Brighton Comedy Garden Image by Lloyd Winters

We spoke to Rosie Jones ahead of her gig at Brighton Comedy Garden

We had the privilege of spending some time with the highly acclaimed comedian, Rosie Jones. known for her appearances on various popular TV shows and her stand-up comedy performances. She has fronted two successful travelogue series for Channel4, “Mission: Accessible” and “Trip Hazard,” both of which were recommissioned for a second season. Rosie has also made notable appearances on shows such as “Live At The Apollo,” “The Jonathan Ross Show,” “Cats Does Countdown,” and “The Last Leg,” to name some. 

In addition to her comedy career, Rosie is an accomplished writer and actor. She wrote for the hit Netflix series “Sex Education” and wrote and starred in the Channel 4 commissioned series “Disability Benefits.” She made her prime-time acting debut in “Silent Witness” and played a recurring guest role in BBC’s “Casualty” as Paula. Rosie is also an author, having released her second children’s book, “The Amazing Edie Eckhart: The Big Trip,” and receiving praise from renowned author Jacqueline Wilson. After successful runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with her shows “Fifteen Minutes” and “Backward,” Rosie is now on her first international tour, “Triple Threat,” with performances across the UK, whilst also making an appearance at the Brighton Comedy Garden; the open-air comedy gala featuring the absolute best comedians of the moment, alongside a curated selection of emerging talents. 

Image by Lloyd Winters Laughterama

Rosie, your comedy is noted for its frankness and boldness. What drives your desire to challenge societal norms through humour?

I am SO passionate about comedy, because I think humour has the power to change people, and their beliefs for the better. And that is what I try to do in my stand up. I talk very openly about what it’s like to be a disabled, gay woman in 2023, and hopefully by doing that I can make my audience consider what it’s like for me and realise that I am just like them…as well as giving them a good few giggles along the way!

As an openly gay woman, could you talk a little about how your experience within the LGBT community has influenced your comedy? And, are there any specific LGBT issues or topics that you feel particularly passionate about discussing in your stand-up?

I talk a lot about being disabled AND gay, and I do this because when I was younger, and I’d turn on the telly, there weren’t any disabled, gay people that I could look up to. Therefore, I didn’t think you could BE disabled AND gay, I thought marginalised groups were mutually exclusive. As well as this, I feel like, specifically the word, ‘lesbian’ had a lot of negative connotations and stereotypes attached to it, most of which I could not relate to. I talk openly about being a gay woman, to show that my sexuality does not define me, and that a lesbian can have long hair, wear dresses and have cerebral palsy.

Could you share how your experiences with cerebral palsy have shaped your path and approach in the field of writing and comedy?

I have had cerebral palsy all of my life, which means that from as far back as I remember, people have felt quite awkward around me. It was always up to me to break the tension and I found that using comedy was the best way to do this. If I cracked a joke when I met somebody, they’d quickly realise that just because I spoke differently, it didn’t mean that I was somebody who should be pitied. Comedy is the best way to break down barriers.

In terms of my writing, that is an incredibly important part of my comedy. Because I speak slower than non disabled people, I need to make sure that the audience doesn’t get to the end of my joke before I do. The most important word of my joke is always the last, and that is to make sure that I am in control!

Who are the comedians that have influenced your comedic style and why?

Oh, so many. But my two heroes have got to be Billy Connolly and Victoria Wood. Billy taught me the importance of storytelling, and weaving jokes through a seemingly normal story, and Victoria taught me the importance of rhythm, pauses and musicality in stand up. Every syllable matters!

What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?

Definitely performing at Wembley Arena, to 12,000 people, including my mum and dad. Going out onto stage and shouting, ‘hello Wembley’ was a pinch me moment.

Stand-up comedy is known for being unpredictable. Can you share any interesting stories or unexpected challenges you’ve encountered on stage?

Haha, it really is. I can usually handle hecklers, but one time a lady got so drunk, she wouldn’t stop shouting. I held my nerve, kept the other audience members calm and entertained, and eventually the police were called. I’ve never been so close to getting punched.

As a successful woman in the comedy industry, what advice would you give to other women aspiring to have a career in comedy?

Just do it. That archaic notion that women aren’t funny is long behind us, but we still need more non male voices in the comedy industry, so come and join the fun!

What role do you think comedy plays in initiating dialogues around societal and cultural issues?

A huge one. Comedy can help us see a point of view which may be different from our own, and comedy, when done right, can make us feel a little less afraid of the unknown. Comedy has the power to change.

What can we expect from your Triple Threat tour?

At least three jokes, but they’re GREAT jokes. And a lot of fun, nonsense and joy!

Are there any upcoming projects you’re working on that you can share with us?

I’ve just filmed a documentary which’ll be out on Channel 4 in July, and I have another children’s book which will be released by the end of the year…and I am continuing to dominate all TV shows at all times, so I’ll see you on your television screens very soon!

Rosie Jones is on tour with her show Triple Threat across the UK this year. But luckily for you lot, you can also see her at the hugely popular Brighton Comedy Garden on Sun 9 July, including David O’Doherty, Nish Kumar, Amy Gledhill and Ivo Graham on the line-up!

visit www.brightoncomedygarden.co.uk and nab yourself a ticket before they all sell out.

Discover what comedy events are at Komedia this summer!

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