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Cambridge's classiest comedian
A different class of comedy
Cambridge comedian and journalist Hannah Dunleavy is not exactly sure if she has class. Class status that is. Plus she's also found the advantage of being a stand-up with a hearing problem.
Edinburgh Fringe: Hannah Dunleavy will next be appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2008
Juggling two jobs can often be tricky, especially when one of them can cost more than it earns.
But being a journalist and a stand-up comedian can often come hand in hand for Cambridge's Hannah Dunleavy.
"They aren't actually two completely different things. You can use one in the other. A lot of my material comes from the news."
Performing at this year's Cambridge Comedy Festival, and later the Edinburgh fringe, Hannah's set is smattered with current affairs and doubts over country's class system.
"At what point do you stop being working class?" she wonders out loud.
"Particularly when you live in a place like Cambridge where the bar is already set quite high with middle class.
"My Dad has this perception of working class as being this Jeremy Kyle type candidate but that's not my impression of what working class means."
While Hannah's performances can now just about cover her expenses for her getting to the venue, she's not sure whether comedy is the brightest of career choices for the those who want a quick buck.
"I'm about to go to Edinburgh which is a notorious money pit. I'm actually doing the free fringe so, ironically, I shouldn't lose as much money as comedians who charge.
"But if they chose to leave a tip that would be marvelous."
A few tips will mean she may be able to afford the return fare home and perform her alternative version of a Scudamore punt tour.
Her and her brother would sit on the banks of the River Cam and hear things like "this is where Anne Boleyn was beheaded" and think "I can't believe they're just making this up as they go along."
"So we thought that it would be funny to write something."
"I quite like my story about how ducks are not allowed to land on the river and they'll end up with an ASBO if that happens."
As we discuss the finer points of comedy Hannah reveals that having a hearing infringement is always a good starting block, especially for dealing with feisty audience members.
"You know what, I don't actually get heckled that much. One of the problems I have is that I have a hearing problem and I'm supposed to wear a hearing aid, but I don't.
"So quite often a lot of what people say goes straight over my head. I could be being heckled all the time and I've just missed it."
But we're pretty sure that's not the case.
Catch up with Hannah through her column for the Cambridge News
last updated: 21/07/2008 at 10:44
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