Definitely a name to watch, Laura Lexx has been rising through the British comedy ranks for several years, opening for acts such as Jason Manford, Tim Vine and Russell Kane, and performing at such festivals as Bestival, Latitude, Festival No6 and Green Man. She’s also been picking up some solid award nominations and wins as well (including nominations for Best Compere in the last three Chortle Awards).
Her recent solo show, Trying, saw the 30-something Brighton-based comedian explore her struggle to conceive and her battle with depression, and was widely praised for its warmth and power, balancing darker moments with bursts of laughter.
Further performances are planned for 2019, but before then she’s back at Cardiff’s Glee Club as part of their Christmas run, where she’ll be joined by Andy Askins (a favourite of John Bishop) and Canadian Mike Wilmot, making a fine end to what has already been a fine year.
Do you still look forward to Christmas?
Yes, but I think what I look forward to has changed… now I look forward to advent and I revel in that. I like all the extra reasons to see friends, all the extra lights, all the niceness and people being their best. For all that Christmas is a commercialised bog of problems it’s also lovely that actually, what it boils down to is people loving each other. I’m a sappy mare.
What would you like for Christmas this year?
I’d love a dog, some sustainable palm oil and a second referendum. But mainly the dog.
Are you a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas? Do you go for the garishly decorated tree, mince pies, turkey with all the trimmings, the Queens speech … ?
I’m pretty traditional, yes! Swap mince pies for Yule log or my sister’s Christmas pudding, turkey for my mother-in-law’s nut roast, add my mum’s red cabbage in place of the Queen’s wet platitudes and I’m good to go! It’s my littlest nephew’s first Christmas this year so I’m looking forward to his first round of photos and all the board games with my siblings after dinner. Oh gawd, you’re getting me all excited for it now…
Without meaning to shame anyone, what was the worst Christmas present you’ve ever had?
I couldn’t possibly say… I’ve had some horrors but I would hate to have anyone know that – that’d be too awful.
What was the most disappointing Christmas you’ve experienced?
Why all the negativity guys?! I don’t know… they’re not all the perfect Christmas but any excuse to go home and see everyone is brilliant. I missed Christmas with my family one year, so I guess I could say that one was disappointing but the truth is I was in Lapland working as an elf in Santa’s grotto for that year so… not really a disappointment. See? I told you I take Christmas seriously!
What’s your favourite festive song, and why?
I love Stop the Cavalry by Jonah Louie as the military beat is great, I like Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea because I remember singing it with my brother as we drove down the A303 to get home on Christmas Eve once. I like Don’t Let The Bells End by The Darkness as it’s a great modern classic, and I also LOVE Country Christmas songs… there are some absolute doozies out there. My favourites are Muddy Christmas and Thistle Hair the Christmas Bear. Yes really. Oh, also check out James Penguin. Excellent.
Do you have a favourite Christmas film / book / TV special?
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig is a fab Christmas book and I can’t wait to read that to my kids one day. I love choosing a different trash Christmas novel every year to have as my audio book for a bit of December. I’m really into Christmas films – I make a spreadsheet of all my films and the dates I have free to watch them so that I fit them all in through Advent.
Have you had a good 2018? What’s been some of your highlights?
I have had a good year, thank you… it’s been… a lot. A huge show [Trying] and a lot of emotional upheaval parading my mental health about for laughs, but it was all worth it. The highlight professionally has to be getting to perform at The Apollo. Nothing could top that moment walking out under the sign. Having my newest nephew born has been the best thing about the year though, you can’t beat a little chubby face.
And what’s your plans for 2019?
I have a book deal in the pipes that I need to work on and a TV project that hopefully will be off the ground early 2019, but who can ever tell with these things eh? I’ll still be gigging all over the place and possibly working on a new show for Edinburgh 2019, but we’ll see how it goes.
words Dave Freak
Laura Lexx appears at The Glee Club Cardiff from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 December 2018 as part of the club’s Christmas Comedy Specials. Also appearing are Andy Askins and Mike Wilmot. For more information, see: www.glee.co.uk