Interview: Kiri Pritchard-McLean

kiri-pritchard-mclean-geins-family-gift-shop

Manchester based stand up Kiri Pritchard McLean brings her debut hour to the Liverpool Comedy Festival this month, the irreverently titled, Racist Sexist Comedy Show. Originally from Wales, Kiri has made a name for herself across the North West circuit as a charming performer known for her unique, topical and sometimes dark comedy. She’s also the invisible fourth member of the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominated sketch group Gein’s Family Giftshop. We chatted to Kiri about her show, showing off, and the pitfalls of compromise when writing comedy…

How would you describe your style of stand up?

I just witter on about my family, my partner, being Welsh all the things I’m most ashamed of. Dad, if you’re reading this, It’s a joke. Jim (my partner) if you’re reading this, buck your ideas up.

How did you get into comedy?

I’d always been a show off, and after going and doing a comedy course I realised that I could show off without being an actress. The appeal there is I don’t have to be thin or learn lines. Deal breakers.

Who are your comedy influences?

Stand ups I love are Maria Bamford, Louis CK, Michael J. Dolan and Billy Connelly. I’m a huge fan of everything the League of Gentlemen have written as a group and then as pairs/individuals. Although, I’ve never watched Dr. Who*. *goes and hides under the bed to avoid the tuts and death stares from Whovians.

You write as part of Gein’s Family Giftshop as well as performing stand up. How does writing sketch differ from writing stand up?

In some ways it’s easier because there’s four minds working together. Writers block is less prevalent. Also, they’re my best buds so getting to hang out with them and make them laugh is always a delight.  However, “the camel is a horse designed by committee” and the sketches that we’ve had to compromise on, or that too many people have had too different a vision on, are always the sketch equivalent of some horribly mutated camel. With wings and maybe a snake for a tail. And just an eye for a head and it’s not funny. Although that does sound funny.

What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

I think Kath (from Gein’s Family Giftshop) doing an impression of a French teacher singing. It’s chillingly accurate and although I haven’t heard her particular teacher sing, it seems teachers are issued with the same odd, high singing voice when they complete their PGCE.

Best gig anecdote?

A comedy night in Sheffield that I did as a very new comic. I did well, so they asked me back to compere the evening some while later. The landlord loves the night and loves the fact he gets to introduce the compere even more. You can tell he runs the night just so he gets to stand behind a mic for a few minutes and try and be funny; but at the same time there’s no expectation on him to be funny – the perfect crime. He walked to the mic and said “Ladies and gentlemen we’ve got a something quite exotic for you tonight, a lady comedian. Now, she came here a few years ago and was utter shit so let’s hope she’s improved now as she’s hosting, it’s Kiri Pritchard-McLean”. Brilliant, best introduction to date.

What’s your favourite thing about Liverpool?

I adore the place and lived there for years, even when I was at University in Manchester – the nightlife was too good to leave behind.

Top 3 things:
1. Tokyou noodles
2. Heebie Jeebies
3. The Cathedrals (I know that’s technically 4 but this is my question I’ll do what I want)

You can follow Kiri on Twitter @kiripritchardmc

Catch Kiri’s “Racist, Sexist Comedy Show” at 81, Renshaw on the 26th September, 8pm. Tickets are just £5, and the night is double headlined by Gein’s Family Giftshop. Tickets and more info here.

For more coverage of Liverpool Comedy Festival, check out our page here.

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