Comedy All Stars makes its South Parade Pier debut

Whatever happens at the Comedy All Stars show on South Parade Pier, Lindsey Santoro is hoping it goes better than a gig she performed at earlier this month.

Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 6:00 am
Stand-up comic Lindsey Santoro is at The Gaiety Bar, Southsea on May 28, 2021. Picture by Tricia Yourkevich
Stand-up comic Lindsey Santoro is at The Gaiety Bar, Southsea on May 28, 2021. Picture by Tricia Yourkevich

With indoor shows off the cards at that point, it had been in a field full of drunk people.

‘I forgot about that – I'd blocked it from my mind,’ she howls when asked by The Guide about how it went.

‘It was me in between five games of bingo. every body was absolutely bladdered – they weren't there for anything, they just wanted to go out. It was pretty bad, to the point where the promoter was looking at me from the shed-thing and giving me that: "Just get off, just get off!" gesture. “Don't do this to yourself.” I'm not counting that as a gig at all.’

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That aside, the Birmingham-based comic is looking forward to heading south where she’ll be joining Zoe Lyons, Ivan Brackenbury and host James Alderson for Comedy All Stars’ debut show on the pier.

‘It's nice isn't it?’ she says about resuming indoor shows, but there’s another issue looming for Lindsey: ‘I've timed this perfectly – when we're all due to go back into the office, I'm pregnant and my baby is due in the middle of August...’

Since last September Lindsey has been on the weekly Biggest Idiot podcast with fellow comics Harriet Dyer and Jon Pearson.

Originally Harriet’s idea for a confession-based show with her as the priest figure, it morphed into its current format where the two women discuss the stupidest things they’ve done before Jon declares one, yep, the biggest idiot.

‘It's kept us sane. You get to meet up with people, not too often, but when the rules were a bit more relaxed we could say it was for work so we could get together.

Jon was only meant to be doing the tech originally – he is a comedian, but he's like the straight man, trying to keep us on track.

‘We did the show at Leicester Festival on Zoom We got nominated for best podcast, but we knew we hadn't one because when they were doing the awards everyone had prerecorded speeches and we knew we hadn't been asked to do one... so that was good.’

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Like other stand-ups, Lindsey has found herself doing Zoom shows to keep her hand in over the past year, an experience she likens to the feeling that you’re often ‘shouting into the void’.

‘They keep you ticking over but they're just a bit odd. There's always that half-second delay where you don't think that joke's not landed, so you start telling another one, and then they're laughing over that, and then there's the technical issues. I much prefer doing gigs to real people.’

She will however have to remember the audience can see all of her again: ‘I only get dressed on the top half and draw my eyebrows on for Zoom gigs. Everything below the waist, that's up to your imagination...’

And as we all get used to being in other people’s company again, she’s planning to stick to tried and tested material. ‘I've got new stuff to try and I need to get it in the real world. But when I first go back I'm going to stick with stuff that I know works. For a little bit anyway.’

I feel like I've forgotten how to do stand-up. Hopefully I'll get on stage and it will all come back to me. Otherwise it will be a very interesting night on the pier.

‘There's been a few new material gigs on Zoom, which has been quite useful, but it's really hard to judge if something works when you're talking to someone's pixellated face.

‘If people are really keen for a thrill, there's always a chance I might give birth on the stage.

‘So that's worth paying money for, isn't it?’

If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that making plans can be like building a house on shifting sands, plus with impending motherhood, Lindsey’s not sure what the immediate future holds.

‘Having a baby's throwing it all in the air. People are offering me gigs again, but I don't know how long to take for maternity leave – I'm not planning too far ahead.

‘I keep thinking about whether I should work towards a show at Edinburgh next year? You just don't know what's going to happen (with the pandemic). And I don't know what's going to happen with this baby.

‘This is my first baby, and I can absolutely tell the difference between people who have kids and those who don't.’

She’s had some promoters totally understanding of her situation, while another told her she had ‘ruined’ her career. Even some of her friends haven’t quite grasped the change it’s going to make in Lindsey’s life.

‘My friend's organised her wedding to two weeks after my due date and I'm meant to be a bridesmaid.

‘I've told her I don't know if I'll be able to come, and she's like: “I've put it two weeks after your due date, you should be fine.

‘I'm there going: “It doesn't work like that!”’


The Gaiety Bar, Southsea

Friday, May 28

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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