Q&A : Katie Pritchard
With Disco Ball, Katie Pritchard makes her debut musical-comedy hour as she embraces her inner Le Freak and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Disco Ball is about unashamedly being yourself, from someone who has spent a lot of time being someone else for other people.
Directed by the incomparable Ben Target, Disco Ball is a fun, friendly, silly, bonkers, loving hour of comedy fun. Katie has written all the songs and recorded the backing tracks - she’s an excellent multiskilled musician, having mastered 12+ instruments. She’s also a multi award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and artist most recently seen on Harry Hill’s Clubnite for Channel 4 and in Nick Helm’s YouTube sitcom Angry Quiz Guy. In 2021, she appears in Plumpton Village Kazoo Orchestra, as part of the New Creatives initiative, a partnership between the BBC, Screen South and The Arts Council. Katie’s theatrical credits include Dreamboats and Petticoats in The West End as well as several panto seasons. You can also catch Katie rocking out on her guitar in award-winning all-girl Rock’n’Roll band The Daisy Chains.
We asked Katie about her love of musical comedy, the background of the show and the message she wants to put forward.
When did you realise your favourite genre is musical comedy?
It wasn’t really a realisation, it was more of a spiritual happening for me! I am musical through and through, so there was never any question to me – anything I was going to do with my time was going to include music. I love it! And I spent my whole childhood trying to cheer people up and make them feel happy. So, when I started creating silly songs which made people laugh, it was like an explosion inside of me – KABLAMMO - it’s my two favourite things combined!
What would you say makes musical comedy the sexiest of all genres?
I mean, come on! First off, look at all the sexy stalwarts of the musical comedy genre – people like Bill Bailey, Flight of the Concords, Victoria Wood, Tim Minchin, Steve Martin, Chuck Berry in “My Ding-a-ling” (hehehe love that song!) – all incredibly sexy people! That’s Exhibit A. Exhibit B: it’s comedy which is musical. PHWOAR! Everyone has a sexy music playlist that they put on when they’re getting down to it…right? So, yeah, musical comedy is sexy because music is sexy. Exhibit C: Musical instruments are also sexy. Exhibit D: Watching someone singing is sexy. Exhibit E: Rhyming couplets are sexy – don’t ask me, ask Shakespeare! I tell you what else is sexy – Exhibit F: an audience singalong! COR YES PLEASE!
Imagine if you’re listening to a song, and the music is making you bop around like a sexy seal, and then the lyrics are so funny you’re crying with laughter, you’re singing along, you’re singing it in the bath, you’re singing it to your partner as an in-joke, it’s on your sexy time playlist, you’re even singing it whilst playing Scrabble! Tell me something sexier than that??!!
A lot of us spent lockdown looking inward. Do you think most of us liked what they saw?
All I can say is – please make sure you find an angle that’s comfortable for you – don’t break a rib looking inward! Look, I’m just someone who loves getting dressed up in silly costumes and prancing around and singing silly songs, I’m not a therapist, and I’ve only ever done one personality quiz – don’t listen to my opinions, just come and have fun at my show! All I can speak to is my own experience, but maybe there’s a little bit of me inside of you too (ewww not like that!)
As we are fully into the post pandemic era, do you think all the inner crises we avoided during lockdowns might come back to haunt us now?
I don’t know about my crises, but I definitely haunt myself now. Always getting up to mischief wondering what that weird gust of wind was and then realising it was me all along! Absolutely terrifying! But then, IBS'll do that to you!
You decided to embrace your inner weirdo. What convinced you to do this and do you think that more people should do the same thing?
I decided to embrace my inner weirdo and I convinced myself to do it. You can do the same if you fancy, or not if it’s not your bag. You’re you, and that’s a beautiful thing! Just always remember: Le Freak – c’est chic!
However, as much we strive to be our true selves, sometimes we want to present a different face to the world – do you think performing might be the healthiest way to be someone else for a little while - but also allow us to be elevated version of ourselves?
I feel at my most authentic when I’m dressed as a pavlova and singing to an audience. If you’re a misfit like me, it’s likely that on stage is the place where you get to be the truest version of yourself. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, the stage is my happy place. I love performing, I love experiencing a show with a crowd, and I love dressing up as silly things and singing about it. It’s not about being someone else. For me, it’s about being me! And yes, sometimes that means that I dress up and pretend to be a sexy toe to be my most authentic self. But that’s just because, well, I AM A SEXY TOE!!!
(…do you think that everyone will get that my show is a sexy show from all the times I’ve used the word sexy in my answers? Hoping to very tastefully subliminally message people about the sexiness of it all, has it worked? Or do they need more info about my IBS do you think?...)
Katie Pritchard: Disco Ball, Pleasance Courtyard (The Cellar), 6.05pm, 3-28 August (not 15)