Jenny Eclair on the art of 'Grumpy Grooming'

Bucks Free Press: Kate Robbins, Jenny Eclair and Susie Blake Kate Robbins, Jenny Eclair and Susie Blake

TALKING to Jenny Eclair she seems far from grumpy. But that is perhaps why the show, Grumpy Old Women, has been so popular.

It's very much tongue in cheek and it's there to make women laugh as they relate to the stories. The comedian is at the Wycombe Swan next month with the latest offering in the grumpy series.

Jenny will be joined on stage by Susie Blake (Mrs Brown's Boys) and Kate Robbins (Where The Heart is) in Return of the Grumpy Old Women; Fifty Shades of Beige.

This new show includes... learning the art of 'Grumpy Grooming', the joy of large pants, a free nagging master class (how to get your own way without him even noticing), beards for women and how to customise an unwanted pole dancing kit and even a brief Zumba demonstration.

Grumpy Old Women started its life as a one-off Christmas special in 2004, but from that came three series, a book and a stage show.

The stage show is now on its third version.

Jenny said: "We did a small tour in November to see if we had something worth dragging around the country- turned out we did thankfully.

"The script is now polished and ready."

And she said don't just expect three women sat on stools moaning about life- it is very physical and even has a dance off in the middle.

Jenny said: "The first one was very general- what is a grumpy old woman and what does she do?

"As time has gone on the audience know all that. They go a bit more extreme in some respects and it is more to do with the comedy."

So what can people expect from the new show coming to the Wycombe Swan on May 5?

She said: "This starts with a slight homage to Gravity with a slight space theme.

"It is on quite a low budget- it is kind of like Gravity, but not.

"Once that is over and done with we are down to business. We have a pie chart of the Grumpy Old Woman's day and how it is divided up.

"We realised the biggest chunk of the pie chart was the act of worrying- Fret A Manger.

"We go through all the different slices of pie."

Act two is more about sex, love and death.

Jenny said: "There are three aspects on the same subject.

"Kate really wants to have a lot of sex. Susie and I aren't that fussed.

"We have different attitudes to food and men and sex and children and all those things.

"You can go off script- particularly when you forget what you are doing.

"It is a written piece but it is not a crime to come off script.

"For me, it is very similar to my stand-up- facing the front and performing."

Jenny was the first woman to win the coveted Perrier Award. She still regularly does stand up, and is touring with her new show, Eclairious.

She has also starred on TV doing things like Loose Women and This Morning, and she also has a thriving stage career.

As well as all this Jenny also writes shows, non fiction books and novels.

Jenny writes with Judith Holder, who has produced the TV and stage shows of the Grumpy series.

So why did they decide to write the show? Jenny said: "It is predominantly middle aged women who buy theatre tickets but not so much tailor made for them.

"I can't do musicals- I am tone deaf. I wanted to write something that I think spoke to British women.

"It kind of acknowledges their lives and what they do and who they are. It is a show for them and about them."

Jenny clearly still loves doing stand-up and said she will continue to do so, as she still has her "stand-up legs".

She also writes a lot too. She said: "I write as much as I perform.

"I write novels. I find those the hardest to do.

"I have the fourth one to do at the moment. I do write for nothing."

She said at the moment she is unsure if it going any where at the moment and would like to know by September if it is going to be the novel she wants it to be.

Jenny said doing reality TV shows like I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2010 and Celebrity Masterchef in 2012 helps her do the things she really wants to.

She said: "I do them because they pay the money to supplement the other things I don't get money for.

"I don't get much money for writing books- I am slow at writing books.

"I need to do a reality show to have the book money to write the book."

This year she starred in Splash- the show where celebrities learn to dive. Jenny went out in her first heat.

She said: "I did [enjoy it] in the end. There were grim moments and some boring bits like diving off the edge of the pool. I thought, 'This isn't what I signed up for.'

"Then you started doing more and you would try and realise you can't.

"It is just a process where you realised what your limitations are."

Return of the Grumpy Old Women is coming to The Wycombe Swan in St Mary Street, High Wycombe on May 5 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £21, with a £1.50 booking fee. Call 01494 512000 or go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk.

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