Laura is an award winning comedian and writer.
Following a critically-acclaimed run of ‘Trying’, Laura won Best Performer in the Comedian’s Choice Awards and was in the top 10 of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe 2018. The show also transferred from the Edinburgh Festival for a successful run at London’s Soho Theatre. Laura’s TV credits include Live At The Apollo (BBC Two), BBC At The Edinburgh Festivals (BBC Two), The Comedy Club (BBC Radio 4 Extra) and The Jason Manford Show (Absolute Radio) Laura’s first breakthrough was being shortlisted for the highly regarded BBC New Comedy Award in 2014.
As well as writing her own popular blog http://lauralexx.blogspot.co.uk/, Laura has had articles published by the likes of Glamour and Standard Issue. She has also written her first novel and has had a comedy drama series optioned for television.
‘Trying’ is Laura’s brutally honest account of a year spent trying to get through therapy, trying the patience of everyone and trying unsuccessfully for a baby. Challenging stigmas and laughing in the face of things we’ve been silent about for too long, Laura Lexx’s touching and ultimately uplifting stand-up show is about admitting that it’s OK to not be OK.
Over to Laura.
The most important thing for me, when putting together my show ‘Trying’, was to make sure the audience knew from the outset that I still haven’t had a baby. I felt like, a lot of the time when I’d been looking for advice, consolation, or just a vent spot about the frustrations of trying it always ended with the happy ending. The message was always “Sure, this is taking a while… but one day…”
But, when I was in it, I didn’t want, “One day you’ll be OK”, I wanted “right now it’s OK that you’re not OK”. However much you can tell yourself that somehow you’ll get a family and be happy, there’s no denying that a prolonged experience of trying is really hard. I was overwhelmed with how hard it was and how little I felt it was OK to talk about in general conversation. Sex is awkward, sad things are awkward so sex related + sad thing = almost too much for a British human to comprehend.
I suppose that’s why I started writing the show… I always end up writing my comedy about whatever is on my mind at the time and so it was inevitable that this would be the main feast for the show. It would have been a near impossible feat for me to push my family worries aside and think up endless puns on Brexit.
…The main difficulty with a long period of trying is there’s no “event”, there’s always just “not this time” and I think that makes it hard to know when to you’re allowed to be upset. After about 10 months, I started to be a little open about it so if close friends said, “How are things?”, I’d try a little honesty and say, “Well, actually, we’ve been trying for a baby for a bit and I’m a bit down that we’ve not caught.” I’d almost always hear “Oh, but isn’t the average X” or, “Oh, but that’s quite common isn’t it?”
It was frustrating because I felt like I was saying, “I’m just a little down because it’s taking a while.” And they were hearing, “I think I might be infertile.” Two very different things. I felt like the assumption was, if there was a good chance I’ll get pregnant at some point in the futur,e then there was no point in feeling down at all now.
Sure. I understand that. But, it isn’t how feelings work, is it? Especially not rampaging baby related hormone induced feelings. I just wanted every now and again to not be worried to say, “Yeah, it’ll happen one day but right now I’m just sad it hasn’t in the last 600 days. OK?”
That’s why the show was so important to me… it was a place to be funny and brutal about all these daft things that are hilarious and visceral. When my tropical fish (a pet we’d bought to take our minds off not being able to have a do,g to take our minds off not having a baby) bred 25 babies the day after we bought them and I had to sit and watch as all 25 of them became food for the other fish in the tank, I thought it was hysterical. The best way for me to control the conversation and to make sure I told it right, was to tell it the way I know best; with stand-up.
I was able to talk uninterrupted, to be open and honest but also to acknowledge every angle of how I am both a bit unlucky but also incredibly privileged not to have had worse tragedy. I think humour is one of the strongest tools we have to allow honesty to flourish and it was an honour to be able to do a show about something as serious as this. One of the challenges was to get the balance of humour and seriousness right so that I wasn’t too morose nor too ridiculously jolly. If I was too buoyant, it seemed false, but if the reality lingered too heavily then the laughs wouldn’t come.
I couldn’t be more overjoyed with how ‘Trying’ turned out… the feedback has been incredible – especially from other people who have experienced anxiety or depression when trying for a baby. Lots of people get in touch when they’ve seen it, and tell me they were not sure about watching it in case it was too close to home but then once they’d seen it, they were so glad they had, because the frankness really got to them. That to me felt like a huge achievement – job done as far as I’m concerned.
Laura Lexx’s 5 star, award-winning show (a live recording filmed at Edingburgh Fringe) ‘Trying’ is now available to stream exclusively on nextupcomedy.com.