KITTY FLANAGAN Smashing form

One of Australia’s favourite comedians, Kitty Flanagan, returns to Perth this weekend for an encore performance of her hit show Smashing. After selling out the original 8pm show on Saturday, August 10 at Crown Theatre, another was added at 5pm the same day due to popular demand. Flanagan’s star has risen in recent years featuring regularly on the comedy/quiz show, Have You Been Paying Attention?The Project and The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, starring in award-winning ABC show Utopia while also releasing the acclaimed book Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies last yearZENNA SANTOS found out Flanagan’s irreverence is the key to her charm over a conversation about mashed avocados, movie popcorn, being a woman in comedy, her emerging writing career and what we can look forward to at the show.

So, this is an encore tour for Smashing. How has it been going so far? Is there much that has changed about being on the road since the last tour?

The tour has never really stopped, it just keeps rolling along, slowly but surely. The only thing that has changed about being on the road is that now every time we go back to a city or town, we’re a little more familiar with the place so we know all the best places to go for dinner and cocktails after a show and the best breakfast and coffee the next morning. As for the show, it’s now like the extended mix, a bit more of all your favourite hits and bits.

You spend a lot of time travelling to rural and remote communities with your shows. Is there something in particular that drives you to make your work available to people who wouldn’t normally be able to see it?

We have so many good arts centres and little theatres in regional Australia and I think it’s really important that we keep using them. Use them or lose them, and I’d hate to lose them. It’s a great feeling to go to a town and see your poster up in all the local shops and cafes. And people are always so friendly, like they’ve been expecting you, yelling out across the street “Hey! Kitty! We’re coming to see you tonight!” and things like that. I love the idea of people getting all frocked up for a big night out at the theatre. I mean, you can wear what you like, of course, but I’m always thrilled when people make a real effort. Going to the theatre is still, for me, a really special thing.

You’ve said that your comedy is more about storytelling and your jokes are about real stuff. Do you think “funny” stuff happens to you more often than the average person or do you have a way of finding comedy in the day-to-day?

I think the skill of all comedians, not just me, is spotting things that are funny. Or realising that something is funny. The same stuff happens to everyone, comedians can just recognise when something might be worth pointing out the funny side of it. It happens all the time. I often watch other comics on stage and they’ll say something that makes me think “oh my god, why didn’t I think of that, it was right in front of my face!” Like when I saw Tom Gleeson point out that it’s actually mashed avocado not smashed avocado and then did a very funny whole bit about it. It seemed so obvious once he pointed it out yet no one else picked it.

Your bio says you hope to find a real job one day and you had a wide range of jobs before you found stand-up. What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t found comedy?

Crying in a corner. Or maybe I’d open a dog minding business. It’s the hardest thing to find good dog minders.

Comedy seems to be a fairly male-dominated industry. Do you have any words of wisdom for young women trying to branch out into stand up?

Same advice for men and for women. Just get up on stage as often as you can and keep doing it. The hardest thing about stand up is you can only get good at it by actually doing it.

Your book Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies came out last year and was very well received. Do you have any plans for another?

Yes! Thanks for asking! I have another book coming out at the end of September which is really exciting. It’s called 488 Rules for Life. It was inspired by the best selling book 12 Rules for Life. I couldn’t believe this guy only had 12 rules? Is he kidding? I’ve got 12 rules just for the bathroom. This has all the rules you need, rules for the home… like football jerseys are not art, don’t frame them and hang them on the wall. There are rules for going to the cinema like don’t get a bucket of popcorn bigger than your head, rules for using your mobile phone, like no walking and texting. There are rules for the airport too. For the love of god, stand back from the baggage carousel! And there’s about 484 more. It’s about manners, it’s about common sense and common courtesy. It’s funny but I also think it’s quite useful and hugely necessary. I’m hoping it will make the world a nicer place to live in.

What is one thing you hope audiences take away from Smashing?

I want people to go home thinking, ‘Well, that was a top night out. She really put on a show! I’m glad we went to the theatre… how good is the theatre?! We should go more often.”