Five minutes with Jenny Eclair


EXG JUN 14 ART REVIEW - Credit: Archant

Holly Eells talks to Jenny Eclair about her return to the hit show, Grumpy Old Women, which ends its tour at Southend Palace Theatre this month

Grumpy Old Women is back, so what made you want to return?

Every few years there’s an undercurrent of discontent among the masses, issues that need dealing with and stuff that needs saying. Basically we hear the grumpy call, write a show and get it on the road. Also, co-writer Judith Holder and I really enjoy having a joint project, essentially if we don’t have something to keep us occupied we get into mischief. So we have a choice, it’s either write a show or learn how to play bridge.

Who is the grumpiest behind the scenes?

Definitely me! I’m a door kicker and woe betide my blood sugar levels suddenly plummet. Grumpy old women are a bit like zoo animals — we need regular feeding. I like bananas, Susie Blake likes a bit of fresh air and Kate Robbins needs a good wifi connection. Without these things we can become a bit savage.

What can the Essex audience expect from the show?

There are lots of handy tips in this show, like master classes in nagging, drinking and hobbies. We also demonstrate the joy of big pants, the pit falls of technology, plus losing your inner rock chick and there is a great big dance off. We also deal with the 50 Shades thing.

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What do you like and dislike when you are on tour?

The worst thing about touring is distance and traffic jams. I’m a bit picky about hotels and I get very bored of cooked breakfasts; someone needs to invent a new and exciting breakfast dish. On the plus side, you’re trapped in a bubble of no responsibility, you can’t do house stuff, bills or anything grown up. We’re like giant toddlers being ferried around the country to show off.

Jenny Eclair will be appearing in Grumpy Old Women at Southend Palace Theatre on June 3. For more details, visit

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