An Interview with Eleanor Morton

Credit: Jamie Dunn

 

Eleanor Morton is a Scottish stand-up comedian living in London.  She’s performed stand-up comedy for several years and her work has been described as a “Homemade brand of comedy that’s liberated from the conventional confines of set-up and punchline” by The Guardian and “Deftly throwing punchlines and ukulele licks like comedy shuriken” by The Skinny.  I interviewed her recently, here is that interview…

 

I love the songs in your Lollipop show from last year (video below), especially “Doing the Clubbing”  (19:00 in video below) with the chant “Don’t forget, tap water is legally free, I say tap water is legally free!” Are they the most fun routines to perform?

Yeah I like songs the audience can join in on.  Although of course it’s pretty horrible when they don’t want to join in.  I have to try and tell them using just my eyes; ‘Don’t worry.  I definitely look stupider than you right now.’  But I like people like Bill Bailey and Tim Minchin and Phil Nicol when they get everyone singing along. It’s nice and unifying.

Your Game of Thrones shopping routine (17:27 in video above) is really addictive, I might have done it a couple times when shopping… What’s your thoughts on Game of Thrones?

I liked the theme tune before I even saw the show, so I had it on my mp3 for ages before I watched it.  It’s good, but I don’t follow it much since Ygritte died.  She gave me hope for ginger women everywhere.  Just standing around in big bits of fur looking angry.  Great.  But then they shot her.  Also lots of scenes are people standing around talking.  I know that’s meant to make it look clever and deep and mirror the Tudor dynasty politics, but it makes it boring.  And I hate the Tudors.  What an over-hyped family.

To promote your Lollipop show, you filmed a short (video below) with you awkwardly testing out your ideas to an audience of stuffed animals. I thought it was hilarious. How did you come up with the idea?

I just thought ‘what’s the most unresponsive audience I could get?’ It was a toss up between stuffed animals and *insert comedy club I hate here*.  I quite like to push the audience’s patience.  They don’t like it.  They hate it.

You’re performing a new Ed Fringe show this year; Allotted Mucking Around Time.  How’s the writing going for that?

I’m trying to do as many previews as possible because that’s where you get the most writing done.  It’s much less finished that it was this time last year, but I think that’s good because it means I can let it grow and change organically.

Do you feel more prepared for the Fringe this year, compared to your first full run last year?

Yes and no.  I felt really looked-after at The Stand last year because it’s where I started and I know everyone and they’re lovely, so that made my first hour a bit easier.  So I can’t wait to go back.  But now I think I’m less concerned with doing what a fringe show ‘should be’ and just doing what I enjoy.

Question from stand-up comedian Keir McAllister: “Have you had a more fulfilling collaborative experience than working with me and Vladimir? If not, who else would match up? (We once made her run through a field dressed as Princess Meridian with a fake bow and arrow for like 2 days so we could shoot a music video)”

Hi Keir!  Well obviously nothing can match up to my time with you and Vlad, but I’m enjoying working with The Weirdos in London (led by Adam Larter).  We’ve been doing unofficial Harry Potter sequels which have been really fun.  I play Ginny.  I’m the only one who doesn’t need a costume.  Quite a lot of cool people have let me work with them actually, Frankie Boyle, the Comedy Unit, Turtle Canyon Comedy. #Blessed

You were actively involved in the Scottish referendum last year (we were so close!). Do you think there will be another indy ref in our lifetime?

I really really hope so.   If nothing else, it was great to feel so enfranchised for once – every street in Scotland had a poster and an opinion, which was great.  I think it’s definitely changed Scottish politics and our relationship to Westminster for good.  I hope our generation will continue to push for a representative government and not become apathetic.

What was it like being a Scottish person living in London during the General Election 2015?

Pretty horrible.  I don’t actually know anyone who voted Tory, but someone must have.  Everyone was very sad and depleted and just sort of stared into middle distance.  But I don’t sound Scottish, so I avoided any questions about how the SNP were ruining the UK and how we are stealing English Tax money from stealth-Tories.

What is Catriona’s Storybook Corner?  I saw the Cumberbatch story, it’s amazing.

Catriona is my sister and I let her write down the weird ideas she has and things that happen to her.  My favourite one is ‘The Help with Dinosaurs’.  It’s ‘The Help’ –with dinosaurs. She basically predicted Jurassic World.  Catriona’s a really great writer with a really warped mind.

The Help with Dinosaurs
Credit: Eleanor Morton

 

You like sweets.  You sit down to watch a movie, what sweets do you eat?

I eat all the sweets.  I went to the cinema yesterday and had pix n’ mix for the first time in years.  Magical.  I’d probably get a bag of sharing minstrels and not share it.  And some popcorn.  And some wine gums.  And an Irn Bru.  And a coke.  And some revels.  And some of whatever you’re having.  Goddamnit I’m hungry now.

 

 

If you would like more Eleanor Morton in your life, check her out on Twitter.  Go see her new Ed Fringe show this year Allotted Mucking Around Time!  To find out about her upcoming gigs, check out her website and Twitter.

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