first time I ever went on stage was there, when I did a ballet show of the Wizard of Oz when I was six. I was a munchkin soldier.

Isy Suttie's tour dates can be found via

Find out more about the Women In Comedy festival via

Published: Wednesday 5th October 2022

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