London’s slickest hub of unseen female talent is back
With another hilarious night of comedy
Hello ladies, first things first, where are you both from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Olivia: I was born and raised in London and now live north-east of London, on the Hertfordshire border. Grace was born in Frimley, Surrey and is now based in Fleet (Hampshire) but spend a lot of time in London.
Hello Grace, can you tell us about your career thus far in the performing arts?
Grace: Hello 🙂 Absolutely! My career thus far has been such an experience. Over the past few years I had a real drive to create my own work and opportunities and I think this has had a big impact on the relationships I’ve made and the jobs I’ve been lucky enough to have. It’s been a mixed bag with regards to the work I have done. It’s been a mixture of musical theatre, plays and screen work which was really my goal from the beginning to float across the platforms – fingers crossed I can continue do this going forward. Did I just jinx that?!
Where, when, why & how did you meet Olivia?
Grace: So Olivia and I met totally by chance in an acting workshop back around the summer of 2017. It was in the Statford Circus in East London (which is where we would go for these workshops every weekend) and we met improvising scenes with a small group of other actors. We stayed there for around a year and then decided we wanted to partner up and do our own little mini showcases which now have evolved into Women Aren’t Funny!
Can you tell us about Blue Butterfly Productions?
Olivia: Blue Butterfly Productions is Grace’s first-born child. She set up her production company early last year, because she truly believes in giving people opportunities to create their own work. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door!” in the words Grace Lewis herself (oh and Milton Berle. But Grace totally said it first). We produce PLUG IN under BBP because it encompasses the exact same values as PLUG IN does.
Can you tell us about PLUG IN?
Olivia: PLUG IN grew out of a combination of passion for and frustration with our beautiful industry! As actors ourselves, we were in need of a platform where we could perform, invite agents, mingle with other creatives and have a laugh! We noticed that a lot of our female-actor friends felt the exact same way. We were tired of waiting for opportunities, so decided to create some! On our PLUG IN journey, we noticed that a lot of pieces performed by the people on our stage were really funny and the audience were loving it! We decided to trample this ridiculous idea that ‘women aren’t funny’ by growing our event into a full-on comedy night, which proves the exact opposite!
You’ve got three famous comedians (dead or alive) coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starters, mains & dessert?
Olivia: Peter Kay every time. As well as, honestly, a fair few of the performers we’ve had at PLUG IN! I would serve my unbeatable Carrot & Orange Soup (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it), a delish Cauliflower Steak with spices, pomegranate seeds and all sorts of goodness and would finish off the meal with Chocolate ganache and Pavlova. And now I’m really hungry.
Plug In have started putting on comedy nights called – WOMEN AREN’T FUNNY – how have they been going?
Grace: AWESOME! We literally did NOT expect the night to be so well received and to be honest, its totally down to the pure talent of our performers. We’ve been lucky enough to sell out the past two shows so no pressure on this one hey…! (Did we mention tickets are on sale 😉 ) All jokes aside, there is so much incredible talent in London and we’ve been so lucky to get these women and non-binary performers on our stage!Can you describe your working relationship with Grace in a single sentence?
Olivia: GRACE WORKS SO HARD AND IS REALLY NICE
Can you describe your working relationship with Olivia in a single sentence?
Grace: DIVIDE AND CONQUER.
With an all-female line-up, do you feel you are bordering the realms of sexual exclusivity, or are men thoroughly welcome to come along?
Olivia: Of course men are beyond welcome!! Our audience has always been a beautifully healthy mix of all genders! We welcome and encourage anyone from anywhere to come along to our event and we have always been lucky enough to have an incredibly supportive and diverse audience. Although we do have only female-identifying and non-binary comedians on our stage, this is purely to help with equality on the comedy scene. So many of our female acts have told us that they’ve performed at countless comedy nights with around 17 comedians, yet they were the only woman. We love that we can offer a different night. But hopefully, soon enough, we won’t have to fight against the bizarre idea that ‘women aren’t funny’ and will be able to sit back and enjoy brilliant comedians without having to specify gender.
You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the streets of London…
Grace: Picture yourself laughing so hard you’re crying for a solid 90 minutes… You may even pee a little… That’s what we’re serving you up at PLUG IN! Why? Because WOMEN ARE FUNNY! And we will defy the ratio’s of male to female stand ups on stage if its the last thing we do!