Esther Manito: Hell Hath No Fury comes to The Stand, Edinburgh on 18th October and The Stand, Glasgow on 19th October. An award-winning performer, the first female comedian to perform at Dubai Opera House, Esther is a published author, and familiar to fans of comedy on screen and radio. She is now out on her first UK tour ‘Hell Hath No Fury’, and it arrives in Edinburgh this Wednesday coming! theQR was lucky enough to ask Esther a few questions before she touches down!
Esther, you describe yourself as an ‘Arab Essex Moron’, is this only a comedy persona?
My comedy persona is pretty much an exaggerated version of me. I very much identify as being Arab and being from Essex, and on stage I am full on moron!
Is there a sense in which ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ completes a trilogy with #Notallmen and ‘Crusade’?
I don’t think of them as a trilogy but definitely signifiers of my growth as a performer. My first show was very much looking at identity politics and the stereotypes of being a mum/woman/Arab. Because these were the first things I talked about on stage as I was introducing myself. This lead me to look at the men in my life and how race and masculinity are represented in #NotAllMen. The bits I loved in both these shows were ranting about the smaller things in everyday life which reflect bigger Imbalances in society – so now I’m really focusing on those.
What has made you quite so obsessed with coats?
Oh, you have to see the show. But it’s not the coats it’s the coat rack… it’s just way too overloaded!
This is your first tour, but you’ve been winning awards and playing big stages with regularity. Where do you see yourself in your career right now?
This tour has been so lovely so far. I have genuinely been so flattered, and so grateful to have such lovely audiences. I now can’t wait to write my next show and tour again.
You’re coming to Edinburgh in October…does it feel at all strange?
I love Scotland so much. I have done breaking the news on BBC Radio Scotland a fair few times in Glasgow and gigged outside the festival a lot in Edinburgh. The festival always produces a lot of anxiety in me as I suddenly feel “Oh my god look at everyone’s posters and stars and reviews and this is all so much money!!!”. So to go to Edinburgh and not have that weight and be there JUST for the gig and the audience- is bliss!
What does comedy mean to you? (is it in any sense a vent for anger, or other emotions?)
It’s therapy. It’s everything you can’t say in polite company. I LOVE that women are nodding or couples are nudging each other. It means that I’m saying relatable stuff in a safe environment, and we can all unite in how bloody annoying life can be!