The engineer who swapped lifts for laughs

Comedienne Gina Yashere will be at Luton Library Theatre on March 7
Comedienne Gina Yashere will be at Luton Library Theatre on March 7

You wouldn’t think anyone who qualified as a lift engineer would make much headway on the comedy circuit.

But Gina Yashere thinks outside the box.

“I was perfectly happy with my job,” she explains. “But then there was a slump in the building industry. I started doing open mics because people kept telling me I was funny, so I thought I’d give it a go”

“I said I’d go back once the work dried up. But it never did.”

In fact the Cockney comedienne with Nigerian heritage took to humour like metal to a magnet.

She was voted Best Female in the Black Entertainment & Comedy Awards three years running and won the Chortle Award for Best Female Stand Up in 2002.

She’s bringing her brand new show to Luton’s Library Theatre on Saturday, March 7.

“It’s a great venue and the audience is so reponsive,” she says. “I always have fun there and that’s why I always love to come back.”

Gina admits it’s lonely for a woman on tour: “There’s lots of travelling and you can’t have any kind of family life – equality hasn’t quite reached the profession yet.

“But because there are so few of us, if you’re good, you get noticed a lot quicker.

“Equally, people are put off if they see one bad female comedian – it tarnishes us all, so we’re constantly working against the idea that women aren’t funny.”

Gina needn’t worry on that score - the Guardian has hailed her as one of the best comics in the world, Metro calls her ‘infectiously funny’ while to The Times she’s “a joy.”

Make sure you don’t miss the marvellously amusing Ms Yashere. Call 01582 878100 for tickets.