Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect

Comedian Juliette Burton returns for another Offbeat, with new show Butterfly Effect, Saturday 1 July.

Hi there, why don’t you introduce yourself?

Why hello! A total pleasure to meet you. My name is Juliette Burton and I’m a possible comedy performer, definite crazy person, journalist of sorts, weirdo for sure, creator of docu-comedies (documentary mixed with comedy…). It might be far simpler to say I’m a human. I’m a human person type thing.

It feels terribly formal to introduce myself in this way – far more formal than in my shows. But I am bowing and curtsying your general direction.

Nice to meet you! So, what’s the show you’re bringing to Offbeat and what’s it about?

Well the pleasantries just don’t let up do they?! I’m returning to Offbeat with my brand new docucomedy show ‘Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect’ which is all about the power of kindness. Is being kind outdated? Or can small acts of kindness have big effects? I use video projection, hidden camera filming, comedy and totally truthful storytelling to explore kindness through my very real journey of wrestling with it; the problems with being kind but also maybe rediscovering its power.

I’m really bad at being kind to myself so I wanted to find out whether being kind to others might just help me learn about how to be kind to myself too.

What kind of person do you think will enjoy this show?

Anyone who needs a bit of a heartwarming pick me up, anyone who believes in or has ever doubted the power of kindness, anyone who has felt powerless in the past few years… I know I have!

It’s a comedy show, but for those who prefer their comedy a bit more multimedia, a bit different, not a regular stand up show, but with more going on.

Can you sum up the pitch for your show in 6 words?

Small acts of kindness; big effects?

Actually let me try that again…

No, it can’t be summed up.

What’s the background to the show? Why did you make it? What’s the journey been like so far?

This year has been a really difficult one personally and to cope I wrote this show. I wasn’t only feel powerless about the state of the world, but also over personal problems including my mental health conditions. So I wanted to focus on the one power I felt I perhaps still had – being kind to people. So I set out on these social experiments to see whether being kind to people could have an effect. I had days where I filmed with hidden cameras me doing small but kind things to see what effect they had.

The journey (it’s all gone a bit BGT hasn’t it?!) has been a very different one to previous shows. This really was a show that began as my own personal way of coping and then morphed into something that is far bigger than just me and my silly little story – the people who’ve already connected with the idea and have gotten involved via social media has been awe-inspiring.

What other cool stuff have you done that folks might like to know about?

For the show, part of my research has been to as people in previews of the show to write suggestions of ways to #DareToBeKind – and people have tweeted me with ideas too. Look at the hashtag on Twitter if you want to get some ideas. It’s amazing to see the awesome ideas coming in. I’m collating them all and hoping we can get a Mexican wave of kindness going across the UK this summer thanks to the audiences at my shows.

But I guess you also want to know about career stuff too? I’ve been on ITV and BBC, I’ve sold out in Edinburgh at the Fringe in 2015 and 2016, my preview before Offbeat in Oxford has totally sold out, I’ve just returned from touring in Australia for the third time…but none of that means anything without a lovely audience to enjoy the show with me in Oxford on 1 July!

Are you excited to take this show to Offbeat? Why?

Of course! I get excited about every show, it’s always a chance to entertain and bring together a roomful of people. Plus being from Cambridge, performing in Oxford feels like a second home to me. I’m excited to spread a bit of kindness and dare people in Oxford to be kind… I’ve got a feeling they’ll totally get what I’m trying to do!

Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to folks in Oxford?

Come see the show! If you’re still undecided then why not watch my interviews with my comedy pals about kindness on my youtube channel www.youtube.com/TheJulietteBurton and see if that helps you make up your mind.

And tweet me your ideas for how we can #DareToBeKind – I can’t wait to hear what Oxford comes up with!

Being from Cambridge myself you might think there’d be a rivalry but I reckon us gorgeous cities need to stick together! In fact, all of us could stick together, watch out for each other, wherever we’re from.