Comic Jordan Gray talks about her new show, which visits Birmingham in November.
Jordan Gray will bring her exceptionally critically-acclaimed hit show Is It a Bird? to Birmingham on Thursday 2nd November 2023. Here, she shares insight into what to expect, her favourite song from the show, why she’s looking forward to visiting Birmingham, and that now-legendary appearance on Channel 4’s Friday Night Live.
What is is It a Bird? all about?
“When naming a show, always work backward from a pub. Is It A Bird? came about because the show is loosely about superheroes (‘Is it a bird? Is it a plane?’) but I’m also transgender and I’m from Essex. So where I’m from, people will often whisper to their mates as I walk by, ‘Is it a bird?’. In my head, the show is about boobs, dogs, babies, Batman, music, and pure, PURE joy.”
How did you come to write Is it a Bird?
“Years of graft, mate. Trial and error, toting my nob gags around the country in every club, pub, basement, attic, tent, phone-box or repurposed fridge freezer that would have me. I got most of the show down at Little Smash Comedy, Southend (the best open mic in the country).”
What can audiences expect?
“Well *I* will definitely be there. It’s an hour of standup interspliced with comedy songs. You don’t need to know anything about anything going in, I’ve got you babe! Plus, there’s a surprise at the end, which I am always grateful to the press for never spoiling. Honestly, I have no idea how the secret hasn’t gotten out.”
You’ve had a slew of five star reviews for the show, which you first performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2022. When did you know you were on to something special?
“When I found out full-on celebrities had been to see the show incognito. Proper ones, like Marvel superheroes and comedy legends. When Ian McKellen showed up one night, it made my month. Plus he knighted me as an ‘honorary X-Man’ (I was technically an ex-man already).”
If you had to pick you favourite song from Is It a Bird? what would it be?
“None of the songs have actual names – but I am especially fond of the one about ‘all the stuff I’ve sold to the devil to get where I am today’.”
Who should come see Is It a Bird?
“Anyone over 16 who likes a laugh and a surprise. It’s a bit sweary, but it’s all in good fun. The only person I think I would turn away is Batman – but I’m sure he’d find a way in, that’s what he does.”
Tell us about your now legendary performance on Channel 4’s Friday Night Live. How was it performing on such a classic show, and were you expecting such a huge reaction?
“It’s a bit of a blur. I remember coming off stage (nude, spoiler) and getting wrapped in a pink kimono and brought back to my dressing room. I was lying on the floor catching my breath surrounded by all my agents who were all beaming from ear to ear – and I felt like I had done something special.”
As well as your tour in the UK, where else can we see/hear you and what other projects do you have in the pipeline?
“Everything. There’s no tiny corner of this bonkers industry that I’m not currently spraying with my sugary musk. You’re gonna see me on TV a lot more from now on. My podcast Transplaining is growing bigger every week. They’ve asked me if I want to theatre at The National (I do) and I’m gonna be taking my silly show stateside next year. Also, I recently got stung by a wasp and I’m not emotionally over it yet, so that’s a thing.”
Are you looking forward to visiting Birmingham?
“I am proper looking forward to coming to Birmingham. I love the people, I love the accent, and I LOVE the curry.”
Jordan Gray will perform IS IT A BIRD? at the Glee Club, Birmingham on Thursday, 2nd November at 7.00PM. You can book tickets here.