Tiff Stevenson is piloting a television adaptation of her Men She Wrote online series, as she reveals that if Slotherhouse, the new comedy horror film about a vengeful three-toed sloth on a killing spree in a US college sorority house returns for a sequel, she hopes to reprise her role as the kindly but redoubtable Ms Mayflower.
Released on digital download on 12th February, the independent, Muppets-meets-Mean Girls slasher was shot in Serbia with a cast full of British actors and conceived after co-writer Bradley Fowler was challenged to conceive the "dumbest idea" he could for a movie, with stand-up and actor Stevenson playing house "mother" Mayflower.
Describing the film as "completely batshit" and Mayflower as "a kind of Miss Havisham, a strong woman who's stayed at the party too long, so she's kind of tragic", Stevenson engages in an extended fight to the death with the murderous sloth, Alpha.
"I've not worked with puppets before, it was hysterical" recalls Stevenson, whose previous acting credits include the sitcoms People Just Do Nothing and GameFace. "You quickly realise that you're just in service to the puppet. And she's incredible, with a team of like 13 people, 8 of them on set doing animatronics and various other puppetry work.
"It was easier than green screen, it's not like you're fighting something imaginary. But it was kind of crazy. I couldn't hit the puppet because we couldn't damage it, so I'm hitting something else. But it had to be done with gusto to make it look real.
"It was both the most glamorous and bizarre thing I've ever done. [The shoot] was quite a full-on night and when I got in the shower afterwards, sequins were falling out of various orifices."
The casting team sought someone with "comedy chops" for Mayflower, with the cast led by Lisa Ambalavanar (Home Time, The A List) as would-be sorority president Emily, desperate to gain social currency from having a cute, exotic pet; EastEnders star Sydney Craven as her election rival Brianna and Andrew Horton (How To Talk To Girls At Parties) as Emily's boyfriend Tyler, who blurts the title of the film as the bodies pile higher.
"I think it's testimony to us that a lot of people didn't know that there were Brits in this film" Stevenson observes. "And while it is a slasher - and I love all those films because horror is where you see all these exciting new filmmakers coming through, because you have to be creative on a limited budget - it's not a real gorefest because they wanted a younger audience to see it as well.
"And sure, you're watching a sloth speeding in a car. But there's a deeper message about how young women find their place in the world, how it can be scary being a teenage girl and how they can be scary to each other."
Stevenson adds that conversations are currently afoot about shooting a sequel and enthuses that if Mayflower returns, "I'd very much like to come back wearing a sloth toe around my neck, with an eyepatch and go full Kill Bill!"
Previewing her next Edinburgh Fringe show, Brave New Tiffany, at next month's Leicester Comedy Festival, "about the world being on fire and needing a new PR", Stevenson is also developing a script based upon her being a step-parent, an experience she previously explored in her 2019 stand-up show, Mother; a 1920s-set film, Murder In Circles, written and directed by her husband Paul Bertellotti, and adapting her viral Men She Wrote series for television.
With more than 40 million views online, "it's about this woman who writes these books, she thinks she's creating great works" she explains. "Actually, she has a little bit of a tragic backstory but she has a lot of money and decides that she's going to make her dreams come true of being a writer living in London, in Bloomsbury. So yeah, we're in the process of doing that at the moment."
You can watch a Men She Wrote clip here: