Brassic star Juliet Cowan makes her return to stand-up after two decades

‘Am I Being Unreasonable?’ trailer

Juliet Cowan is making her long-awaited return to the live comedy scene, which has seen its fair share of change since her last stand-up gigs over 20 years ago. grabbed an exclusive chat with Cowan, who’s now known for roles in Am I Being Unreasonable?, The Power, Brassic and many more, to talk about her upcoming show, F**k Off And Leave Me Alone.

“I loved it, I absolutely loved it,” she recalled of her early career. “I loved the camaraderie. I didn’t do loads of the travelling and stuff because I always had kids.

“I kind of tipped my toe, maybe my ankle in. But I couldn’t jump in because I just couldn’t, I couldn’t leave my kids for long enough. And it was always, for me, a bit of a stepping stone to becoming an actor.

“I’ve always seen myself as a rather sad, serious actress and stand-up just seemed a good way of kind of sneaking in.”

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The actress and comic will be performing in Manchester for the Women in Comedy Festival on Saturday, October 7, which Cowan describes as a safe forum for female comedians to test out their material.

Although the UK’s comedy scene has made great strides in inclusivity over the years, the majority of the country’s most popular stand-ups are still men.

The comedy world has also been rocked recently with reports about Russell Brand, who has been accused of multiple sexual assaults and misconduct that took place during the height of his career.

“I’ve only just gone back in,” Cowan said. “In my first iteration, I did sit around a lot of green rooms with boys going, ‘I f**king killed it’ and girls going, ‘Oh. Did you?’

“For me, it was more d**k on the table than d**k in your mouth.

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“But, it’s hard to be audacious enough to consider yourself funny as a woman. It’s something that you have to just own. And sometimes you’re like, ‘How will people laugh at this?’

“Because I’m just doing my hour, I’m not on bills. Bills is where you really get the cut and thrust of what’s really going on in terms of sexual politics.

“It’s where men and women basically compete, where the struggle both political and sexual really occurs.

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“So I haven’t seen any of that. But I think comedy, from what I can see, has changed a lot. It’s much more inclusive and a better place for women.”

Cowan’s show will explore personal topics such as perimenopause and divorce and sees her becoming more like her teenage self as “hormones play havoc”.

She teased plans to eventually tour the show around the country and has also been filming the sixth series of Manchester-based comedy Brassic.

Juliet Cowan is performing her debut comedy hour ‘F*ck Off and Leave Me Alone’ at Manchester’s Women in Comedy Festival on 7 October 2023. For tickets, visit

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