To celebrate, our fave comedy gang talks best bits, flirty crowds and Rosie Jones’ boobs

Queer comedy collective The LOL Word, made up of Chloe Petts, Jodie Mitchell and Rachel Watkeys-Dowie and Ruby Clyde aka double-act Shelf, were making big waves on the comedy scene before the pandemic hit. They ran comedy nights across the country and their line-ups consisted exclusively of queer women and non-binary people. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, The LOL Word are fun, inclusive and absolutely rammed full of laughs.

Fortunately they’re back and bigger than ever. Fresh from a sellout show at the Soho Theatre, they are hosting their biggest, gayest comedy bonanza yet. Petts, Mitchell and Shelf are taking over Underbelly Cavendish Square on Saturday 18 September and will be joined by headliners Sikisa Bostwick-Barnes and, get this, Rosie Jones (who you may remember making the top 100 in our DIVA Power List)!

We caught up with the gang and grilled them on their all-time greatest LOL Word moments. 

DIVA: What’s your favourite thing to have ever happened at a LOL Word gig?

RWD: Honestly my favourite was when we lost our card reader down the back of a radiator. We were doing a gig at the Brighton Fringe and the reader for donations fell behind the radiator at the end of the show. Really showed off the Lol Word teamwork – Ruby and Jodie jabbed pool cues, sticks and their own arms down the radiator while I held a phone torch and Petts got back on stage to keep the audience entertained. What was amazing was that it took about half an hour to free the card reader, but the whole audience waited so they could donate. The Lol Word audiences are the best!

Tell us about some of your favourite LOL Word performances?

CP: We were doing a gig at 2northdown and Tom Glitter came and sang a bunch of songs, in all their non-binary beauty. It was both an incredibly funny and transcendent experience and the performers and crowd alike went away in euphoria.

This almost sounds like too much fun. Have you ever had a bad time?

RC: Honestly never. Not even at one of our early gigs, where it definitely became clear that the audience thought the event was more of a speed dating thing than a comedy night. Loads of couples on first dates were in the room, and a lot of people were making eyes at each other across the crowd. We respect and support a good flirt, so we just put some music on and made it a party. But please bear in mind that the Underbelly show will be a comedy night first and foremost.

What can your audience expect from your upcoming show at Underbelly Festival?

JM: First and foremost, a lot of laughs as a result of the most relatable queer content you have ever seen in your life. I imagine it will be a euphoric party atmosphere in which a bunch of gays can watch comedy in the knowledge that it will be free from any punching down. Oh, and knowing her, Rosie Jones will probably get her boobs out so come purely for that.

You can catch The LOL Word at Underbelly Cavendish Square on Saturday 18 September at 5pm. Tickets can be purchased here: underbellyfestival.com/whats-on/the-lol-word

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