Five minutes with… comedian Luisa Omielan

Published: Tuesday 6th December 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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After huge success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Luisa Omielan’s show What Would Beyoncé Do?! has been hailed by The Guardian as ‘one of the biggest stand up hits of the last decade’.

She’s toured over a dozen countries, sold out an 850-seater venue in London earlier this year, and recently published a book. Not bad for a girl who just a few years ago was sat at her mum’s house asking herself “What am I doing with my life?”

We caught up with the funnywoman to find out more about her show, which runs at Fruit on Wednesday 7 December.

Tell us what to expect from What Would Beyoncé Do?!

My stand-up show is a bit like a party. It’s really fun, engaging and feel-good. Audiences can expect to leave feeling empowered, and ready to have a good night out!

The clue might be in the name, but what’s the show about?

The show is not all about Beyoncé. It’s more about how we’re now in a generation where we think we can have it all, but when you wake up and you don’t have it all, you’re like: “What? That’s not how it was meant to turn out!”

Back when I turned 24, I moved back to my mum’s house after graduating. I met with my friends and we were all talking about how we thought by the time we were 24 we’d have money and careers, be sorted and have everything going for us.

We also realised that we were the same age as Beyoncé and then we were like: “FML, what are we doing with our lives? How is Beyoncé selling out arenas like Wembley and I’m living at home with my mum?”

Is that what inspired you to write the show?

The show came about naturally. I was doing stand-up quite regularly anyway, and then it came to me whilst doing my first solo hour of material. I just linked it all together with Beyoncé references.

It wasn’t a case of me sitting down and thinking “How can I write a Beyoncé show?” – it was a culmination of all my material.

If you like Beyoncé, that’s a bonus. But you don’t have to know much about her to enjoy the show.

You’ve recently written a printed version of What Would Beyonce Do?! Was this harder than doing stand-up comedy?

Yeah, it was a bit difficult to turn the stand-up into a book. The live performance is so vivid, and people get involved and really enjoy themselves. It’s hard to capture that on paper.

In saying that, I’m so glad I got the opportunity to do it, but it was definitely a challenge to write. You’re turning something that’s a live experience into words; it’s a different thing entirely.

It’s like saying go see Beyoncé live in concert and then write a book about it!

Has it been hard to break through as a female comedian?

Yeah, I have found it hard to break through. All I know is that my shows are excellent, and people really do enjoy them. It’s difficult to break that through into the mainstream media, for whatever reason that is.

You look at it and there are definitely more male comedians breaking through than female, it’s bull****!

Why should people come out to see you at Fruit?

They’re gonna have a good time, have a bit of a party, laugh dance and enjoy themselves. They’re gonna forget the mundanity of everyday life.

If you’ve been heartbroken, if you’re depressed, if you’re stressed about Christmas, if you’re poor and just having a hard time, my show is the perfect antidote for that. So come along!

Luisa Omielan will perform her stand-up show at Fruit, Humber Street, Hull on Wednesday 7 December – doors open at 7:30pm. There is an age restriction of 18 and over. For tickets, please call Hull Box Office on 01482 221113 or book online.

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Published: Tuesday 6th December 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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