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LONDON CREATIVE: KATIE BURNETT

AS TOLD TO JULIA NELSON

This week we caught up with writer and performer Katie Burnett after the premiere of her one-woman comedy F*CKBOYS at The Kings Head Theatre in Islington.

1. WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR RECENT SHOW IN ISLINGTON? ARE YOU PLANNING ON GOING ON TOUR ANYWHERE ELSE WITH THIS SHOW?

A broken heart! Someone hurt me really badly, and I hurt him too, and the play was about working out how things spiraled so much, and why we hurt people when all we really want is to be close to them.

I’d love to put the show on elsewhere. It’s had such lovely, positive feedback, and I think it’s a piece that a wide array of people would find interesting. I noticed three guys in the front row face palming and gasping a few times, and I wondered if they were going to send out some apology texts after the show!

2. HOW DID YOU GET INTO WRITING AND PERFORMING? IS MOST OF YOUR WRITING AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL?

Everyone in my family is an artist, and I was raised in a really creative environment. I moved to London from Canada and went to Drama Centre, a drama school that encouraged writing your own material, which was great. From there, I made short films with friends, and kept writing and performing every chance I could! I do think I peaked when I was 12 and played Glinda the Good Witch, but hopefully something just as good will come along.

I revere Nora Ephron and as she said, “everything is copy”, so yes, my writing is quite reflective of things I’ve experienced.

I hear you are a well-known voice actor. What has been your favourite voice acting project to date?

I did a commercial for Becel margarine that was played nationwide across Canada, so that was really exciting! I think my parents had fun telling all their friends that was me.

3. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO PERFORM THE MOST RIGHT NOW?

The Young Vic. The work they’re putting on is staggeringly good. I loved The Inheritance, and I’m so excited that they’re bringing Stephen Adly Guirgis and Danai Gurira’s plays to London.

4. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

A play called STAGETTE: 10 women, 3 days, 1 island. It’s based on the time I went on a stagette (the Canadian version of a hen do) with a dozen women for a long weekend to a beautiful island off the coast of Vancouver. It descended into a mildly Lord Of The Flies-esque experience and by the end I was texting my friend with a boat, begging her to come pick me up. The play is just writing itself.

5. WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH?

I am very lucky to be part of a great web series that my friend from drama school, and former flatmate, Natalie Bray created called Nutritiously Nicola! She’s a hilarious writer and actor, and I’m so excited to be involved. I’m also working on a culture podcast with my friend Danielle called Minx on Minx.

6. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO AN ASPIRING WRITER AND/OR PERFORMER?

Create work with your friends. Create your own work. It’s not easy financially, but you’ll always learn something, meet people and get yourself out there. This is not a fair industry, and some are luckier than others, but I’ve found the best thing to do is focus on your own work, and surround yourself with people who support you.

7. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE LONDON COMEDY VENUE AND WHY?

Soho Theatre – Jen Kirkman, Hannah Gadsby and Phoebe Waller-Bridge have all performed there, so it’s a fantastic place to catch great work.

8. WHAT WOULD YOUR PERFECT LAZY SUNDAY LOOK LIKE?

Wake up late, meet friends on the Southbank for some booze and brunch, and then go home and watch Love Island.

9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE VACATION DESTINATION?

Italy! Best food, best people, and oh my god the wine.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE RAINY DAY MOVIE?

When Harry Met Sally. I could watch it any time, and I do, because I own it and it’s downloaded onto my phone.

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