Interview with comedian Sophie Duker

"I think that because of the way class and race intersect and contradict in my lived experience I’m more ready than some of my peers to acknowledge my privilege and examine how I can exploit it to benefit others."

Interview with comedian Sophie Duker

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hey friend - I’m shorter-than-you’d-imagined-but-still-hot comedian Sophie Duker. I have a solid 4/5 star rating on Wikifeet. 

How would you describe your show?

60 minutes long, and at the Pleasance Courtyard. 

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Does anyone really *want* to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe? The answer, of course, is YES, but it’s complicated. I am shackled to the EFF through bonds of nostalgia and deep love. I was bitten by the Fringe bug all the way back in 2008 (though I was staying in a cockroach-infested hostel with my schoolfriends, so I may mean that literally). 

What differentiates it from other festivals?

Your daily step count will go through the roof. 

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

A lot of comics will cite creative geniuses here, but to be honest - I was inspired by the uninspiring. I thought: Sophie, if these bog-standard mayonnaise T-shirt comedians have the overweening confidence to get onstage and be absolutely mediocre, surely you can do it too.  

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?

It’s had a massive impact. Both my parents are immigrants and invested in my education as a top priority - they definitely raised me to be ambitious and aspirational, to be successful not just for me but to pass money back and shore up stability for future generations. I think that because of the way class and race intersect and contradict in my lived experience I’m more ready than some of my peers to acknowledge my privilege and examine how I can exploit it to benefit others.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I don’t know what an art memory is or why it's relevant, but all roads lead back to Neil Buchanan and the BIG ATTACKS at the end of the show. 

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

If I wasn’t a comedian, I’d probably be a professional polyglot doing meaningful journalistic work and getting absolutely railed somewhere that isn’t Hackney. 

Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now?

Pass

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

It’s giving jail. 

Do you subscribe to the idea that art should be exempt from ‘cancel culture’?

If you enjoy knowingly consuming art made by confirmed rapists, molesters and racists - I won’t yuck your yum, honey! But quite frankly - could never be me. 

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

Basquiat. I haven’t thought about this long enough, but I feel like I’d trust him to design my first tattoo. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Stockpile spices - it can be a bland old tatty-heavy month. 

When and where can people see your show?

At this point? On tour across the UK in 2023.  

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

@sophiedukebox is the thing to type in on the social media platform of your choice. Happy hunting!


See Sophie Duker: Hag at the Pleasance during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3-28 August. For more information and tickets visit www.edfringe.com or www.pleasance.co.uk

Header Image Credit: Sarah Harry Isaacs

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Recent posts by this author

View more posts by Tom Inniss

0 Comments

Post A Comment

You must be signed in to post a comment. Click here to sign in now

You might also like

Romeo and Juliet: an unmissable performance in Ludlow castle

Romeo and Juliet: an unmissable performance in Ludlow castle

by Hannah Bickford

Read now