Comedian Rachel Fairburn’s ‘Showgirl’ tour hits more than 30 towns and cities in the UK from September to November this year.
The comic and podcaster is set to cast her acerbic eye over everything from your children to her pretentious new alcohol-free life (the latter may now be a slightly revised lifestyle choice since the show’s first draft).
The show explores whether she may have mellowed a bit and the press release offers a hint that this tour could be your last chance to catch Rachel IRL before she disappears to the countryside with only joss sticks and taxidermy for company.
A staple of the Fringe since 2014, Rachel has performed six critically acclaimed solo shows and is also known for her podcasting prowess. Rachel co-hosts the worldwide smash hit podcast All Killa No Filla alongside Kiri Pritchard-McLean, which has over 250,000 regular listeners. Almost a year ago, she released Ghoul Guide, a podcast that explores truth and fiction in the world of spooky stories. If you missed this the first time, it’s something fully worth resurrecting this Halloween.
I caught up with Rachel right before her tour’s debut gig at Manchester Opera House.
How does it feel knowing your tour is opening at Manchester Opera House?
Very exciting. It’s a brilliant venue and it’s thrilling to be starting off there. I used to work round the corner from there so it’s quite surreal.
How does comedy culture in Manchester fare against its music heritage and what reception are you hoping for your show?
Manchester has an incredible comedy culture and heritage. Les Dawson, Jason Manford, Caroline Aherne, Steve Coogan, Justin Moorhouse to name a few. I’m just hoping people come along and have a really great night and a laugh.
Describe the motivations for creating the Showgirl show?
As much as I enjoy gigging in general at clubs up and down the country, there’s something more challenging about working on a new show. I have done three new hours in the past three years and I enjoy the process.
You’re embarking on a huge amount of tour dates. How are you feeling and have you got a tour routine?
I’m excited about it. I travel so much as a comedian anyway that the amount of dates isn’t daunting, I’d probably be away gigging in clubs anyway. I like to get to the place I’m gigging in early so I can have a mooch round and more importantly, see what charity shops there are.
You’ve recently given up alcohol, how have you approached ‘finding the funny’ in this for the show?
I stopped drinking in January and went alcohol free for six months. I’ve had about two nights out since then and I’m just not that into it anymore. I haven’t really got any material about it in the show, you write the blurb in January and perform it in autumn so things change. It’s been a very positive experience cutting back on booze so I’ve struggled to find anything cuttingly funny about it. I don’t really do positivity.
Why do you think your podcast All Killa No Filla alongside Kiri Pritchard-McLean has been so successful?
I think people are fascinated by the subject matter and we handle it in a respectful way. We try and find as much information on the victims as possible as they can be overlooked in true crime. I think the key to its success though is listening to a genuine female friendship with real interactions and conversations.
Who are your biggest comedy influences/where do you draw inspiration?
I find my non comedy friends funnier than anything and my mum is the funniest person alive. She’s so sarcastic and blunt it makes me howl. I’m a huge fan of Frank Skinner too. He’s been so good for decades now and gets funnier.
Do ghosts exist and can crystals protect us?
I’d like to say yes. I really would.
Catch Rachel at a town or city near you from 9th September 2023. Tickets can be booked at https://www.mcintyre-ents.com/live_shows/rachel-fairburn-showgirl/. Price: £13.50-£15.50. Follow Rachel on social media @rachelfairburn