9:20am Thursday 31st January 2013
By Hannah Marsh
SHE’S best known as every geek’s ideal girl, the eccentric IT nerd Dobby in the cult Peep Show on TV.
Now Isy Suttie will bring her quirky blend of music and stand-up to the Towngate as a host of top comics arrive at the theatre for a night of comedy.
She’ll join Tom Deacon, Keith Farnan, Adam Bloom and Mark Olver for the night of hilarity, and she’ll be engaging the audience with her witty, smart and slightly off-the-wall comedy songs and stand-up. Despite her popularity in Peep Show – which stars David Mitchell as uptight, anxiety-ridden Mark and Robert Webb as loser Jeremy – she doesn’t worry too much about whether people expect Dobby or Isy to appear on stage.
She says: “I think when I was in Peep Show at first, more people started coming to stand-up and I used to worry about it a bit, but now a couple of years have gone by and I don’t really think about it to be honest.
“I usually do a mix of stand-up and songs, a few stories about my home or my housemates.
“I’ve just passed my driving test and and I’ve got a new song about my driving instructor.”
Music has always been a huge part of Isy’s life. She started writing songs and playing guitar aged 11, and performed in bands before going to drama school and starting to combine music with comedy.
She explains: “I really wanted to write stuff as well as act, but I didn’t quite know in what capacity. “I went to drama school and tried to make serious music for a bit, but it was always a bit weird and it never really worked.
“I didn’t really understand and I felt like a bit of a misfit really.
“I just ended up going to see a lot of comedy, and I thought ‘I might try this’, I got a bit addicted.
“It’s really scary, but you either really love it or you don’t.
“I don’t mean you’re good, because everyone’s really bad at the beginning, but you either enjoy it and give up everything and gig five nights a week if you can, or you don’t want it enough.”
Isy found that she did want it enough and there was something about stand-up that appealed to her sense of the immediate. She says enthusiastically: “You can express yourself instantly and people either laugh or they won’t. “There is something really raw about it that I really liked. It helped me with my acting.
“Although I went to drama school, I didn’t have an agent or anything, it was kind of getting to the point where I was thinking ‘I don’t know if I really want to act any more’, because it was so hard.”
But sticking with stand-up, she attracted the attention of a casting director as she performed at the Edinburgh Festival and started to land auditions for sitcoms, getting smaller parts until she picked up the script for Peep Show.
She says: “I just went in for the part in Peep Show, I hadn’t met the writers before. “I like a lot of parts, but I always felt like, as soon as I read that script, I felt kind of like an affinity with Dobby.
“I had felt that a bit with other parts in my life, but I really felt it with her. I just came out of the audition and thought ‘well, I’ve done my best.’”
She must have impressed, because she got the part and suddenly found herself part of the programme, which was already a firm favourite with comedy fans. Isy says there were advantages to joining such an established cast, although she did run the risk of protective fans disliking the new addition. She explains: “In some ways it’s good because it’s got a fan base.
“When you do something completely new, you’re worried about whether it’s going to get another series or whether people are going to hate it, so there are some advantages to going into something more established. “In another sense, it was daunting.
“I knew it was very popular and people who love it really love it.
“It’s got a smaller audience than some shows, but it’s got a really die-hard fan base.
“I just thought ‘I really hope everyone likes the character and I hope they think she’s good enough for Mark.’
“In the end, I learnt you just have to do what feels right and not worry too much about who likes you and who doesn’t.” As well as stand-up, Isy has several projects she’s working on at the moment.
She’s scripting her own Radio 4 series and a pilot of a new TV show she’s been working on and will star in.
Miss Wright airs on Sky Living later this year. Isy Suttie is at the Towngate Theatre, St Martin’s Square, Basildon, along with Tom Deacon, Keith Farnan, Adam Bloom and Mark Olver, on Friday, February 15, at 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £15. Call 01268 465465.
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