We Love Lucy!
Born in Croydon to a Northern Irish dad and a Midlander mum (who met in Africa), Lucy never felt that she belonged down South. She tried moving to Manchester, marrying a Welshman and travelling the world, but she’s still – like the littlest hobo – seeking her spiritual home.
Does geography shape our destiny? This month sees the panel show regular with the warming smile gracing The Greystones stage asking that very question. Rebecca Elvidge caught up with her to find out more.
This year is your return to touring after a sizeable break. How’s it going?
Really well! It was actually more like three years off because of having my children, but Northern Soul starts on the 10th September. My last show finished in June.
We’ve also seen your return to the Edinburgh Fringe after two years away. Was it a triumphant return to the festival?
It was very nice indeed. I used to go almost every year, since I was 18, but now I’ve got the kids up with me it’s changed a bit! Not so many riotous drunken evenings after the shows these days. The weather was good though and as I definitely crave attention it was fun to be back in front of an audience. When I had my time off it got peculiar being at home all the time!
Ups and downs of tour life?
It can get lonely. I used to have a support act but I do it all myself now so I’m on my own for a lot of the time. Now I’ve got kids I try not to be away for more than a night as well but sometimes I’ve been away for up to three. Something I have learnt to love though is the hotels! I used to hate it but now I absolutely revel in the clean sheets. And I do get to see a lot of strange places. Things like The Stockport Hat Museum.
The show is called Northern Soul, but you were born and raised in Croydon. What exactly drew you to Northern people and Northern culture?
Well when I was growing up and all my friends were aspiring to be prize winning showjumpers I was aspiring to be a Northerner! I guess I was a bit of an indie kid – I was convinced that I’d move up North and marry Morissey and that would be the end of it. It didn’t quite happen like that but I always just thought that Northerners were kinder, wiser people and I still think they are now!
You carried on doing your stand up until pretty much the end of your pregnancy. How did that work out?
I wish I could be pregnant on stage all the time! People are so fazed by it. I’m only 4”11 as well so I was absolutely massive. And no one heckles a pregnant lady!
The show is based quite a lot on you wanting to find a place to settle down. What’s your checklist for the perfect ‘Lucy home’?
First thing would have to be a proper pub, and I mean a proper one. Not one of these pretentious bars, a proper good local. Is it bad that that’s the first thing I thought of? Oh well. A good few takeaways as well would be important for me and a nice park for the kids. I’ve moved up north in the past and then back down south but we live in Camden at the moment and that’s a pretty good match.
Your shows are undeniably feel-good. Any words to live by so we can all be as cheery as you?
I always try to live by something Dodi Smith said, the woman who wrote 101 Dalmations. She said that ‘noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures’. I try and live by that. But I add ‘gin’ as well.
Lucy plays The Greystones on Saturday 12 October. Tickets are £10, see the website for more information!