Flying high with Alice Marshall

Round & About

Norden Farm Centre for the Arts

Peter Anderson chats to Alice Marshall, winner of the Brighton Fringe Best Comedy Award ahead of her shows this month.

Alice Marshall has won plaudits for her weird and wonderful characters, including bold and brassy Hispanic air stewardess Maria, once dubbed “the angriest woman in the skies”. Now she’s welcoming the Farnham audience on board for their 50-minute, non-stop flight into the Twilight Zone.

So, I want to ask Alice, where do the ideas for your characters come from?

“My characters come from all over the place. Some of them are heightened versions of different aspects of my own personality, some of them are based on people I’ve met in real life, and some of them are coping mechanisms I’ve invented to help me get through difficult situations. I came up with the main character in my new show, Maria the air hostess, to help me deal with my intense fear of flying. By turning myself into her, I can sometimes convince myself I’m not going to die at 30,000 ft.”

What can visitors expect from this show?

“My shows are something a little out of the ordinary. The characters are incredibly varied, and the concept of the show is also a little unusual… it  won’t be like anything you’ve seen before.”

Is there a place or venue you would really love to perform?

“As both a comedian and an actor there’s definitely a part of me that finds traditional West End theatres completely magical. I would love to do a show in one of them one day – The Apollo on Shaftesbury Avenue is my favourite; it’s spectacular. That would be a dream come true…”

Comedy can be a tough gig – one you are excelling at with flying colours! What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever had to help counter the nerves?

“Always look towards your next show; never get hung up on what you’ve just done. Whether a performance has gone brilliantly or terribly, it doesn’t matter. Don’t weigh your self worth based on what an audience thinks! If they love you, don’t get carried away. If they hate you, don’t let it affect what you do. It’s not about you, it’s about the work you’re making and that has to be all that matters.”

Alice Marshall will perform at Norden Farm Centre For The Arts on Thursday, 5th July; visit Norden Farm or call 01628 788997 and on Saturday, 14th July; visit  Cutty Sark Theatre or call 020 8312 6608 to book. Also visit