Jo Neary

Jo Neary

After studying at Falmouth School of Art and then Brighton Polytechnic, Jo specialised in performance about being deaf in one ear and wanting to believe in fairies, and then switched to comedy from 1997 onwards because no one wanted to see accidentally funny performances about occult believers being mocked and relatively tame invisible physical ailments being made visible back then. Also, a fellow student told her she had inherently funny legs. The comedy that followed was partly about being a bit mad, and also about slightly mishearing things. Jo basically moved her brochure entry from Theatre to Comedy and started selling out (in a good way).

After a number of years of trying weird comedy stuff out at Comedy Dairy in Brighton, Up The Creek with Malcolm Hardee and Zincbar at Brighton Student Union, (run by BOAT founder Adrian Bunting), Jo (as Joanna) was nominated for Best Newcomer Comedy Award at Edinburgh Fringe for her first solo comedy show and nominated for Best Show at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival in 2016. She now specialises in her own highly original character comedy shows, which often includes interpretive dance.

Jo is currently touring a new show with Ben Moor called Booktalkbooktalkbook and  a new solo comedy show for 2020 called Wife On Earth (3000 Light Years From Doing The Ironing), and a family show which is a stupid and anarchic take on a traditional fairy tale, called The Crab Prince. The gaps in Jo’s Edinburgh Fringe shows were usually down to some tv filming or Jo suiking after a review which said doing the same characters in a show was boring and unfortunate, while the same reviewer in the same year said Simon Brodkin doing his usual characters were, more positively ‘tried and tested’. Jo did solo shows in Edinburgh as follows;

2004 Joanna Neary Is Not Feeling Herself

2005 Joanna Neary is Pans Person

(2006 Six part TV series ‘Dogface’ for Channel 4)

2007 Little Moments

2008 Magic Hole

(2005 – 2010 Six series of Ideal for BBC, plus MeeBox with Adam Buxton, and loads of other things. 2010, made a Pilot for my own show for BBC2 – also with brilliant Adam Buxton. They built a village hall inside TV Centre, in which we interviewed Joanna Page and John Sargeant and then had a jumble sale while the roof fell in)

2011 Youth Club

(Lifestyle Change / Childcare meltdown)

2015 Faceful Of Issues (then toured)

2017 Joanna Neary Does Animals And Men

2020 Wife On Earth

By the way the reason Jo is called Joanna sometimes is that, initially, in the transition from Common Room to Stage,  Joanna didn’t want to call herself Jo in case she turned up for a gig and disappointed everyone because she wasn’t a man. She thought Joanna would be less of a surprise. Then she appeared as herself in Time Trumpet for BBC2 (Armando Iannucci) and the production put ‘Jo Neary’ on screen without checking first. To this day, Joanna can’t decide which name to use and wishes she’d chosen an entirely different stage name that she wouldn’t have to spell out every time.

“Truly inventive and way beyond most bog standard stand-up. A genuinely original talent, who builds bonfires with the tired preconceptions of female stand-ups.” " Johnny Vegas