Six Of The Best: Hendrika Seguro-Bigg | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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All femxle/female comedy cabaret night The Girlie Show is set to take Friday 20th October at The Cumberland Arms. The event is ‘pay as you feel’ and is organised and hosted by Hendrika Seguro-Bigg, who wanted to showcase some of the funny and talented women that she knew. It features a variety of acts such as stand-up, sketches, music, drag kings, clowns and more from talented performers, including Fran Best, Amanda Citlali, Sarah Davies, Kerris Gibson, Kaat Lena, Bonnie Milnes, Eva Nelson, Tiny Temper, Lily Wyn-Bennet and Yolli Whittaker

Talking about the influential women who inspired her own path to comedy, Hendrika gives us her six of the best…

I’m constantly inspired by the women around me and I love telling their stories. It’s the little details; a turn of phrase, a piece of clothing or even just a look, but when I find it, my mind starts racing to build a picture of this character with all their quirks and opinions. There are many different definitions and experiences of womxnhood, and I wanted this show to encapsulate that. We are all just reflections of those who helped us grow and there have been many influential women in my life who have shaped my sense of humour.

TV – Ab Fab
I remember being enamoured with Absolutely Fabulous when I was a child. I still am now, but back then it was this mysterious programme that, being a child with no real concept of how scheduling worked, seemed to appear on our screen as if by magic, only when my mum would announce ‘it’s on!’ and we’d rush in to watch it all together. Part of the fun was staying up past my bedtime which felt mischievous in itself, but getting to share these late-night laughs with my parents felt grown up and all the more exciting.

What I found most inspiring was just how absurd Edina and Patsy were. They were anti-heroes you shouldn’t love but do, passionately. They’re iconic. Written by Jennifer Saunders and featuring a predominantly female cast, it never occurred to me then that there were supposed limitations or expectations for women in comedy, all I ever saw was funny women being brazen and silly and I loved it! Looking back now, I definitely credit it for my love of character-driven comedy.

TV – 30 Rock
I named my show The Girlie Show in homage to 30 Rock and another of my favourite female writers/performers growing up, Tina Fey. 30 Rock follows Liz Lemon, the head writer of the all-female sketch show ‘The Girlie Show’. When network execs decide ratings need a boost, ‘The Girlie Show’ is reduced to ‘TGS with Tracy Jordan’, its new male lead. It’s clever and stupid, weird and wry all at once. Watching it at 15 led me to learn about improv comedy and the various comedy mega-talents that we all know and love who made their start in improv schools such as The Second City and Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Without this, I’d never have explored improv for myself and never would have met the like-minded folk I now call my friends.

Podcast – Dear Joan and Jericha
My sister introduced me to this podcast a few years ago and I’ve still yet to find a show that makes me laugh as much as this. Dear Joan and Jericha is an improvised, satirical podcast by the legendary Julia Davis and Vicky Pepperdine. It follows two agony aunts Joan Damry and Jericha Domain, experts on everything from life coaching, female sexual health, psycho-genital counselling and sports journalism. We listen as they answer questions sent in from their fictional listeners and deliver their cutting and unhelpful advice. What I love most is how unabashed these characters are, nothing is sacred and the advice is ridiculously awful. Women can say revolting things and that is fabulous! Not to be listened to with your parents.

Music – Kate Bush
Is there anyone more captivating than Kate Bush? I was maybe 6 when I first came across her music whilst watching a woman twirl around to ‘Wuthering Heights’ on Stars in Their Eyes. I stared at the screen wide-eyed before needing to find my big sister (who was eagerly printing out Hello Kitty pictures from the newly invented Google images) and ask her what this music was. She told me it was Kate Bush and printed me out some lyrics and I held them to the sky like a holy scripture. It has been a love affair that has lasted my whole life but only now, as an adult, can I truly appreciate the complexity of her lyrics and melodies. Her fusion of Art Pop with Rock is so unique you could never mistake her for someone else. That’s one of the reasons I love her so much, she is unapologetically herself. She tells the stories she wants to tell in her own distinctive voice.

Art – Baby Bushka
Speaking of Kate Bush, I saw Baby Bushka, a Kate Bush tribute act from San Diego, California last year at Cobalt and it was incredible. They’re like the Spice Girls of Kate Bush, with names like Boss Bush, Sugar Bush and Midnight Bush. It was one of the most joyous experiences I’ve ever had. It was pure performance art, featuring four-part harmonies and immaculately choreographed dances undertaken by different members of their eight-piece group, each bringing something new and beguiling to the stage in true Bush style. This is not a tribute act as you know it, it’s so much more. What made it so enthralling to watch was the ensemble itself. You could feel their love not only for each other but for what they were doing. Their joy spread like wildfire through the crowd making the performance all the more impactful. That feeling is what I hope to inspire with my cast of performers at The Girlie Show.

Community – The Suggestibles School of Improv
When I moved to Newcastle three years ago, it took me a little while to find my people. I’d done improv before at university and online during lockdown and I knew I loved it so I was eager to find others here who loved it too. Having experienced depression and anxiety, improv gave me the space to set my mind free for two and a bit hours. To truly live in the moment and be utterly stupid with people who thought that was cool and were there to do the same. There was no ego, just trust and laughter. It was here where I finally found my community and grew my self-confidence enough to go out into the world again, being unafraid to fail or make a fool of myself. It’s the most liberating feeling and I would encourage anyone to give it a go and set your imagination free.

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