Despite not being a comedian, Barbara has kindly agreed to be interviewed. You may find her as the poet-in-residence at the 197 bus stop at Penge, London.
What comedy most inspires you?
Comedy is inferior to poetry as a spoken word form, but pushed for an answer my mummy really liked the impersonator Janet Brown who did a good Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
Which comedian most inspires you?
Which comedian scares the shit out of you because you know you'll never be that good?
Why and how did you get into comedy?
I'm a poet.
What drives you to do what you do?
The lack of good lesbian poetry in this world and the force of the patriarchy who tries every day to silence me. Oh, and words.
Describe your perfect Tuesday.
At the 197 bus stop desk early for some writing, an afternoon picnic on the grass opposite my ex Susan's house then an evening with a Judi Dench box set of 'As Time Goes By' in my landlady's front room.
Describe your worst experience on a coach.
Being sat next to a man who sat with his legs so wide open I couldn't enjoy my sandwiches.
Best sofa you've ever slept on?
I slept on my ex's hallway floor once. The rug and draft excluder was inefficient.
Best piece of advice a comedian ever gave you?
Lemn Sissay once told me I should never listen to what anyone in the audience says.
Worst piece of advice a critic ever gave you?
I've never had a critic tell me anything.
Tell us a joke.
What did the number zero say to the number eight?
What's the furthest you've travelled for the least amount of money/open spot?
Barcelona, Spain. And the building didn't exist when I got there.
Best chicken you've ever tasted?
Scotch egg - mini.
On a scale of 1-10, how hungry are you right now?
10, always 10.
How has lockdown been for you?
I stayed away from my bus stop for three months, and had a cupboard to work in at my landlady's house, which was quite cosy. Though, with the MEN-o-pause (why THE MEN have to insert their name into our female condition is just another example of the patriarchy trying to control our womb words) I was a bit hot.
Have you been more or less productive?
Always. I have been working on my 24th Volume of Poetry: The Bus Stop Will Not Be Sanitised. This is my response to the pandemic - which I believe people have asked for and will continue to do so.
Anything else you'd like to say?
However hot you are, wear a mask. My landlady believed she contracted Covid-19 from bingo in Penge, but still we are unsure. The bed baths she demanded I give her were awkward for the both of us. I do believe these have been the reason our once comfortable, albeit rather formal, relationship to be now on the rocks.
To find out more about Barbara and to join the Poetry Revolution, click the links below: