Going back to her roots has been the key to success for Portsmouth-born comedian Suzi Ruffell, who brings her Snappy show to Farnham Maltings on October 21 at 8pm.

Describing herself as the “odd, arty middle class one” in a family of scaffolders, the 36-year-old believes the turning point in her career was homing in on her Portsmouth upbringing.

A stand-up for 13 years this November, she said: “It took a while to find my voice. People used to say ‘she’s got something, but she hasn’t worked it out yet’. I felt I was doing an impression of a stand-up at first.

“It was when I really started talking about myself and my family that people were like ‘Oh, we believe you now’. There are comics that look out and comics that look in. As soon as I started looking in I found an audience.”

Now a parent with a little girl, Suzi is fascinated by how raising children has evolved between 1986 and 2022.

She said: “My parents loved me very, very much, but their parenting style was ‘crack the window open if you’re having a fag in the car’ rather than get the Montessori toys out. I think it’s interesting the way things have changed and how we deal with that.”

Suzi paints a beautifully comic yet affectionate picture of her family, with a blunt dad who just takes life in his stride and a mum who runs everything. She is currently working on a sitcom based around them.

But while the Ruffell clan are providing a rich seam of material for her shows, Suzi knows she must make the most of the opportunity they have helped to give her – because she doesn’t fancy her chances of making a living in the family business.

She said: “I say to myself on stage ‘thank God you’re here’ and I really mean it. I was bad at every other job. The only other job that I was good at was working on a donut van in Portsmouth and I had to give that up because it gave me severe acne. There’s no Plan B. This is all I’ve got!”

Of Snappy, she said: “There’s stuff about my family, funny little act outs and big physical set pieces, which is sort of my favourite thing. And funny faces. I want people to leave feeling uplifted.”

For tickets, priced £15 (£13 over-60s and under-18s), visit https://farnhammaltings.com/

Bruce Dessau