Interview: Comedian Andi Osho – live in Birmingham this weekend

The latest solo show from Andi Osho finds the comedian and actress dissecting “the perils and pitfalls” of dating – something, it seems, she knows a lot about. David Vincent finds out more ahead of her visit to The Glee Club in Birmingham this weekend.

“You don’t realise how perilous dating can be, especially as you get a little older,” says London-born comic Andi Osho. “Dating websites are the biggest minefield. Dating someone you’ve met online is like getting a box of quality sweets with no index card and no one telling you the fillings – could be anything from caramel to nougat to egg or dung. It really is that perilous.”

Though the show, All The Single Ladies, focuses on the funny side of her experiences, not all her dates have provided laughs.

“Some situations made me so angry that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make them funny. I just sounded mad and bitter. Like when the guy who gave me a stick as a gift on our first date. I suppose that’s what you get when you think it’s OK to meet someone through Twitter… yes, I did that. Don’t judge me.”

Andi confesses that she’s still single, though that might not be completely down to the quality of her potential dates, as when asked to recall the last time she was chatted up, she says she has no idea!

“That’s tricky question to answer as I’m one of those people who doesn’t always realise that chatting up is in progress,” she says after a pause. “I remember going to a gay bar with some chums and while I was in the loo a girl struck up a conversation, asking me about myself. When I saw my friends outside, I said ‘I’ve just met this really nice girl in the bathrooms. She was SO friendly!’ They all rolled their eyes. They were like, ‘She was chatting you up, you moron.’ ‘Nah,’ I said. Now I wonder if I’ve written off guys striking up conversations as ‘liking a natter’ … whoops!”

All The Single Ladies marks Andi’s return to live stand-up after a break acting. Not only did she make her West End debut in A Walk On Part, a political comedy based on the diaries of the Labour MP Chris Mullin, but she also appeared in several episodes of long-running hospital drama, Holby City.

“I watched Holby City for a good few years before even becoming a performer myself. My mum’s a nurse so it was always funny watching it with her. She’d always comment on what was believable and what wasn’t,” she says, adding the experience was one to remember.

“I absolutely loved it. I dropped so many hints to all of the production team about writing my character into later episodes. ‘You know what, [my character] Barbara should become Elliot’s wife …you know who should get promoted to Queen of the hospital (real job) Barbara!,” she laughs, adding she’s definitely on the lookout for more TV roles.

“Anything of quality would be great. I’d love a lead in a sitcom, I think that would a lot of fun but equally, I’d love to follow in Marianne Jean-Baptiste’s shoes and appear in a high quality US drama,” she says referring to the Brit’ actress whose CV includes such hit US series as Without A Trace. “I reckon I’d make a very convincing New York cop or a high powered attorney. No? OK, I’d definitely be a good dinner lady though.”

While she waits for that call from LA, Andi is certainly keeping busy. Alongside the solo tour, there’s also some writing (including a one-woman show about Rosa Parks), appearances in John Bishop’s Only Joking and Jack Dee’s Don’t Sit In The Front Row TV series, and also her own crowd-sourced film project, Brit. I. Am.

“It’s quite a unique project in that we’re asking people from all over the UK to film themselves reciting a line or two from my poem Brit.I.am and send the clip in to me. We’ve had a lot of contributions but we still need more so if there are any budding film makers, or just people who want to get involved, they should check out the website: www.britiam.org. There’s still time to submit and if they’re chosen, they’ll get a film credit.”

Andi Osho is live at The Glee Club, Birmingham, on Sunday, November 18. Tickets are  £15/£13. Visit www.glee.co.uk/birmingham to book.

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