Maisie Adam: 'We like to pretend we live these faultless, perfect lives with no mistakes and then condemn people'
- Brian Donaldson
- 11 July 2019
This article is from 2019
Ahead of her return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the award-winning stand-up discusses her unusual start in comedy and the social media blame game
It's different for everyone, of course, but there are a few general rules about starting a career in stand-up. Get a minute of material under your belt for an open-mic spot and if that goes well, write two then five then ten minutes of gags. Gradually building up a body of work may well eventually earn you the right to consider thinking about crafting your debut Fringe hour.
This was decidedly not how Maisie Adam made her start in comedy. Despite living in a small north Yorkshire village (the brilliantly named Pannal), far from the comedy hubs in her county, chance seemed to fall in her lap. 'There was a Fringe festival in Ilkley, about half an hour away from me, and they put a call-out for local people to participate in it,' she recalls. 'They replied to me saying I had an hour slot in the Ilkley Playhouse theatre, and I thought "that's nice".'
While Adam enjoyed the experience, she doesn't fully relish watching it back now (her best friend's dad filmed it) and admits that perhaps only three minutes made it into Vague, her uproarious Fringe debut last year about her health (she was diagnosed at the age of 14 with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy), her height (she's rather tall) and her happiness (all told, she's reasonably happy). That show earned a Best Newcomer nomination just 12 months after she won So You Think You're Funny (only the fifth woman to leave Edinburgh with that award since its 1988 inception). Last August she also won an Amused Moose prize while her name appeared on the sold-out boards outside her venue on a daily basis.