Comedian Lucy Porter is happy to admit that motherhood has changed her perspective on everything.
“It went so well the first time that we decided to do it again immediately!” she laughs. The result is that she is mummy to a three-year-old and a one-year-old, with just 15 months in between them.
“I am very lucky that I have got a husband who has also got a flexible job,” Lucy says. “We have managed to make it all work so far without having to leave the children to fend for themselves too much.”
Lucy loves what motherhood has done to her.
“I don’t necessarily put it onto the stage act. I am writing things for mother and baby magazine so I have got mileage out of it that way. But I think being a mother has changed my approach to work in more subtle ways. I am much more fearless than I used to be, and in the nicest possible way, comedy has slipped down the list of priorities. I used to live and breathe and die for comedy.
“Being an artist makes you inward looking. In the latter part of my career before the children, I was always on tour on my own in hotel rooms and on trains, and I had a lot of time to think about myself and my internal geography, but now I spend a lot more time with other people. It forces you into polite society!”
Having said that, she admits that her current show is probably her most introspective show so far. Northern Soul is, she says, the autobiographical tale of her younger days when she felt that where she was born didn’t reflect the person she was.
Born in Croydon to a Northern Irish dad and a Midlander mum who met in Africa, Lucy never felt comfortable as a South London suburbanite. In her teenage years she was seduced by the music of Morrissey, the art of David Hockney and the politics of Dennis Skinner. Then she was seduced by the kissing of an actual man from Bury, and she started to suspect that the north of England might be her spiritual home.
Lucy moved to Manchester and then Liverpool. As much as she loved her time there, she didn’t find the sense of completion she’d yearned for. Stand-up comedy has since allowed her to travel the world, and she’s acquired a taste for the exotic (she even married a Welshman) but she’s still – like the Littlest Hobo – waiting to find a place to settle down.
“I always felt that I should have been a northerner really. I like the art form the north, the politics from the north and the geography from the north. Culturally, when I was growing up, there were a lot of cool northerners, and as a teenager, I was desperately impressed by it.
“It was the 80s, and London seemed to represent Thatcherism and capitalism and success and ambition, and I was always slightly under-motivated and not particularly materialistic.
“I lived in Manchester for ten years, but I live in London now. There are things that I like about it. London is like a collection of villages, and you can love the one you are in. But it doesn’t have to be London. I could live anywhere. But the answer is trite and sentimental: it doesn’t really matter where you live. It’s about finding where you want to be in your heart.”
Lucy is appearing on Saturday, December 14 at The Hawth (Studio), Crawley.