Originally from Canada and now making her mark in the UK, Katherine Ryan has taken the comedy scene by storm. Having presented and written Channel 4’s hit series ‘How’d you get so rich?’ Katherine’s sassy no-nonsense reputation has been growing leaps and bounds in the UK, US and Canada. Her achievements to date include co-hosting Comedy Central’s ‘Your face or mine?’ with Jimmy Carr, being the second British-based comedian to have a Netflix Original Comedy Special, performing as the first ever UK-based comic at Toronto’s Oddball Festival alongside the likes of Amy Schumer and Aziz Ansari.
Following her sell-out nationwide UK tour KATHBUM, Katherine is back on the road with a fresh set of gags for her new tour Glitter Room. So, what is the key to cracking the comedy industry and what is next for Ms Ryan? We spoke to the woman herself to find out.
Congratulations on your Netflix special! How did you go about creating something for such a household name?
“Whenever you try to broaden your audience with something like a Netflix special, you have to talk about themes that are relatable to others. So this show is a lot more universal, about my life as a single mum and as a woman in this century who is questioning what kind of life I need to have.”
You are renowned for your savage satire of popular culture. Why did you choose to centre your style of comedy on this?
“I do love a comedy roast. It’s a language that people in comedy can understand but some of my old stuff was heard by the celebrities that I was talking about and, you know, I don’t want to hurt anyone. It turns out I do actually have a conscience! Comedians can be provocative but I know that they don’t want to hurt people, they’re just trying to make things lighter and funnier. I will still talk about the Kardashians, but in a less negative way. Maybe I’m just getting wiser.”
Let’s talk about ‘How’d you get so rich’? Did you take any life lessons away from making that programme?
“When you look across your block of flats to these mansions and you think ‘oh gosh they must be special and smart’, but the thing is, they’re not special. They have a very strong work ethic and they take risks but they aren’t that different to you or to me. A certain level of self-belief and commitment to your goal will take you a very long way.”
Your life seems manically busy! How do you manage to balance so many different projects?
“I do a lot because I’m a very gamey person, so as soon as anyone offers me something ridiculous like ‘do you want to dance on this special charity show?’ I’ll say yes. It’s not because I say yes to everything, just that I love to do different things and I have a very fun job. What I don’t have is a social life, so friends will say ‘let’s go and do this or that or have a weekend away’.
On the rare occasions that you have time off, how do you like to spend it?
“If I’m not working, the key is to spend as much time as possible with my [eight-year-old] daughter Violet and just be home doing absolutely nothing. In Japanese, they talk about ‘ma’, the space in between clapping that’s emptiness. It’s important in life to have some nothingness and that’s what I need to have when I’m not working.”
What can you tell us about the inspiration for your new tour, Glitter Room?
“It’s about this little thing that Violet said which encapsulates how charmed my life is now. I bought a flat, which is quiet and peaceful and clean and floral and we have these tiny little dogs: everything is a warning for a man to stay away. The other day Violet said [adopts well-spoken English accent] ‘mummy, if you need me I’ll be watching Mean Girls in the glitter room’. I have this life that I never pictured for myself. I grew up in an Irish Catholic family in Canada and thought I would have a normal family life: instead I have a glitter room.”
How are you feeling about touring again?
“I’m excited to be touring again. People ask me if TV or touring is more important and I just think that you can’t have one without the other. Comedy is a conversation and it’s good to see other towns on a tour. I just hope that people like me and don’t get sick of me for a few more years.”
Katherine’s upcoming Glitter Room tour dates are listed below:
Friday 10 Warwick Arts Centre
Saturday 11 Oxford New Theatre
Thursday 16 St Albans Arena
Friday 17 Portsmouth Guildhall
Saturday 18 Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
Thursday 23 Leeds Town Hall
Friday 24 Chesterfield Winding Wheel
Saturday 25 Sheffield Octagon
NEW 2018 DATES:
Thursday 18 Dorking Halls
Friday 19 Kings Lynn Corn Exchange
Saturday 20 Guildford G Live
Thursday 25 Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall
Friday 26 Colchester Charter Hall
Saturday 27 Plymouth Pavilion
Thursday 1 Cambridge Corn Exchange
Friday 2 Birmingham Symphony Hall
Saturday 3 Rhyl Pavilion
Thursday 22 Leicester DeMontfort
Friday 23 Bristol Colston Hall
Saturday 24 Dublin Olympia
Sunday 25 Belfast Ulster Hall
Thursday 1 Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Friday 2 Reading Hexagon
Saturday 3 Cardiff St David’s Hall
Thursday 8 Glasgow Pavilion
Friday 9 Watford Colosseum
Saturday 10 Bournemouth Pavilion
Thursday 15 Canterbury Marlowe Theatre
Friday 16 Cheltenham Town Hall
Saturday 17 Milton Keynes Theatre
Thursday 22 Salford Lowry
Friday 23 Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Saturday 24 Southport Theatre