Fringe favourite Lucy has a heart of gold

The Scotsman Posted on Friday, April 16th, 2010

Fringe favourite Lucy has a heart of gold

SHINY and attractive might be one way to describe petite comedian Lucy Porter’s demeanour. However, it’s also one way in which to describe the subject of her latest stand-up show – Fool’s Gold, a light-hearted look at our infatuation with the precious metal, at The Stand, Wednesday.

The 37-year-old from Croydon is usually more commonly associated with such airy-fairy themes as happiness and love, so why focus on a subject Porter actively dislikes?

“I never liked gold when I was growing up,” she says. “I could never see the appeal of it. Recently I was astonished and baffled by those We-Want-Your-Gold television adverts. All of a sudden gold prices are soaring, people are getting excited and I’m now thinking it’s a subject that’s a little more tangible and solid.

“When I started writing for this show I was single, then within four or five months, I was walking down the aisle (Porter married long-term partner, fellow comedian, Justin Edwards in 2009) and wearing a gold band. I couldn’t believe it.

“And while I know gold represents a 50th wedding anniversary, chances are I’ll probably be dead before then anyway.

“Seriously, though, gold can touch on religion, the Olympics, and many things else, so once you start looking at it, there’s enough for me to do a trilogy about its aspects. Really, though, it’s a leaping off point to talk about anything and everything.”

A popular face and voice on national television and radio, Porter is no stranger to appearing in front of 3000 people at the Hammersmith Apollo.

Despite her growing profile, however, the star admits the only time she gets recognised in the street is because people think she’s someone else.

“I only get recognised because I look like every Irish girl that’s ever lived,” she laughs. “When someone does occasionally stop me it’s only because they want to know if I’m Bernadette from County Mayo.”

Mistaken identities aside, things are going well for Porter at the moment. “I’ve never had a career plan. My agent calls me the biggest underachiever. I’ve never really gone out to be a mainstream success, and the thing is, the minute you try to cynically chase success or tailor your work toward the main-stream then it usually goes wrong. So many of my mates are out of work, I’m happy just to be getting work. I usually say yes to things I’m asked to do.”

If there’s one place Porter can regularly be spotted, though, it’s Edinburgh. A performer at the Fringe for the past ten years, the Capital, she says, is a “second home to me now.”

“If I was more canny with money I would have bought a flat there years ago – I could be a millionaire by now,” she cackles in a broad south London accent.

“I come back four or five times a year. I know where I’m going to eat, I know where to drink, I get over excited about it. I can’t wait to get back to The Stand, either. It’s such a cosy place close to my heart, it has a real family feel about it. I’m taking a year off from the Fringe this year, but I’m definitely going along as a punter.”

A cherub with a sharp, pixyish sense of cheeky humour, Porter isn’t the sort of comedian to court controversy, but that doesn’t mean she shies away from anything taboo, either.

“I shy away from nothing,” she deadpans. “I mean, there’s nothing you can’t talk about, but I never seek to deliberately offend people. Will I be making jokes about the trams, though? Well, it was funny for all of about five minutes last year, but now it just makes people angry. Everyone is so sick of hearing about it now.”

With that touchy subject thankfully absent from Porter’s set, there’s no doubt her critically-acclaimed show will be stowed out on Wednesday night. Get your tickets quick, then… they’ll be like, gold dust.

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