Tom Allen & Suzi Ruffell: Hit The Road! offers a double night of comedy at Shoreham’s Ropetackle on Friday, May 12 at 8pm.
Suzi returns to the road with her third show Common in which she explores her dodgy family history and her working class roots. Tom brings you a new show from his slightly-acerbic, unique point of view.
Suzi started out intending to be an actress, taking a theatre course at Chichester College before going on to the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, ALRA.
“The teaching was great in Chichester and I loved it, and I loved it at ALRA. But I was always interested in the comic roles, and it was only a couple of years after I left drama school that I realised that what I really wanted to do was comedy. Growing up my heroes were people like French & Saunders and Victoria Wood, and they were actors and comics, of course, but what they were first and foremost were comics. And then I did my first-ever open spot as a stand-up. People say you catch the bug, and I can 100 per cent confirm it. I caught the bug. I would say that in every comic there has to be an element of misplaced confidence. That’s for sure. But there is just something so fantastic about it. The other day I was writing in my kitchen, and I came up with an idea which I thought I would put into the show that night, and I did, in front of a group of people that I would never see again, that would never be together again – and they were all laughing. That’s the fantastic thing: you can have an idea at your kitchen table and four hours later, everyone is laughing. That’s what I love about it. You find out whether it is funny or not. You find out straight away. You write an article and you might not get a response at all. But with comedy, you know immediately.”
And what if you find out that it wasn’t funny?
“Sometimes you just aren’t funny. Sometimes the things you think are funny just don’t make other people laugh. You learn to deal with that as well. That’s all part of the game. When you first start out, sometimes you can do a terrible gig, and it can harm you for a few days. You think it is so terrible it is embarrassing, but then after a few days, you just think it’s fine and you move on.”
“You do have to be thick-skinned in some ways, but in other ways, I am not at all. I am a big softie! I think you just have to get used to it.”
Suzi goes out on tour as a double header with friend and fellow comic Tom Allen.
“My show is called Common. It’s about being from Portsmouth, being from a working-class family. I grew up with an awful lot of loving, but we never had trust funds. None of us had been to university. It feels like we are all run by Etonians or people from Oxbridge. I wanted to give a voice to young, working-class people.”
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