In 2012 I did two shows. Speakeasy: An hour of stand-up about sex, politics and the world’s greatest Ryan Gosling joke. And Play Dead: Short stories that were stupid, scary and if you came on the last night, utterly disgusting.
The whole of Speakeasy is up online for you to enjoy. But please bear in mind I was so depressed by this point I’d forgotten we were even filming it so I look retched. I almost certainly hadn’t washed my hair.
Fact: I found the whole experience so soul-crushing that I can’t even bring myself to write something amusing here. Mick Perrin Promotions were gorgeous to work with though.
Exit Music: You Give A Little Love from the Bugsy Malone Soundtrack/There’s a Ghost In My House by The Fall.
“A great performer, and very easy to watch” Chortle
“Very funny” The Guardian
Aged 7 Sorrow saw her parents brutally murdered in an unfortunate incident. 15 years later she has found the man who did it, married him and now it is now payback time.
I’d decided to take a break from Edinburgh in 2010 until I got a phonecall from Chris George asking if me and Martin had thought about doing another musical. Only this time bigger. Not long after PP I’d started working on a story about a girl who works for a man that is so evil she decides to eat all his family – but then I was told about ‘Cannibal: the musical’. Balls I thought, balls. So I went back and worked on the story that would become Gutted while on holiday in Lanzarote, Christmas 09. All the characters are named after David Bowie songs. Yeah yeah, I’m a fan. We really wanted the original cast of Psister Psycho back together but unfortunately Crilly and Wix were busy lezzing up or something (writing a TV show).
Mr Bewlay – Colin Hoult
Sorrow – Helen George
The Vicar – Michael Legge
Mrs Station – Margaret Cabourn-Smith
Jean – Sara Pascoe
Joe – Ben Bailey Smith
Mr Wendy – Humphrey Ker
Redd – David Reed
Kook – Thom Tuck
Buddy Stardust – Jim Bob (from Carter USM!)
Iris – Lizzie Roper
Chorus – Fiona Stephenson and Daniel Tawse
Piano – Martin White
Bass – Danielle Ward
Guitar – Graeme Mearns
Drums – Ali Murray
Fact: Before settling on Gutted, the show was called Project Ace, Bloody People, Stabulous and Bad Wife.
Exit Music: Gutted – Ward and White
“There’s an infectious sense of enthusiasm to the performances and some killer lines, in both senses. If you like ensemble comedy that’s smartly written, gloriously over-the-top and gets your feet tapping, this show offers a change of tempo from the usual stand-up fare” – The Observer
Gutted is now available to download (FOR FREE MOTHERBROTHERS) on Soundcloud.
Photos Copyright Isabelle Adam 2010
Back to the Pleasance for my second stand up show. This one had a theme as the Comedy Union recommends you do. Theme or story. I chose “Lies” because the fringe programme deadline is in March and that was generic enough for me to write anything around it. In the show I did impressions of David Bowie, Kris Marshall and Adrian Chiles and yet there was no phonecall from ‘Dead Ringers’ afterwards.
Fact: Adrian Chiles pretending to be sick because he hates the idea of plain flavoured crisps is my favourite thing I’ve done onstage. It’s also probably why I’ve never been asked back on Mock the Week.
Exit Music: Theme from “Top Gun”
“few stand-up routines are as daringly honest as this one… it’s difficult not to be truthful after this wonderfully cathartic show. “ – British Theatre Guide
“the resulting hour of comedy is wonderfully thought-provoking, with the kind of finely crafted writing that you’d expect from a Radio 4 regular” – The Guardian
In 2008 I took my debut solo stand-up show to Edinburgh. I took the title from watching The Wizard of Oz. No wonder the gays love me. It didn’t have a grand theme or narrative, there was not a lesbian robot to be seen and I didn’t sing at all. It was weird doing a show so late and by myself after being with other people for the past three years, but I really loved it. I especially enjoyed not having to leave my flat until 10pm. I did jokes about getting my boobs out for cash, decapiated heads and Nicolas Anelka.
Fact: Neil and Christine Hamilton came to see the show but had to sit on opposite sides of the room as I’d sold out.
Exit Music: Oh! You Pretty Things – David Bowie
“Like a Nick Cave album recited by a cheerful would-be Dorothy Parker” – The Sunday Times
Based on a true story, Psister Psycho is the tale of Martha, who at the age of 21 is sent to the convent on a hill to stop the people of her town being raped by a sea monster. Upon arrival she discovers the place is actually a munitions factory and the lovely Sister Mary Somethingcatholic is actually the insane lesbian robot Psister Psycho – who is intent on destroying the world.
I went back to the Caves in 2007 with the now cult Fringe musical Psister Psycho, the first Ward and White project. I’d met Martin White at the Book Club and was very impressed he could play the piano with both hands. I asked if he fancied composing the music for a show I’d written about killer lesbian robotic nun intent on destroying the world. He agreed. The show was nominated for A Chortle Award ‘Best Full Length Show’, though we didn’t win. Stewart bloody Lee did. All the characters were named after songs on ‘The White Album’. I played the eponemous villain Psister Psycho/Sister Mary Somethingcatholic.
Director – Chris George
Martha – Margaret Cabourn-Smith
Billy – Colin Hoult
Rocky – Katy Wix
Pru – Anna Crilly
Psister Psycho – Danielle Ward
Mute Monk – Martin White
Fact: Benedict Cumberbatch liked it so much he gave us a standing ovation until we finished playing the exit music and everyone else had left the theatre. I love him.
Exit Music: Psister Psycho Overture (80s style) – Ward and White
“The sharpness of the script matches the exuberance of the performance; making for a uniquely pleasurable ride that’s in turns silly, sick, surreal or just plain showbiz glitzy. Great fun” – Chortle
In 2006 I wrote a play called Take a Break Tales based on the sort of stories you find in those womens weekly magazines. They started out life as ‘Chat Plays’ at Robin Inces Book Clubs where I’d take one of the stories from that weeks copy of Chat and then make them into sketches. Stephen Merchant played a policeman in one of them. I think he was a bit confused. I like to think of them as modern Greek Tragedies, but then I am a bit of a prick. The tales included a story about a women who accidentaly had sex with her long lost son and a woman who bit her best friends cheek off. Awesome prodcuer Siobhan Bachman took the show to Edinburgh.
Director – Hannah Mackay
Cast – Neil Edmond, Isy Suttie, Emma Fryer
Fact: Take a Break Magazine liked the show so much they ran a little feature on it. And gave me a free mug.
Exit Music: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
‘Not a gag is missed’ – The Stage
‘You can’t but help fall for Ward’s talent’ – Metro
I did my first Edinburgh show in 2005 with Roisin Conaty. It was mainly us doing a bit of stand up each, but we did finish with a song that I composed. Yes, even the music. Roisin ended her 2010 show with a song also and went on to win the Best Newcomer Award – curses.
Fact: The two instances of note were a powercut and a stage invasion by some mega-prick who was in on a corporate ticket.
Exit Music: Rock and Roll Suicide – David Bowie
“Hilarious” – The List