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‘It’s good to be grumpy’ says Fylde funnywoman

Lizzie Roper, Jenny Eclair and Dillie Keane
Lizzie Roper, Jenny Eclair and Dillie Keane
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She might wear stripey tops by day, but by night Fylde comedian Jenny Eclair is a super hero – albeit a grumpy one.

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More than a decade after first touring Grumpy Old Women, Jenny’s once more on the road and heads to the Opera House on Friday.

Jenny and her co-stars, fellow original Grumpy Dillie Keane and newcomer Lizzie Roper

Jenny and her co-stars, fellow original Grumpy Dillie Keane and newcomer Lizzie Roper

“It’s always a relief to have an excuse to be grumpy,” she said, most ungrumpily.

“It’s lovely to be back trading the grumpy boards with two grumpy broads.”

The brand new show, Grumpy Old Women To The Rescue, sees Jenny and her co-stars, fellow original Grumpy Dillie Keane and newcomer Lizzie Roper as superheroes in retirement on a grumpy paradise island, who’re then called on to save the world.

“There’s a realisation that although we’re retired, we’re actually quite busy and have to find a windown to change the world,” She explained.

Jenny and her Grumpies are part way through the tour now. It’s bedded in and is getting a good reaction from audiences - and Jenny’s pleased to see people coming along on the latest leg of the ‘Grumpy journey’.

“Post-Brexit, money is even tighter and we are witnessing that,” she said. “People are saving their pennies so want a really good night out. And middle aged women are the ones who tighten their purse strings first, they put themselves at the bottom of the pile so it’s lovely to turn up and see their faces.”

Mentioning the “B-word”, do the Grumpies tackle it in the show?

“It does get mentioned,” Jenny said. “But it can divide your audience, which is not what we’re trying to do – we want to unite people.

“We do tackle women and pensions though, and the gender pay gap.

“I’m a staunch remainer, and I can get a bit hysterical and shrill about it and that’s not my job in this show.”

As the local in town, Jenny’s going to miss out of giving Dillie and Lizzie the grand tour, as she takes the chance to spend some time with her mum in Lytham.

“I love Blackpool,” she said. “Blackpool in the sunshine is unbelievable and the light is glorious.

“I’d like to whip the girls round the Winter Gardens and up the Tower, but probably won’t have the chance.”

The former St Annes Queen Mary School pupil issues a warning to those not yet in prime ‘grumpy’ age-range though – myself included.

“You reach an age where you have moments of being a Grumpy Old Woman, and others where you’re carefree,” she said. “It catches up on you. If you find yourself buying stripey tops, you’re almost there; there’s always more than one stripey top on the audience. They definitely become more prevalent as you get older.”

- Grumpy Old Women To The Rescue, Opera House, Blackpool, Friday. Call 01253 625252 for tickets.