West End newcomer Liz Kingsman not sure how she got Kit Harington to appear in the One Woman Show trailer, let alone her is how he was persuaded to perform an interpretive dance. He is not in the play. He is not a friend. He hasn’t even seen the work yet.
“It could be a total disaster for him,” she said, taking a long breath. “Even if he said ‘I hate that. Please don’t ruin my career,’ I’d say, ‘I have to…I have a scheduled tweet coming in an hour.’”
On the contrary, of course he was excited. Kingsman is the new queen of British comedy. In a few weeks, she’ll be taking the West End by storm with a Harrington-approved show: Here’s to the wave of production on “Messy Women” after Phoebe Waller-BridgeFleabag
absurd, silly spoof, which sold out in London and Edinburgh. Her rise ushered in an era of lighter, wackier comedy in stark contrast to the darker ages we’re living through. “Stupidity is a lofty compliment,” she said.
It’s a Friday morning and I’m sitting with the actor-writer in an empty cafe at the back of the restaurant watching people perform. BFI, I thought she chose this venue to give the impression she was an academic film buff, but she actually chose to ensure as few people as possible could Hear our conversation. “I don’t want anyone to listen to me talk about myself for an hour and think I’m an asshole,” she says.
Kingsman’s concerns are unfounded. She’s likable: Type A, allergic to sincerity, often laughs at her own jokes — not because she thinks she’s really funny, but because she wants you to laugh too. “If I keep being cold to people,” she says, “it’s more fun for me when I get people to respond in interesting ways, because I know how many times it hasn’t worked out.”
Her hair is as shiny as shampoo. Her attire—houndstooth blazer, balloon pants, chunky boots—makes her look like an entrepreneur who “is sure to convince all the five dragons to invest in her wellness business.” Her accent was picked up at university in Durham, not her native Sydney. “I miss my old voice,” she said of her now-faded Australian accent. “But, at the same time, I’ve done more work than I think [otherwise] would have done to sound like this.”