Disappointing online dating and copious amounts of alcohol are familiar territory to many twenty-something city dwellers. London-based comedian Eleanor Conway’s new show Walk of Shame sees the former music journalist take her audience on a journey through her time in Asia working for the triads, her foray into hardcore porn, and excessive and impressively thorough use of dating apps.
Since deciding to go sober, Conway felt the urge to tell her stories through stand-up comedy and Walk of Shame is the result of two and a half years of sharing her experiences on stage.
“The show is about the extremes I’ve been to in life,” she says. “I spent years as a ferocious party-goer and I felt like I had too many good stories to keep to myself. It leaves nothing to the imagination. Sex, sambuca and sobriety are the main themes.”
It takes a lot of confidence to perform on stage, especially with such personal material. Conway’s previous work as a music presenter gave her the courage to take to the stage and she hasn’t looked back. “I love comedy, I find the honesty incredibly liberating.’
Regarding the personal nature of her routine, Conway contends that what she struggled with most was not revealing intimate facts about her private life but rather the audience’s perception of her character.
“I was nervous that people wouldn’t like me. I’m a flawed person and my show demonstrates that quite clearly. I was astounded just how much people related to me and my stories. It’s that connection with the audience that makes me love doing this so much.”
Her frank and honest discussion of online dating will strike a chord for many. Conway claims to have pretty much completed Tinder in her part of London and has plenty of advice for online daters.
“First, get your match on to WhatsApp as quickly as possible. That way you have their number, which you can put into Facebook to get more details. From there, get onto Linked In where you can find their job title and career history. Finally, go to Total Jobs and search their job title and there’s their salary.”
Despite the thoroughness of her research, her system has its flaws. “Obviously it’s not foolproof. You prepare a through mental dossier but you can’t prepare for your date turning up with shoes and no socks, or with gravy on their shirt.”
Conway’s use of Tinder has been massively reduced since making the decision to go sober. Sheer exasperation led her to make what, for her, was a drastic decision. “It just became too much. I was tired and bored. The whole partying routine became like Groundhog Day and the repetition began to take its toll.”
Despite this, Conway has no regrets about the wild partying and bizarre experiences that filled her twenties (and part of her thirties). Walk of Shame sees her explore the feelings and experiences that led her to this stage in her life in a manner that is at once honest, relatable and hilarious.
Eleanor Conway plays the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale on 24th March and the Oldham Coliseum on 22nd April.
Tickets are available at www.eleanorconway.com