Peep Show's Isy Suttie on her new comedy tour, visiting the Edinburgh Festival and her Scottish heritage
Suttie will be visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of her UK tour
“In the Nineties, If someone was on a sitcom, it went away unless you had it on VHS and could dig it out and show it to your mates but it's so different now. I do get 18 year olds saying ‘I love Peep Show’ and I think they were probably babies when they did the first series”.
It’s been seven years since the last episode of the classic that is Channel 4’s Peep Show. But, still, Isy Suttie, 44, who played the lovable character, Dobby, gets recognised in the street, partially because there are nine series of the show available on Netflix.
However, Suttie is more than just Dobby, or the other comedy roles she’s played, including Esther in Shameless and Ally in Man Down.
In common with the rest of the Peep Show cast, including David Mitchell, Robert Webb and Olivia Coleman, Suttie has been extremely busy since the show ended.
Among many other things, there have been podcasts, two children, various telly appearances, award-winning radio shows, a couple of books - with the last, Jane is Trying, released last year - and now she’s got her UK stand up tour, Jackpot, which has two dates in Scotland, with performances at comedy clubs The Stand in Edinburgh on September 21 and The Stand, Glasgow, on October 12.
The new show, which is her first in six years, is based on myths, religion and the quest to find buzz and excitement in everyday life. “It’s the most personal show I’ve ever written, “ she says, and there are also skits on her children and partner, which are subjects she’s avoided in the past.
“I think when you’re talking about your kids in a show, you have to make sure it’s not boring for people without children”.
There is a collection of anecdotes, related to people she’s met, as well as a narrative thread about the potential of contacting her late dad using paranormal means. She is, as the novels prove, an excellent writer and storyteller, not to mention songwriter (there are a couple of songs in the show).
“I expanded material that I’d got excited about and that just happens to be on this theme of stuff I used to do to remain open to curiosity and make my life more exciting, like ouija boards and how you have to believe in order for them to work, “ says Suttie, who is married to fellow comedian, Elis James. “Jackpot has got a strong narrative and there are lots of bits I come back to and tie up at the end but it feels more like a stand up show than any other I've written and it didn't have any songs in it till about three weeks before it was finished”.
The routine also features an intriguing story about Suttie’s former neighbour, who attempted to build a network of tunnels under his house. While doing so, he managed to short circuit the street’s electricity and caused his house to partially collapse.
“He was one of my heroes. He was an engineer but he still obviously couldn't couldn't make the tunnels work,” she says. “I just sort of love the principle of kind of going yeah, I'm just gonna do it”.
Thankfully, she doesn’t live near him anymore.
Instead, she’s based in London, though she grew up in Matlock, Derbyshire. However, she also has Scottish connections. Her great aunt lived in Edinburgh’s Comely Bank until she was 94, and her dad, who passed away 11 years ago, was born in Kilbirnie in North Ayrshire.
“Then he moved to Caledonian Crescent in Edinburgh when he was really young. My great grandfather was the superintendent at the swimming pool at Dalry,” she says. “I've also got a Scottish relative who was a swimmer called Charlie Baillie. I think he was in the 1924 Olympics”.
Suttie has been along her dad’s old street, to see where he grew up. She was also recently in the Scottish capital for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She cut her stand-up teeth here, and used to appear regularly. Although she didn’t come up to perform this August, she did visit as a punter, with her eight-year-old daughter, Betty, in tow. Among other things, they went to see Jo Neary’s show at The Stand, Marcel Lucont’s kids show, something in the Spiegeltent and a circus.
“It was brilliant, though slightly odd to be on the other side of it,” she says. “If I'd gone up on my own, I would have been tempted to do a couple of gigs but because I had her with me, we had to get to bed by 10pm anyway, so I didn't feel as cut off from that side of it. In previous years when I've gone up and not performed I felt really really weird”.
She didn’t feel too sad though, as she knew that Jackpot was in the offing and that she’d be back up here soon. Along with her pal, fellow comedian, Josie Long, who is based in Glasgow, the whole Scottish clan will be heading along to watch.
As she says; “I've got so many cousins and relatives in Scotland. I've got such a big group of people coming to Glasgow’s Stand including my auntie and uncle. They haven't seen me perform for years”.
Tickets for Jackpot are available at www.isysuttie.co.uk