“Truly inventive and way beyond most bog standard stand-up. A genuinely original talent, who builds bonfires with the tired preconceptions of female stand-ups.” – Johnny Vegas
Welcome to the official website of Joanna Neary, a dancing comedian.
This is a place for you to see my show archives and sketchbooks and find gig and show dates. I am a comedian and writer, I love to do hour long shows where I can create a little world. People seem to see my shows and be surprised they enjoy them, it’s because my marketing is baffling. We didn’t learn any of that at art college unfortunately. My shows are sometimes surprising, I don’t like to be pigeon holed. They are little slices of life that I see around me, voices that I don’t hear in many other places, highly original characters who are deluded and charming and full of pathos. My children’s shows have gutsy and funny characters. Maybe they’re my alter-egos. I want to express difficult feelings in an easy way so that other people who feel like nerds or dorks or loners or a bit rubbish can see that I’m being ridiculous and have lived to tell the tale.
After going to Falmouth School of Art and Brighton Poly, and learning that art is meant to be about something, I specialised in performance art/theatre about being deaf in one ear and wanting to believe in fairies, and then switched to comedy from 1997 onwards because a fellow student told me that I had inherently funny legs.
I did comedy at Comedy Dairy and Graham Duff’s SmartBomb in Brighton, Up The Creek in London with Malcolm Hardee and Zincbar at Brighton Student Union, and then was nominated for Best Newcomer Comedy Award at Edinburgh Fringe for my first solo comedy show, won a couple of best character comedy act awards, had a baby and was nominated for Best Show at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival in 2016. I now specialises in her own highly original character comedy shows, which often includes interpretive dance.
I am currently touring a new show with Ben Moor called Booktalkbooktalkbook, my solo comedy show for 2021 called Wife On Earth – The Tour, and a family comedy/puppet show ‘Stinky McFish And The World’s Worst Wish’. These are the solo shows I have done at Edinburgh Fringe and a little bit beyond;
2004 Joanna Neary Is Not Feeling Herself
2005 Joanna Neary is Pans Person
(2006 Six part TV series ‘Dogface’ for Channel 4)
2007 Little Moments
2008 Magic Hole
(2005 – 2010 Six series of Ideal for BBC, plus MeeBox with Adam Buxton, and loads of other things. 2010, made a Pilot for my own show for BBC2 – also with brilliant Adam Buxton. They built a village hall inside TV Centre, in which we interviewed Joanna Page and John Sargeant and then had a jumble sale while the roof fell in)
2011 Youth Club
2015 Faceful Of Issues
2017 Joanna Neary Does Animals And Men
2019 – onwards! Wife On Earth
By the way the reason Jo is called Joanna sometimes is that, initially, in the transition from Common Room to Stage, Joanna didn’t want to call herself Jo in case she turned up for a gig and disappointed everyone because she wasn’t a man. She thought Joanna would be less of a surprise. Then she appeared as herself in Time Trumpet for BBC2 (Armando Iannucci) and the production put ‘Jo Neary’ on screen without checking first. To this day, Joanna can’t decide which name to use and wishes she’d chosen an entirely different stage name that she wouldn’t have to spell out every time. To be honest, it’s just terrible marketing. (By the way – this is Joanna here, I have two entries on IMDB – International Movie Database. One as Jo Neary, one as Joanna Neary)