Ivo Graham is bringing his new show Motion Sickness to the Soho Theatre from the 1st to 13th of October. In anticipation for this fortnight of fun, MoodyComedy has been picking Ivo’s brains about the emotional core of this new show, and the difficulties he has experienced whilst performing it.
How was your show Motion Sickness received at the Edinburgh Festival this year?
30% returning customers revelling in spending another hour with a comedian they always enjoy.
20% returning customers broadly appreciating the well-told stories but perhaps lamenting the lack of interactive quiz/Weakest Link video from 2017.
10% new people thinking “god, this guy can turn a phrase”.
10% new people thinking “god, this guy’s a bit pretentious”.
10% family and friends wondering how long they have to keep coming to this shit.
10% too drunk / hot / in need of a wee to concentrate on what was happening.
10% empty seats.
What issues does your latest show concern? Which aspects (if any) have been challenging?
The latest show is about commitment and, more specifically, parenthood (the best answer on the board in the Family Fortunes category “commitments”: the worst on Pointless). It was challenging to write because it forced me to decide which of my own insecurities on the subject I felt comfortable sharing with an audience of mostly (see above) strangers. It was challenging to perform because by Edinburgh I’d learnt I was going to be a parent, rendering the central question of “am I ready to take this next step” frustratingly/hilariously inappropriate.
Admin-wise, I then had to decide whether to sit on this news or change the show: I decided the former, only for a couple of rather ambiguously-worded reviews leading to family members getting in touch to ask why I was doing comedy about news they hadn’t even been told about yet. Even now, a few weeks on, we’ve eschewed the obligatory Facebook ultrasound post, preferring to tell friends as and when we see them, so I’ve now got to make a whole lot more decisions as to how I present the information at the Soho. People might even find out having stumbled across this e-interview! A Moody Exclusive!
None of this is to suggest, by the way, that my life updates are of any Great Import beyond my various nearest and dearest, or that the difficulties described above hold a candle to any of the infinitely greater challenges being faced by people around the world. Fundamentally, my girlfriend and I (out of wedlock ahoy!) have had some great news, and being able to do stand-up about this sort of thing is always a Great LarkTM. But I can only respond to the questions as they’re asked (/copy-pasted) to me, and there’s no denying that this year’s issues and their representation have been more of a challenge than previous years’. So there you go.
How has your comedy changed over the past two years?
It’s got more commitment-based (see above). To quote a friend, “instead of talking about how you don’t get off with girls (2009 to 2016), you’re now talking about how you can’t get off with girls (2016 til death/divorce).
How would you describe Ivo Graham The Comedian in three words?
Why should people come to your Soho Theatre run?
Because the show is charming, relatable, articulate, and my god I’ve suddenly got rather a lot riding on this.