Comedian Suzi Ruffell admits she comes from a family of show-offs.

And she concedes that she was always more likely to end up on a stage than in a boardroom.

The stand-up brings her new show to Cumbria this weekend, stopping off at Whitehaven and Carlisle with Dance Like Everyone’s Watching.

Ruffell has made a name for herself by turning tragedy and anxiety into big laughs. This year she is actually happy.

This show answers the question: are all stand-ups at their best when they are miserable?

Providing a mix of storytelling, observations, a dash of social politics and a lovely routine about a smear test, she says her show has everything.

“My mum has a sign in our house that says ‘dance like no one’s watching’: the rest of my family are the least likely people to dance while nobody’s watching,” she says.

“We are a family of show-offs, so we dance like everyone’s watching.

“Everyone does show off a little bit. People who are super-smart show off by being able to do a crossword really quickly. We all do it in our own way.”

When she was growing up, the entertainer/show-off gene rather than the academic one seemed to be dominant in Suzi.

It was recognised by the rest of the Ruffell family, as she says: “I’m not super academic. I remember talking to my mum about me going to university and she said ‘your brother’s the clever one; you can tap dance’.

“And that’s been the mantra of my life.

“When you’re a kid, it’s rubbish doing stuff that you’re not very good at, and maths and English were really hard for me at school.

“But when I was able to go to an am-dram society and put old-lady make-up on and walk with a stick and pretend to be someone‘s granny, I had the time of my life.”

Her ability to show off has paid off. Over the past 12 months, she has racked up a sell-out UK tour and TV appearances including Live at the Apollo and Mock The Week.

She is also a regular on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz and The Now Show.

She appears at the Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven, tonight and plays the Old Fire Station, Carlisle tomorrow.

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