Comedy capers with Kitty Flanagan
FTER years slogging it out on the road, Kitty Flanagan has finally worked out the formula for fuss-free and fun touring – make a holiday of it.
‘‘Because my sister (singer-songwriter Penny Flanagan) is in my show and she has three kids, we have a very relaxed touring schedule where we go away once every couple of weeks for three days and then come back,’’ she says.
Better yet, her tour manager is Flanagan’s old Full Frontal comedy chum Glenn Butcher.
‘‘It’s the perfect crime now – my sister and my best friend,’’ she laughs.
After almost a decade based in the UK, Flanagan came home for good a few years ago to tour her show Charming And Alarming.
Now she’s back with Hello Kitty Flanagan, written from scratch – for Flanagan, a whole new approach to writing.
‘‘I had to scrap the lot and I’ve never had to do that before,’’ she says.
‘‘My shows have always evolved because I was a club comic in England and doing the circuit, five minutes gets deleted as you add another five minutes.
‘‘This time around I’d toured the show for two years and put out a DVD. So it was like: ‘That’s it lady, you’ve got to scrap that hour 20 and come up with a new one’,’’ she says.
Her management was happy to set Flanagan some challenges, booking her into the Melbourne Fringe last year as well as runs in small rooms in Sydney and Canberra, inviting fans to watch her work in progress.
‘‘When you perform in front of 60 people you find out pretty quickly what’s funny and what’s not, because you can see it on their faces,’’ she says.
‘‘It made me feel sick, but I’ve really enjoyed it. I now feel like there’s hope that I could do this again; that I could come up with another show. Now I know there’s a process you can go through in order to do so.’’
And it’s not just about conquest of process. Thanks to her Tuesday night appearances on Channel 10’s The Project, Flanagan has been extending her audience to a new generation.
‘‘I like the fact that it makes me appeal to the kids,’’ she says. ‘‘I have really taken that on board and so I get a lot of people saying: ‘hey, my kids love you’. That’s a real buzz, I love the idea that little kids are finding me funny, whether they do or not,’’ she muses.
Hello Kitty Flanagan will focus on more adult fare and while large chunks of Charming And Alarming covered a non-parent’s observations of parenting young children, her friends’ kids are growing up.
‘‘So now I’m talking about how to parent teenagers,’’ she laughs.
Kitty Flanagan plays The Arts Centre Gold Coast on September 21.