“One of the funniest women in the country” What’s On Magazine
“Uninhibited and Unorthodox” The Independent
As a Lesbian Comedienne, Clare performs an original cocktail of stand-up and comedy songs to mainly Gay and Lesbian audiences up and down the country and has even been known to make straight people chuckle just a little bit!!! She brings “Dyke” humour to the forefront of alternative comedy. She also runs comedy writing workshops for women.
For several years Clare has performed on the LGBT comedy circuit, generally as the headlining act. She appears regularly at Comedy Camp, in Soho, London, and has performed at The Edinburgh Festival on many occasions. She tours her brand new one-woman comedy shows to theatres around the country every couple of years.
Festival appearances include York Lesbian Arts Festival at The Royal Opera House, York; Proudwords, Newcastle; Women in Tune, Wales; SHOUT, Birmingham; Homotopia, Liverpool; SWALK, Bridport. She has also performed at The Albert Hall and at Atlanta Pride, Georgia. Clare performs her stand-up and comedy songs as the entertainment for various AGMS, Conferences and LGBT events. These have included bookings by SPECTRUM (Home Office LGBT Staff), The DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, (LGBT Staff Group), OLDER LESBIAN NETWORK (OLN), ENFIELD HATE CRIME FORUM, KENRIC, BRADFORD PRIDE ORAL HISTORY CONFERENCE, GALIPS and many more.
Clare writes and performs her own stage shows, several of which have been produced at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and she now regularly tours around the country to theatres which have included The Cochrane, London; The Pavilion, Brighton; Oval House Theatre, London. Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton; Lighthouse, Poole; Tobacco Factory, Bristol; Y Theatre, Leicester; Unity Theatre, Liverpool; Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield; Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich; Mumford Theatre, Cambridge; The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead; The Lowry, Manchester; Theatre Royal, York; The New Vic Studio, Stoke.
“A Lesbian Victoria Wood” Radio 4 Woman’s Hour
“One of the most rip-roaring talents on the lesbian stage today” Rainbow Network
A very long time ago Clare was one half of the lesbian cabaret act “ALICE AND CLARE” (she, of course, being the CLARE part of that duo) and they were nominated “Best Cabaret Act of the Year” by The Pink Paper (we won’t say what year….)
Previous one-woman comedy stage shows by Clare Summerskill from 1998 to 2009:
- AN EVENING WITH CLARE SUMMERSKILL
- FANTASY HECKLER
- THE BOOTLEG CLARE SUMMERSKILL
- CLARE SUMMERSKILL PRESENTS HER FINEST BITS!
- CLARE SUMMERSKILL ACTS HER AGE
- CLARE SUMMERSKILL – IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!
Her one-woman comedy show “WELL THAT EXPLAINS IT!” will be touring to theatres in Spring 2013.
“IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER is an unusual title for such a well-structured stand-up comedy show. If comparing Clare Summerskill’s comic delivery with Victoria Wood seems too obvious, it is only because Summerskill is a formidable entertainer irrespective of the type of material she chooses to present. However the scenario of the two lesbians enforcing their right to a double bed on hapless hotel receptionist Chantelle is cracking. The receptionist learns a valuable lesson; don’t stereotype lesbians. If you do they’ll get drunk and start a fight.”
OXFORD, DAILY INFO
“After last night’s performance of THE BOOTLEG CLARE SUMMERSKILL my throat’s raw from laughing so much at the all too accurate takes on various lesbian lives. Clare Summerskill is definitely the discerning dyke’s comedienne. What a refreshing change to hear hysterical takes on lesbian lives without malice and with total abandon. She metamorphosises into her charaters with amazingly scary accuracy. Her songs are very entertaining and her wit in abundance. She’s quirky, she’s smart and she doesn’t just have a sharp sense of humour she has the whole shebang!”
“In FANTASY HECKER Clare tells the story of her childhood, her puberty, her first affair, through to womanhood, and settling down and breaking up! Although all of these stories are told with a lesbian angle, they are directly relevant to everyone. Not only lesbians have psycho partners, not only dykes get dumped, not only women fancy Charlie’s Angels! Sometime quite moving the play highlights how difficult it can be to be different: the fear during puberty, the self-doubt involved in a first sexual experience and the taboo surrounding the very word “Lesbian”. Clare is warm-hearted and honest with respect to these issues, immediately drawing the audience into her confidence. I have to reiterate that this is not just a performance for lesbians. Sure, lesbians will enjoy it, but there’s more to be had here. A person who can’t find any warmth or humour here has done nothing, been no-where and had no-one!”
Comedy Writing Workshops for Women
Clare runs comedy writing workshops for women. These last approximately three hours and look at how to write stand-up, comedy sketches for cabaret or radio and humorous short stories. They are not only a lot of fun and always found to be extremely encouraging to women who may often hide their writing ability under a metaphorical bushel!