Events: New for 2014


New update Events for 2014 including The Night I Died at LOCO Festival on Sunday 26 January, I Laughed, I Cried at the Independent Bath Literature Festival at Komedia Bath at 4.30pm on Friday 7 March, the Great Big Comedy Night with Mark Watson, Mary Bourke and Gemma Whelan at 7pm on Friday 7 March and I Laughed, I Cried: The Show Version 2.0 at Cambridge WordFest on Saturday 5 April. Click here for all Events.

Above: discussion on Soviet propaganda posters at GRAD (Gallery of Russian Art and Design) on 22 January.


Austentatious Christmas special




Really looking forward to Austentatious’ last performance of the year at the Leicester Square Theatre on 22 Dec

Looking EVEN MORE forward to them performing for the first time in a Regency ballroom in Bath at the Literature Festival on March 8 — one of the fastest-selling of our Early Bird tickets. Click here to book. Here’s a great piece on them in The Bath Magazine.

Austentatious is my favourite thing at the Edinburgh Fringe — I’ve seen them three times now and every time is different to the last and more fabulous. You never see the same show twice because it’s genuinely improvised and made up on the spot. Although it’s so good that most people don’t believe that this can be true. But it is! It really is!


Merry Christmas from Bath Literature Festival

Tickets have gone on sale for my first programme as Artistic Director of the Independent Bath Literature Festival. This is the first time in Bath’s 19-year history that tickets for the Festival (28 Feb to 9 Mar 2014) have been released before Christmas. Last week ten names went on sale. Today tickets for Jennifer Saunders were released: you can buy them in time for Christmas if you sign up as a Friend of the Festival.

Membership as a Friend (from £20) also gives you priority booking on all our events from 2 January. The whole programme goes on general release from 20 January. Here’s more on Membership here: if you know someone in or around Bath or you fancy a weekend away in early March, it’s a great gift.

About Bath Literature Festival: 10 days, 180+ authors, 23,000 ticket sales. We’ve got literary, comedy and non-fiction names from around the world at our 2014 Festival, where the theme is Bliss. I’m performing in the Great Big Comedy Night on March 7 at Komedia: Live at the Apollo’s Mark Watson headlines.


Bath 2014: First 10 events




So excited that our first ten events are now on sale for Bath 2014: 28 February to 9 March.

This is the first time in Bath’s 19-year history that tickets have gone on sale in time for Christmas.

I took over as Artistic Director part-time at the Independent Bath Literature Festival earlier this year: it’s my job to put the programme together, with the help of our brilliant Literature Producer Judith Robinson (formerly of Cheltenham Festivals and British Council). We’ve had a lot of fun putting together these names with the aim of making the Festival as eclectic and varied as possible. The theme? Bliss, which has inspired a series of Bliss Lectures, exclusive eighteen-minute talks by writers and thinkers on the one subject they’re most passionate about.

Sat 1 March:

Germaine Greer on her much-anticipated memoir about her lifelong love affair with Australia

The Great Bath News Debate featuring Alain de Botton, Carl Honore, Jon Snow, Ritula Shah, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby: “Is News Ruining Our Lives?”

Henry Blofeld: the cricket legend at his unrestrained anecdotal best

Sun 2 March

Hanif Kureishi talks about his controversial new novel The Last Word

Wed 5 March

Claudia Roden: my favourite cookery writer 

Friday 7 March

Rowan Williams: the former Archbishop of Canterbury delivers one of our unique Bliss Lectures: “Bliss is… Tolstoy.”

Mark Hix: award-winning restaurateur and chef talks about his life in food

Great Big Comedy Night featuring Mary Bourke, Gemma Whelan, Mark Watson. Viv Groskop MC.

Sat 8 March

Austentatious: Edinburgh Fringe sell-out sensation returns to Bath — my favourite comedy improv troupe

Sun 9 March

Joanna Trollope: the acclaimed novelist on why Jane Austen is her bliss




I am very excited to be coming to Mad̶chester! In fact I am, as they say, mad for it. This is all part of the Women in Comedy Festival, the first UK festival celebrating women in comedy with 100 events at 16 venues over the whole month. Featuring Lucy Porter, Zoe Lyons, Gina Yashere, Susan Calman and loads of amazing laydeez.

I’m at the King’s Arms in Salford doing the (FIVE STAR — YES!) show of I Laughed, I Cried with What the Frock (click here for the review of the Edinburgh show) at 7pm on Thursday 3 Oct. Tickets are £5. Or slightly less if you buy them in advance — save 60p! Go wild on the money you have saved!

 And I’ll be at Waterstones Arndale at 12pm on Friday 4 Oct. This event is free. If I have enough time to make some, I might bring some brownies. (Cakes, not extra daughters. One Brownie in the house is enough.) I am also at Laughing Labia at Taurus Bar, Manchester, on Friday 4 Oct at 9pm. More on all this here


New Events!



I’ve just updated the listings (click here) for new events in Shoreditch (although that’s sold out, sorry), Brixton, Manchester and Aylesbury. Coming soon, details for: Teddington (Fri 11 Oct), Wimbledon (Sat 12 Oct), Soho (Mon 14 Oct), Sherbourne (Thurs 17 Oct) and Bath (Wed 23 Oct). I had better put some diesel in the car. *reminds self once again that it is diesel and NOT PETROL*


Advance copies of I Laughed, I Cried at Lutyens and Rubinstein



At the Curtis Sittenfeld launch tonight I had the GREAT EXCITEMENT of seeing I Laughed, I Cried on sale for the first time. (These are super-early copies.) Thank you so much to Lutyens and Rubinstein for that. If anyone is desperate to get hold of a copy before the end of the month, this is the only place in London you can get them until the week of June 27. They’re at 21 Kensington Park Road. 




Edinburgh Show: Tickets on Sale




If you’re in Edinburgh late at night on Sunday 18 August or Sunday 19 August, come and see me at Funny Women Pop-Up Fringe!

Tickets have just gone on sale for the Edinburgh show of my stand-up memoir, I Laughed, I Cried: How One Woman Took On Stand-Up and (Almost) Ruined Her Life. It’s an intimate one-woman show about the story behind the book: what happens when you realised you haven’t done what you wanted with your life – and you need to do something to put that right, fast. Click here to buy tickets for Sun 18 Aug, 10.40pm, and Mon 19 Aug, 10.40pm, at Le Monde, Edinburgh.

Also happening at Edinburgh: Upstairs Downton: The Improvised Episode is on every day of the Fringe at Heroes of Fringe, The Hive, 5pm. I’ll be in it from 8 to 12 Aug and 16 t0 20 Aug inclusive. We’re also doing The Night I Died (comics talking about their worst gigs) at Bob’s Book Shop at 11pm on 8, 9 and 10 August. More details soon.


I Laughed, I Cried at Watershed, Bristol, July 3



Tickets now on sale for July 3 book signing at the Watershed in Bristol where I’ll be talking about I Laughed, I Cried, my stand-up-meets-mid-life-crisis memoir, described by Caroline Quentin as “crazy, clever and brave.” As I’ve got the show version of the book coming up in Edinburgh on 18 and 19 August, I’m assuming that this event will be an unofficial Edinburgh preview. Or at least that’s what I’m intending to use it for… Whatever happens, I will make sure it is (a) funny and there is (b) some form of free wine. Also (b) will aid the manufacture of (a) so it is especially essential.


Bath Literature Festival: Launch Party


In Bath and very excited to be taking over from James Runcie as Artistic Director of the Independent Bath Literature Festival. The launch party for his outgoing programme was last night in the Guildhall, with a rousing speech from Independent editor Chris Blackhurst and music from The Bookshop Band (once a rather wonderful elderly Bath lady had unexpectedly got hold of the microphone and told everyone to “please be quiet and listen to these lovely musicians”).

The Festival’s on over the next nine days and features JK Rowling, Hilary Mantel, Aminatta Forna, Sandi Toksvig, Kate Mosse, Elif Shafak and many other greats. No pressure for next year, then…

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