One sliver of a silver lining to the otherwise scary turmoil happening right now is the optimistic outpouring of interesting stuff from the nation's comedians: some of it new, novel and slightly random, others of proven quality, but now with added feelgood factor.
The good people at Go Faster Stripe have been doing a sterling job filming live shows for a few years now, and are currently adding an extra layer of goodness, like comedy lasagne. Each week they're releasing one of those shows as a pay-what-you-want download, with all proceeds going to foodbank providers the Trussell Trust.
Which is an excellent plan. As the first show donator, Mark Thomas, said last week, "it's always those with the least who need most help, especially in times of crisis, and food banks need support NOW."
Right. This week's offering is from the excellent Rachel Fairburn, who stay-at-home readers may well know from her popular podcast with Kiri Pritchard-McLean, All Killa No Filla, which is about their favourite serial killers. Who knew that theme would be a winner?
This solo show, meanwhile, is about "the strong women in my life, and I'm convinced this is why all my role models are male rock stars," she told us a couple of years back. It's a top watch, but how did the worthy cause come about?
"Her Majesty is my 2017 Edinburgh show that Go Faster Stripe recorded," Fairburn explains. "I saw Mark Thomas was raising money for Trussell Trust and by coincidence I emailed Chris at GFS about something else. He asked if I would like to use my show as a fundraiser and I immediately said yes."
And there we are. But how did she get here?
King Gong at the Comedy Store in Manchester, in 2008 I think it was. It was a Sunday in early January. There were loads of other acts there and a sparse audience due to the time of year. I was so nervous but I managed a respectable three and a half minutes out of a potential five before being gonged off. I was just glad to have got the dreaded first gig out the way.
Favourite show, ever?
This is tough. I don't really have one favourite gig: any tour show I do is pretty good now, as I think I've found my audience and they're always really up for it.
I toured America with the podcast I do with Kiri Pritchard-McLean, All Killa No Filla, and the first show was in New York. It was really surreal walking out on stage there and I got goose bumps: it felt amazing, a working-class girl from Manchester was being cheered at by 600 New Yorkers.
Barnard Castle about a year into comedy. It was in the back room of a pub. A bloke heckled me and it turned out he was the landlord. He then said to the booker "I don't want another splitarse on the bill again." Glad to say comedy has moved on a lot since then.
Which one person influenced your comedy life most significantly?
My mum. She's genuinely the funniest person I know. She encouraged me to do stand-up as she thought I had a talent for writing when I was a kid. I thought it was the worst idea ever, as I was chronically shy. I did a comedy course and eventually got the courage to do my first gig. I knew it was what I wanted to do so I definitely have her to thank.
I am still very shy though, it's just that nobody believes me now because of my job.
And who's the most disagreeable person you've come across in the business?
So many of them. But let's say the pub landlord in Barnard Castle to play it safe.
Is there one routine/gag you loved, that audiences inexplicably didn't?
Yes! "I went to the doctor. I said 'My head is a thunderstorm, my stomach is a stormy sea and I'm sweating like a waterfall.' He said 'sounds like analogy.'" An allergy! Get it?
Nobody ever does.
How are you finding the lockdown so far? Any exciting creative ideas sprung from it?
I'm just trying to keep writing through it, but about anything other than the current situation.
I'm hoping once it's all over people will want to hear good, solid stand-up that takes their mind off things. If not, I'm fucked.
Are there particular reviews, heckles or post-gig reactions that stick in the mind?
It still happens a few times a year where a woman will approach me and say 'I don't usually like female comedians but you were good.' Loads of acts who happen to be women get this and it's just so disappointing, and leads to a really awkward chat.
How do you feel about where your career is at, right now?
I'll never be ungrateful that comedy is my job, so I'm very happy.