Jenny Eclair Interview
Posted on 20 January 2004. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
WriteWords talks to Jenny Eclair, stand up comic, dramatist, novelist, short story writer, journalist...
Tell us something about your background.
So far, two published books, one a novel, Camberwell Beauty, the other a
comedy thing, The Book of Bad Behaviour.Have also contributed short stories
to Girls Night Out and Stand Up's Sit Down novel due out later
this year, title- a secret ( can't make up my mind)! Biggish back catalogue
of articles for magazines and newspapers, plus a hand-full of co-written
plays and radio comedy dramas for Radio 4. These include 'On Baby Street',
'Just Juliette', 'The Inconvenience' and 'He's Leaving His Wife’. All of which
were co-written with Julie Balloo, as were a couple of one woman plays,
'Mummy's Little Girl' and 'Mrs Nosey Parker', both of which premiered at the
Edinburgh Festival and went on to tour the country
How did you first start writing?
At school, they made me, I was happy in the sand pit up until that moment. I was never academic and I went to a very dull girls grammar school in the North, my essays (according to old reports) showed flair but my punctuation
and spelling was, and still is! appalling. Later when I left Drama School, I fell into punk poetry, this was to get an Equity card and I began writing my own material. Gradually, this evolved into stand up, these days I write stand up with a grumpy old man called Pete Richens and I co-write plays and radio drama with Julie Balloo who is my best friend, even though she gets bored of me. I write novels and magazine articles by myself and get very lonely.
Who are your favourite writers and why?
For years I resisted the classics, I never realized how witty Emily Bronte
was. I like a mix of soppy and hard, my favourite book of last year was the
Booker nominated Notes On a Scandal by Zoe Heller. On the other hand, even
though I like DBC Pierre’s Vernon God Little (the winner of the Booker) and I
think it's funny, I haven't bothered to finish it! Jonathan Coe is good and
I'm a very big fan of Liz Jensen, 'War Crimes For the Home' is brilliant.
I like my comedy dark.
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