Andrew Dipper

New Act of the Month: Katherine Tanney

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Katherine Tanney is an up-and-coming comedian from Newcastle, who tells self-deprecating stories with a cynical edge. A regular at John Scott’s Sod The Tories at The Stand, and a recent contributor to the venue’s charity book, Tanney got into comedy through a stand-up course ran by Scott and Vladimir McTavish. She’s our New Act of the Month for January.

AD: Hi Katherine. How did you get into comedy? What made you first want to get on stage?

KT: I got dumped by a boy. He emigrated. The one before him had also emigrated. I was telling someone how gutted I was, in all seriousness, and they pissed themselves laughing and asked if I’d ever considered doing stand up.

I’d done a bit of amateur dramatics type stuff in the past and had fancied giving comedy a go for a while, so I did a stand-up course at the Live Theatre [in Newcastle] at the end of 2012, run by John Scott and Vladimir McTavish.

John and Vlad were ace, and it was a safe environment to make a tit of myself before giving it a go for real. 

AD: What’s been your highlight so far?

KT: I think the highlight was actually my first ever gig – the showcase at the end of the comedy course. I almost had an involuntary bowel movement beforehand but I was completely astonished that people laughed politely and no one threw anything. I still vowed I’d never do it again afterwards, though…

AD: And low point?

KT: The low point so far is probably a charity gig I did last year. Everyone there was hammered, the microphone had horrendous feedback that they couldn’t fix, no-one listened to a word I was saying and I cut my losses about four minutes into my set and left.

AD: A lot of your material comes from the perspective of someone who’s been dealt a bad hand, if that’s fair to say. Is that just an act?

KT: [Laughs] So I sound like a miserable cow? I love a bit of healthy cynicism, but I’m actually quite jolly… There’s the odd bit that’s based on fact – I do have a pretty impressive ‘tache, for instance. But mostly it’s an act. I’m dead nice really.

AD: Who are your comedy heroes?

KT: Eddie Izzard is a genius, and Al Murray works an audience brilliantly. There’s loads of great comics locally, too. My comedy hero is probably my sister Clare, though. She’s not a comedian but she’s infinitely funnier than me.

AD: Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

KT: In my pyjamas, eating baked goods, surrounded by a small herd of adoring Spaniels. I don’t have big comedy ambitions, I just quite like doing it.

AD: Tell us something we didn’t already know about you…

KT: Until I was well into adulthood, I genuinely believed that everyone who went skiing all went to the same place. I didn’t realise that there were different resorts in different countries. I wondered why it never got full.

Are you on Twitter?

KT: I’m on there I think but I’ve never done a tweet. I’m not sure I’d know how. Me and modern technology aren’t really friends. I only recently discovered how to work the DVD player.

Follow me on Twitter, people! I’ll probably never say anything on it though.

AD: Finally, where can we see you next?

KT:  I’m at The Stand in Newcastle this weekend and again on 20 January for Simon Donald’s Dyslexia benefit. I’m doing Gavin Webster’s show there on 3 February, too.