Liverpool Theatre Festival 2023 Interview: Pauline Daniels – Get Me Before The Crematorium Does

The term ‘legend’ might well be over used, but in the case of Liverpool comedienne, singer and actress Pauline Daniels, a better descriptive is hard to think of. For over fifty years the Birkenhead born entertainer has been keeping audiences enthralled, delighting those who come to her shows on a regular basis.

Now, as a part of the 2023 Liverpool Theatre Festival, Pauline will be bringing her One Woman show – Get Me Before The Crematorium Does – to St. Luke’s ‘Bombed Out’ Church on Thursday July 27th at 7:30.

“It might be a bit of a dark title, but it’s quite funny. It’s not the title the show started out with either,” Pauline explained. “Originally I was due to go out with my Where’s My Bloody Pension? Tour, before the pandemic forced everyone into lockdown. During that time, of course, I started to get my bloody pension so had to change the name of the show. Unlike the pension, though, the crematorium hasn’t got me … yet.”

Pauline has been touring this show since lockdown was lifted, around the country near and far, to packed houses. “It’s been brilliant and I’ve just discovered that the show booked into The Royal Court Studio in Liverpool for November has sold out already! I’ve got one booked in for The Brindley in Runcorn in November too. So when I was asked to do a show for The Liverpool Theatre Festival this year, I was made up to do it.”

“This’ll be my first time doing anything for the LTF, and working at St. Luke’s will be extra special, as I know what an atmosphere the place generates having watched several shows being put on there in the past. I’m really excited and I can’t wait for people to see the show there. I just hope the rain stays away, but even if it doesn’t I’ll just put my coat on. It’ll be fine!”

As a comedienne of such longevity, who has appeared on classic stand up TV shows such as The Comedians when it was really the only access audiences had to stand up, there are few people better placed to comment on the health of the genre as it stands today. “On the whole, I think stand up is okay. There’s lots of stuff going on in Liverpool with Laughterhouse and The Hot Water Club doing some brilliant nights. If there was one area I’d like to see improve it would be that more women are doing it and I’m always a bit disappointed when those who do make it big, always seem to resort to commenting on ‘below the waist’ observations in a graphic way.”

“Now, I’ve always been a bit on the rude side but by today’s standards – now that I’ve started working with Warner’s Hotels and also I do cruises as well – I’m considered quite respectable. On the last cruise I did, I got a 93% audience approval rating so I must be doing something right.”

“I think comedy still has a place, but it used to be the ‘New Rock ‘n’ Roll and I don’t think it’s that anymore,” Pauline sighed. “Maybe some of it comes down to over exposure with comedians being on panel shows and Live at The Apollo and what have you. There’s also the fact, though, that there’s a very mixed bag on tour now. I love observational comedy, but everyone seems to be observing the same things. There doesn’t seem to be any variety any longer.”

“Mickey Finn night-after-night would have me roaring, whereas some of today’s comedians barely raise a smile … and nobody can hear a smile.”

Alongside her one woman shows, Pauline is also known for the amount of charity work she carries out. One such charity foundation is The Big Help in Kensington, Liverpool, who’s mission it is to feed the hungry, overcome poverty, free people from the burden of unmanageable personal debt, help people into affordable housing, and to assist people onto a better future.

In September, The Big Help are raising funds with a particular event and were keen for Pauline to become involved from the start. “Oh yes, I’m so excited to be ‘competing’ in Strictly for The Big Help. They do such great work there, with a lot of assistance being provided for Ukrainian refugees as well as anybody who is finding life difficult at the moment.”

“So, the competition is going to be at The Liverpool Town Hall, and I’m going to be doing The Jive and the whole thing takes place on Saturday September 23rd. I’m going to have an absolute blast preparing my routine. I absolutely love Strictly, it’s must see winter television viewing in our house and even my husband – after much dissent – has started to really get into it. It’ll be a lot of fun and I honestly can’t wait, plus it will hopefully raise a lot of money for what is a really great cause.”

So what can an audience expect from Get Me Before The Crematorium Does  on Thursday? “It’s basically Pauline Daniels Unzipped. It looks back on my career and touches on Chicago and when I was in The West End. It comes up to Twopence To Cross The Mersey and all points in between. It’s basically a trip along my life, really, with a load of gags and anecdotes and a few songs along the way. There’s no Jiving planned as yet, but who knows. My first lesson is booked for tomorrow, so watch this space!”

Pauline Daniels: Get Me Before The Crematorium Does is at St. Luke’s ‘Bombed Out’ Church, Leece Street, Liverpool on Thursday July 27th at 7:30. For Tickets Click HERE.

For More information about The Big Help Project, to donate or to become a volunteer, please click HERE