Award-winning sketch comedian Laura Ramoso joins us on Close-Up Culture to chat about the return of her comedy special, FRANCES.
Directed by Second City veteran Alastair Forbes, FRANCES takes Ramoso’s signature physical comedy, satire, mime and critically acclaimed writing to the nth degree. The show returns this November 24th – 26th, 2022 at Comedy Bar Danforth in Toronto.
You are bringing back your comedy special, FRANCES, this November. Can you tell us about the show and what originally inspired it?
The show takes my style of observational comedy and satire to tell the story of Frances, the titular character who finds herself on a journey to meet up with her ex-boyfriend, Frank, after he’s asked her to “talk”. As she makes her way to their meeting point, audiences will encounter a variety of unforgettable characters and painfully relatable scenarios. Just like with all my work, the story and comedy in the show is deeply inspired by real people I’ve met or moments I have observed through the course of my life, which I have turned into characters and sketches. I hear the show features your signature physical comedy, satire, and mime.
What can audiences expect from Frances?
Audiences can expect to see relatable and absurd characters through my style of observational comedy and satire, woven between a classic story of love and loss. Some of my popular online characters will be making an appearance, which has been so fun. German Mom or Italian Dad, anyone? 😉 Overall, I hope people walk away feeling entertained and happy. My biggest goal is to provide an escape from real life and give audiences the time and space to just sit back, relax, and laugh.
The show is directed by Second City veteran Alastair Forbes. What is your collaboration like with Alastair?
It really is the best, we just click. He is a wonderful director because he not only takes care of the show, the writing, the characters, the set etc. – but he also takes care of me as an actor. Most of all, I deeply appreciate that he always pushes me to be my best. I am very lucky.
How do you try to push the boundaries with this show and in general with your comedy?
I always try my hardest to take my comedy one step further – to present a premise or a character in an unexpected way – it makes the work that much more challenging, which I like. Striking the balance between being obvious (so people relate) and being original (so people stick around) is hard and I enjoy navigating that! The show also combines many elements I wouldn’t consider to be “traditional” sketch comedy.
Sticking to my creative instincts is probably the most difficult aspect of this work. It’s really easy to see the number of views, likes, and shares as an indicator of my value as an artist, therefore it’s hard not to edit myself or my work based on how my videos perform. Every time I set out to make a new video, I have to ask myself “what do * I *want to make?”, “do * I * find this funny?”. I can tell the difference between having made something for me vs for other people. I love that creating content forces me to check in with myself about what sort of stuff I actually want to put out there.
What are your plans and ambitions for the future?
I plan on continuing to do more live shows and touring FRANCES in as many cities and countries as possible. I’d also love to open for bigger comedians and be featured at bigger festivals. Other than that, keep making videos and collaborating on cool projects with other artists!
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