RT @CamdenPT: "Safety is a priority. Comfort? No. Which is not to say Trigger Warning is just uncomfortable, it’s a lot of things." Check…
view counter

5 minutes with Viv Groskop, star of Upstairs Downton at Impro Fest 2013

You might know Viv Groskop from her Downton Abbey blog for The Guardian, her award-winning stand up comedy, her Downton Abbey/Upstairs Downstairs improvisation spoof 'Upstairs Downton', her regular TV and radio appearances, as Red Magazine's literary editor or from any of her many other incarnations. Living up to her reputation as the UK's most prolific freelancer, you can catch Viv live at the opening of Impro Fest 2013, then on 2nd March for an evening of Upstairs Downton at the festival, presenting The Night I Died at Soho House on 3rd March (for members only) and hosting International Women's Day Eve on 7th March. They weren't joking about the prolific thing.

RR: Do you prefer being Upstairs or Downstairs?

VG: Downstairs can be more fun because you can do a yokel local accent and/or wear a frilly maid's hat. But as a woman you can get away with more as an Upstairs character by being a loony suffragette or eccentric Egyptologist type.

RR: Rank in order of the most terrifying: Improvisation, public speaking or being on the telly.

VG: None of these things are scary if you want to do them! Improvisation is probably the least terrifying because you have no control over what happens and so there's absolutely no point in worrying about it.

RR: You recently appeared as Agony Aunt on For the Love of Mic's podcast- if you had 99 problems, what definitely wouldn't be one?

VG: Same as Jay-Z. I would never own a dog. I am a cat person.

RR: Funny Women are taking over the world, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler flying the flag stateside and over here we 're looking forward to Sue Perkin's new comedy Heading Out. Which other funny women can you recommend to us?

VG: Improvisers Cariad Lloyd, Pippa Evans and Gemma Whelan. Stand-ups Sara Pascoe, Celia Pacquola and Susan Calman. Writers Sloane Crosley, AM Homes and Amy Sedaris.

RR: Which is funnier; animals dressed as people or people dressed as animals?

VG: Oh, it's a close call. Better than both, though, is Pet Shaming. Cruel, wrong and very funny.  

RR: You've been dubbed 'the UK's most prolific freelancer'- what is the secret to efficient time-management?

VG: No Jeremy Kyle. But do have children. Once you're paying for childcare, procrastination becomes a thing of the past. Also: lists. Many, many lists.

RR: Why are onesies so fabulous?

VG: I hate onesies! They are babywear for adults. And a sworn enemy of their more stylish, tailored cousin, the jumpsuit. Say no to onesies.

Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Graeme Robertson

view counter