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Angela Barnes’ Leicester Square Questionnaire

29 Mar 2023

We caught up with Angela Barnes ahead of her Leicester Square Theatre tour stop this April for her edition of the Leicester Square Questionnaire!

What’s your most memorable heckle?
Someone once shouted out at a comedy club “You ruined Have I Got News For You” which is quite a feat as I’ve never been on it. So I thanked them for their compliment as obviously it was my absence from the show that upset them…

Where do you go for your pre/post Leicester Square Theatre gig food?
I’m not a Londoner and I’m not much of a foodie, so I should probably be asking you this question. There’s never a time when I don’t fancy a Wahaca. They used to do a Tamarind Margarita that I still dream about…

What’s one word to describe the state of the UK?

Who’s the best upcoming performer in the country that we haven’t heard of?
Oh, it’s so hard to pick just one. I’m a big fan of Louise Young. She’s been doing stand up for a while, but is really starting to break through. And, as luck would have it, she’s my support act at my LST show so come to see her in action.

Who would you describe as your arch-nemesis?
It’s not a person, it’s Orange Twirls. Their mission is to destroy me, they have identified my two sweet tooth weaknesses: 1) chocolate orange and 2) bars with 2 fingers.

They will bring me down, mark my words.

When was the time you bombed the most onstage?
Right when I was starting out I got asked to do an eight-minute set at BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park in front of 35,000 people. They made me go on stage after Jessie J and before the headliner Tom Jones. I bailed at 6 mins when Tom’s band started tuning up behind me and I could no longer ignore the chants of “we want Tom”. Still, the story of that gig gave me a good ten minutes of material in my first Edinburgh show.

What’s been your strangest fan encounter?
A few times people have drawn pictures of me, and they are usually really nice. But there was one where someone sent me a caricature they did, but it had these enormous breasts bursting out of a skimpy dress; it was quite something. It disturbed my agent so much, I had it put on a mug for him as a Christmas present!

How do you like to relax after a gig?
I’m usually in my car driving home after a gig. It’s a good way to kill a buzz, facing a diversion when the M1 is shut for the fourth time in a row. It stops us getting deluded that we have any sort of showbiz lifestyle.

What’s the one thing you want the audience to take away from your show?
I just want them to have had a good night out, had a laugh and come away pleased that their life sounds better than mine.

Would you rather have fingers as long as your legs or legs as long as your fingers?
Hmm. Legs as long as my fingers. I like exploring underground bunkers, so shorter legs would mean being able to get into more cramped spaces.

Who would win in a fight: Badger or Baboon?
I’m calling the RSPCA.

What’s the oddest thing you’ve overheard in London?
A couple of guys with guitars got into a tube carriage and started busking, and every single person roundly ignored them except one man who stood up, said “nobody wants this” and walked through to the next carriage. It was the most beautifully London thing I’ve ever seen.

Angela Barnes: Hot Mess comes to Leicester Square Theatre on Wednesday 12 April.