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Helen Wood on comedy and performing

All Areas > Entertainment > Comedy

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Thursday, 27th June 2019, 09:00

Helen Wood Helen Wood

Helen Wood has been performing for most of her life.

A Gloucestershire local for over a decade, Helen has recently turned her hand to comedy, and with appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival already under her belt it’s fair to say audiences have taken to her quirky shows.

“I performed in community theatre for years,” said Helen, “never going professional as a performer because the setting up and growing of my drama-in-education company, Freshwater Theatre, took over.

“It’s only been in the last five years that I’ve had time to devote to solo comedy performing.”

In those five years Helen has performed as part of the all-female Gloucestershire based improv group ‘Brewhaha’, and also in a duo with Karen Levick, for her first Fringe comedy ‘The Usherettes’ in 2014.

Helen also works with fellow Stroud local and comedy expert Chris Head on developing her own writing and performing skills.

“I’ve been fascinated to learn about comedy techniques – much of which I’ve learned from Chris,” said Helen.

“He script edits and directs my shows and knows pretty much everything there is to know about comedy.”

In 2015 Helen returned to Edinburgh with her first solo show ‘What Kind of Fool am I?’ receiving positive reviews.

She continued: “Edinburgh is my favourite city – beautiful architecture, a mountain in the middle and the sea nearby.

“And when the Fringe is on it’s amazing – a buzzing atmosphere with crowds of people ready and eager for dramatic and comedic adventures. I love going to see shows as much as performing and nothing beats an early morning hike up Arthur’s Seat with the dog.”

Helen will be returning to the Scottish capital this summer with her latest show, ‘The National Trust Fan Club’, which tells the story of Helen attempting to visit every National Trust site in the UK.

This latest show is a continuation of Helen’s award-winning production ‘The OS Map Fan Club’, which sold out in Edinburgh two years running.

“I thought it would appeal to the same people that enjoyed the map show and would give me the perfect opportunity for doing lots of fun research,” she explained.

“You need to come to the show to see how many National Trust places I got to in one year – but there was a lot!

“In all my shows I like to have variety – so there are personal stories, historical anecdotes, sketches, music, poems and quizzes. But in this show there are also scones.”

Before heading to Edinburgh, Helen will be touring the show around the country, including a performance at Cotswold Playhouse on Friday 19th July.

Helen says the uniqueness of her shows make them enjoyable to perform but admits there are still butterflies in her stomach before she takes to the stage.

She added: “Making people laugh is definitely exciting and I always think it’s good to be a bit nervous just before a show.

“I particularly love performing comedy because of the immediate connection with the audience. In the sort of shows I write I take the audience on a journey and it feels like I’m creating a community and we’re all in it together.”

For more information on Helen and her upcoming shows, visit www.helen-wood.co.uk

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