From Comedy Workshop to 26.2 Hour Stand Up Comedy Marathon!


I am terrified of public speaking – and I want to do stand-up comedy. These things do not go together. As someone who has accidentally risen to spokesperson status in my industry (I assume mainly by virtue of being around longer than all other potential candidates), this irrational fear has proven itself limiting when it comes to doing exciting things. At this point, I feel like I need to be clear on level of fear – it’s not one of those abstract things on the edge of your mind, like when you have an exam you should revise for but you’re actually in the pub; not to put it in too crude of terms, it can manifest in quite physical ways ranging from what we’ll delicately call digestive distress, right the way up the spectrum to one particularly memorable occasion that I got so worked up I spent the 12 hours before being sick (with a side order of good old digestive distress). Basically, my entire gastric system is a psychosomatic drama queen.

Unsurprisingly I would like this to change and so I’ve approached addressing it the way I approach everything, by going absolutely all in. It started with a little poke at the mental boundaries, a scoping exercise I alighted on when I was still covered in the glitter of New Year New Me idealism. In a fit of bravery and optimism, I signed up for the Funny Women Stand Up to Stand Out workshop just to test whether what my friends and family lovingly and biasedly told me was funny might actually meet the minimum standard to brave a real stage. When I stepped into the group, fully galvanised with my big girl shoes and as much make up as I could fit on my face – it was January, I basically had to draw my cheekbones on with blusher like a garden gnome, to make them appear – I already felt I’d climbed a bit of a mountain. What I found at the summit was a group of intimidatingly witty, talented women that magically inspired me rather than scared me, and I wanted to be part of their gang.

It was with this giddy energy that I took up a challenge from Mark Watson to learn the art of stand-up comedy over the course of 26.2 hours as part of the latest of his infamous series of marathon shows. And it is all for a really good cause – meaning I really do have to do it.

So Mark is putting together my own personal marathon school timetable including any other consummate professionals he can rope in to teach me the art of the game (at least the bits that you can teach) over the course of 26.2 HOURS! All this while MCing his own epic show featuring a cast of other thoroughly more interesting and probably less self-indulgent people to take place at The Pleasance Theatre over the course of the 27th and 28th February.

Tickets are (unbelievably) still available if you want the most show you can get for £26.20, including, but not limited to, how I get on with doing this. It’s really exciting but pretty intimidating, so the moral of the story is don’t go to a Stand Up to Stand Out course unless you’re prepared to change your life, it really is that good!

Mark Watson’s Comedy Marathon is on Wednesday 27th February at the Pleasance Theatre, London. Proceeds go to the Dementia Revolution charity. For tickets and more information click here!