Thursday, 10 October 2013

Gina Yashere

SHE may call LA her home but award-winning comedienne Gina Yashere maintains her love of Britain.

So much so she is back on home turf for a nationwide tour of Gina Yashere: Live! and is coming to the Albany next week.

A former lift engineer, Gina made her comedy debut at the Edinburgh Festival in 1996 and went on to sell out shows in the UK, Japan, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Europe and America, where she now lives.

Fans may also have seen her on such shows as the BBC's Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo and in ITV's Single Married Other.

But it's stand up which she is best known for and the 39-year-old has just landed back in Britain to continue the tour which she brought to the South Bank earlier in the year.

"I had a great summer," she says. "I did Udderbelly at the South Bank which was amazing and then went abroad with it but now I'm back and coming to the Albany!"

Fans of her brash, direct and in your face brand of comic fare, not to mention her infectious laugh and that twinkle in her eye, will not be disappointed as she promises to discuss anything and everything including hilarious anecdotes and such subjects as Jimmy Savile, the Olympics and "not being able to pee in a straight line".

"It's a new development and part of the ageing process - I'm falling apart!" she laughs.

"It'll basically be a round up of the last two years but I'll just be having a chat with the audience so will see what they want me to talk about.

"I love the Albany - it's one of my favourite rooms - and I've performed here quite a few times so it'll be great to be back.

"It's such an intimate space and the audiences are always really warm, excited, pumped up and raring to go so we'll have a good time - as soon as I get on stage it's like a party atmosphere.

"It's what I love about places like the Albany. Don't get me wrong I'd love to sell out somewhere like the O2 but you can't see the audience past the first couple of rows so it's much more difficult to chat to them all.

"At the Albany you can see everyone which is great - and I like to talk to the audience and incorporate them into the show. It makes it much more friendly and relaxed."

But despite her good humour and love of London, Gina is in no rush to move back.

"I love the sunshine in LA too much! However, I love the fact I can say what I want when I'm doing a gig here and I do miss the mix of people and cultures in the UK.

"I'm planning to move to New York at some point to be part of that kind of mix - but I won't be staying for their winters - much too cold."

Gina Yashere: Live! at the Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford.

Saturday 26 October 7pm. Tickets from £12. Call the box office on 020 8692 4446

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