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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

Review < Back

Rising stars of 2015: comedian Jenny Bede

Sunday 28th December 2014

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When Jenny Bede was training in musical theatre at the Royal Academy of Music, her ambition was to make people cry. “The ultimate goal was to be Eponine in the West End version of Les Mis,” she says, smiling at the unexpected path her career has taken since. Last autumn she wrote and starred in her first comedy pilot, AAA, for BBC3’s Comedy Feeds; this year she will take her first solo show to the Edinburgh fringe.

It was only four years ago that Bede, now 31, realised she preferred making audiences laugh. She was watching the resident musical sketch show NewsRevueat London’s Canal Cafe theatre with her then boyfriend, who remarked that it was a shame she could never be in a show like that because she wasn’t that funny. “I said, ‘What do you mean? I could do that show,’” she recalls, still indignant. “So I emailed them to ask if they were auditioning.” She joined the cast in 2010 and found that she was expected to write material too. “It was the summer of the Labour leadership election and the first thing I ever wrote was a battle rap for the Miliband brothers. It was such a shock to hear an audience laughing at something I’d written – I got a bit addicted.” ...

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