Definitely is the upbeat title of comedian Vikki Stone’s show for this year’s Brighton Comedy Festival which she plays with a date at Brighton Dome on October 12.
“But to be honest, you have to decide the title of the show eight months before you start to perform it,” Vikki admits. “The deadline is about February for Edinburgh, and you start previewing the lesser comedy festivals in February.
“So you have to come up with a title that you think is going to describe your show but isn’t going to commit you too heavily if you decide to change your mind. It has got to be vague, but you have got to be able to think that it might do.”
Vikki is relatively new to the business: “Most of the comedians that you see on TV have been doing it for a long time. I have been doing it for four years. I started life in musical theatre. I did a lot of musicals, but I got really fed up with the process of being in a musical. It’s really hard turning up to the meat market casting call. There is just too much luck involved whereas doing comedy and musical comedy, if you have got a good act then you will continue to get good work.
“In musical theatre, so much good talent is wasted. There are probably about 100 people for each part that they cast, and about half the people could do it. The odds are really stacked against you. And then you have just got a job for a short time and you are back to square one.”
In comedy, on the other hand, you can keep working and hone your craft: “You keep on writing songs. You keep on trying to get better and better. What is great about comedy is that it is black and white. It is either funny or it isn’t. In every show, I do six or seven songs. There are the songs and the stand-up and the bigger pieces. It’s quite theatrical.
“I don’t see myself as a female comedian. I just see myself as a comedian. But it is frustrating that there are not so many opportunities for women. I saw the programme Would I Lie To You on TV. There are seven jobs on that. Just one of them was a woman, and she wasn’t even a comedian. She was an actress. There are plenty of female comedians out there.”
But otherwise, it’s a very healthy scene: “What is great for comedy, especially live comedy, is that you can go out and have a great night cheaper than you could a play or a musical. The ticket prices for other forms of entertainment are so high because there are so many other people involved. But in comedy, you can get to see someone really worth seeing for about £15.”
This is Vikki’s second time at the Brighton Comedy Festival, and as she says, there is a big difference between a comedy-festival gig and a tour gig: “The comedy festival gig can be a lot more anticipated. The audience are likely to be more in the zone. It’s something that has been in the diary for a long time.
“When you do Edinburgh, sometimes you feel that the audience are a bit fatigued. They may have seen lots and lots of things and be quite hard to gee up. You are talking about 3,000 shows in Edinburgh, but Brighton is much smaller, and Brighton is curated... theatrically invited. In Edinburgh, anybody can put a show on. In Brighton, you have to be invited.”