Interview: Suchandrika Chakrabarti on I Miss Amy Winehouse at Brixton House
We caught up with Suchandrika Chakrabarti to talk about her new show part of Housemates Festival, which explores the story and resonance of national treasure Amy Winehouse.
Tell us about your show ‘I Miss Amy Winehouse’ coming to Brixton House. What can an audience expect from the show?
It’s an hour-long stand-up comedy show with an emotional journey. There’s some 2000s nostalgia, there’s grief and there are quizzes, so brush up on your Amy Winehouse trivia. This is a preview of the show I’m taking to Edinburgh Fringe this August.
Why is Amy Winehouse such an important person to you?
We were born in the same year, and of course I became a fan of hers as soon as I heard ‘Rehab’ in 2006. She could turn her pain and heartbreak into art so quickly, yet at the time I was struggling to be the writer I’d always wanted to be. I was also working and partying in Camden through the 2000s, so there was always the possibility I could bump into her. What would I say if I did? Well, in the show, you get to find out!
Who or what are your other inspirations for creating your work?
In terms of comedy, my favourites are: Bill Bailey, French & Saunders, The Young Ones, Whoopi Goldberg, the ‘Going for an English’ sketch from Goodness Gracious Me.
Are there any other artists in the Housemates festival you’re excited to see?
Yes! This week, I’m going to see Carly Fernandez’s ode to queer joy Concha, and Caitlin Barnett’s Comrades in the Dark, which is about Bobby Sands’s 1981 hunger strike. Corey Bovell’s Chicken Burger N Chips is a future classic that’s closing the festival.
I was sorry to miss out on Winnie Arhin’s Big Girl Words early on in the festival, look out for her in the future! My Housemates have been making amazing work – you can watch two shows for £15 (rather than £10 per show), and I highly recommend that you do.
What advice would you give to up and coming artists who would like to showcase their work at venues like Brixton House?
I was absolutely over the moon when Brixton House reached out to me, and I can only assume it’s because they saw that my show had been programmed elsewhere. So: get your best work out there. Be proud of it and promote it. You never know who might take an interest.
What are your favourite London haunts? (To eat, to watch shows, to get inspired)?
To eat: If I have money to burn, it’s Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Chotto Matte on Frith Street in Soho ; if I do not, which is more likely, then I’m a fan of checking out what’s nearby and ‘rescuing’ a meal via the Too Good To Go app.
To get inspired: Getting away from my desk and going for a walk is helpful for inspiration, so anywhere green in London, really. Regents Park will always have a special place in my heart, especially the rose garden.