Part of WUWO Magazine’s ‘Comedy Take Over’ edition.
Although moderately unsure if she’s being a delusional maniac, Sarah Kendall reveals that she is feeling surprisingly good about the 26 days she will be performing her show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Life has the ability to arm any talented comedian with the ammunition required to concoct an amusing and thought provoking performance.
In Sarah Kendall’s case, the comedic weaponry gained for the content of this years show manifested from the past five years raising her daughter. In that time, she became aware and appalled at how much mainstream society prays on the female form.
This new found awareness of exploitation sends Sarah Kendall marching on a comic campaign trail that guarantees an entertaining act.
Now, let’s meet Sarah Kendall, an Australian from Newcastle who arrived in the UK in 2000 after already being a regular face on the Aussie comedy circuit. She caught the comedy bug and started her career performing at the ‘Comedy Lunchtime Hour’ at her university…
Sarah Kendall: Liquid Lunch! That was a very friendly warm environment to start comedy, with your friends getting drunk and everyone knows each other. I got into it that way. Then I started writing for someone in radio and then more stand-up. I dropped out of my degree. I was studying an art degree and majoring in English Literature.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I was going, and just thought I would do this (comedy) until something else came along. I was very attracted to stand-up. I really enjoyed having a microphone and the space to myself. With stand-up I have time to collect myself and put the joke together and enjoy occupying the space on stage.
WUWO Magazine: How did a comedian from Australia come over to the UK in the first place?
Sarah Kendall: I met an English man, so I moved over to be with him. I thought this probably won’t last – nothing ever did up until that point – but we’re still together. It was a bit of a punt, but I was at that age! The bag I brought over here was tiny and I thought if we broke up that I would just go home. I had an agent who was representing me and booking me gigs and stuff, so I wasn’t broke and had work. And that’s how I got onto the UK comedy circuit.
WUWO Magazine: What sort of gigs were you getting at that stage?
Sarah Kendall: When I first got here I was doing all the open mic nights. As many as I could in any place that would have me. When I got here I realised that the comedy industry was huge, and that you’re really playing with the big boys, so I wanted to get as good as I possibly could.
WUWO Magazine: In the run up to having a daughter, whilst pregnant, were you still on stage or did you slow down at all?
Sarah Kendall: I worked on the club circuit till about eight months into my pregnancy. It’s kind of weird; shows when I was pregnant didn’t go as well but didn’t go badly. If people don’t like your show they’re not going to be mean and go ‘fuck off your shit’ because your pregnant, and at the same time they don’t laugh as much because they’re all thinking: ‘is she going to go into labour any second?’ It creates a weird atmosphere and every pregnant woman in comedy I have spoken to says the same. Nina Conti and Shappi Khorsandi all agree that when you walk out on stage and are that pregnant, part of the audience just think: ‘oh fuck oh shit.’ I really don’t know why, but that’s the way it is.
WUWO Magazine: A show a day for 26 days in Edinburgh – is that tiring?
Sarah Kendall: I use to think it was tiring, then came to the realisation that everything is easier if you don’t drink. The only reason I used to feel tired was because I was out most nights after the show. I wasn’t getting smashed but just used to go out. I just did the Melbourne festival as well as Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. I went to bed early and didn’t drink. I went out though and had fun and by the end of the festival, I felt like I could do it all again. Back in the day I thought: ‘man this is the most tiring job in the world.’ But once you have a child, you really know what tiredness is!
WUWO Magazine: You have performed and visited Edinburgh Festival six times, which means you must be very familiar with the city. Any tips for our readers on good places to go and eat?
Sarah Kendall: Monster Mash (now called Mums Great Comfort Foods) sausage and mash. Red meat sausage, pork sausages, mix it up with your parsley mash or garlic mash; get your onion or beef gravy – it’s just the best, heartiest meal. I think I might have been hungover every time I have eaten there. A meal like that can actually be the difference between a bad day and an: ‘ohhhh actually I can cope now!’ Also, City Café is a great hang out. Good food and you can shoot some pool and have a couple of beers. I also love Chocolate Soup and then going around to all the festival bars.
WUWO Magazine: Do you have any hot tips about a new comedian to look out for at Edinburgh Festival?
Sarah Kendall: I did a preview with Daniel Simonsen. He’s Norwegian and has worked in the UK for a couple of years. I don’t know if he would be considered normal in Norway, but his Norwegian-ness adds this extra quirk. I don’t know if it’s his accent but he has a very definite voice which is really hard to nail. He’s good!
WUWO Magazine: How long did it take you to find your voice?
Sarah Kendall: Longer than Daniel. I wasn’t one of those people who within the first year was like: ‘yer I fuckin’ got it!’ I think it took me about five or six years, but any professional would agree that it’s a ten year apprenticeship. After about five years I started to go: ‘aaahhh that’s me, this is what I do’, but around the ten year mark you’re more self contained. It’s like everything as you get older, that’s the trade off. You don’t look as hot as you used to look but on the other hand, you do feel better about yourself and you’re not dependant on other people saying things you want to hear.
WUWO Magazine: Moving away from comedy, what music are you listening to right now?
Sarah Kendall: The music I just downloaded was an album by an Australian band, Augie March. I like Lady Hawke, she’s good. But generally I like a bit of cock rock to be honest with you. I like – it’s not just because I’m Australian – but I am a very big fan of ACDC. A big test would be what’s on my i-Pod right now!
WUWO Magazine: Ok, so give us your top five most recently played on your i-Pod?
Sarah Kendall: I am kind of nervous now. So, most recently played – this is so weird. Ok – ‘Back in Black’, ACDC, ‘Baby I’m Yours’, Barbara Louis – do you know it’s a really old sweet 1950’s ballad (Sarah then starts singing to us and she is actually quite good, but don’t give up the comedy!), ‘Here Comes the Sun’, The Beatles, ‘Because’, The Beatles and ‘You Never Give Me Your Money‘, The Beatles. That’s because I just listened to Abbey Road.
Name: Sarah Kendall
Show Name: Get Up, Stand Up
Where: Pleasance Courtyard
Dates: 1 – 27 Aug excluding 13