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Interview: Linus Karp, How To Live A Jellicle Life

Having first made contact with the wonderful Linus during his run of Awkward Conversations With Animals I've F*cked, we were immediately keen to hear about his newest tour. We interviewed Linus about his Jellicle show (full title - How To Live A Jellicle Life: Life lessons from the 2019 hit musical 'cats') before a London run in December last year (an interview you can read here), and we were excited to hear from him again, as he gears up to take the show across the country. Have a read below!

Photo by Dave Bird

Hello Linus! An important question to get out the way early doors, do I need to have seen Cats to appreciate the show (for I have not yet put myself through it…) ?

There is no need to have seen Cats before seeing the show - it works either way. The audience tends to be about 50/50 in who's seen Cats and not, and I'm delighted that both sides seem to enjoy it! That said, I absolutely think you should watch Cats - you'll never see anything like it!

The film was panned by absolutely everyone! What made you decide to salvage a show from the wreckage?

Haha! I just find Cats unbelievably fascinating - both the making of the film and even more so the jellicle world they're trying to depict. Cats wouldn't leave my soul after I'd seen it - maybe this is my way of exorcising it.

Your last solo role was in Rob Hayes’ Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve F*cked, how different has it been to be both the writer and performer on this piece?

"Awkward Conversations" was my first solo show. It was nerve wracking at the time, but at least I knew the script was incredible. Performing your own writing is terrifying but also obviously fantastic when it resonates with an audience. The tricky thing is to know when the script is done - I can't stop editing and updating it constantly.

This show was born during 2020, how did the events of that year affect the development of this project?

Because 2020 was so miserable and lonely - I was trying to put all the things I was missing the most into the show. It's silly, joyous and has a sense of the audience experiencing something together.

Touring work is difficult at the best of times, and these certainly aren’t the best of times! How are you feeling about taking a show on the road in 2022?

It's quite a challenge at the moment, haha! I am determined to have fun, and am very excited about it. When things are bleak we need fun and jellicality more than ever. I love touring and am going to some very exciting venues - I really can't wait.

You’ve already managed two sold-out runs of this show, what’s changed for you, and for the show, since then?

The show has developed quite a bit in between each run. I've had so much fun performing it and feel like it's only getting better and better - I look forward to see how this tour changes the show!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing a show on their own?

Do a show that you yourself would love to see! And don't wait on being programmed or commissioned - self produce it instead. Don't wait for permission, create! You can create shows in a way that no one else can.

If someone is on the fence about coming along, what would you say to persuade them that this is the show form them?

The show will be different from any other show you've seen - if you want an hour of silly, fun queer joy then come along and get jellicle!

Most importantly, where can people buy tickets for the tour?

At you can find tickets to all our 21 venues - including of course The Electric Arcade in Brighton. It's also being streamed online so that even people who can't make the live show will have a chance to see it.

And finally, I was wondering what your thoughts are on New Years Resolutions, is it a Jellicle tradition, or is it not?

My new years resolution this year is to be even more jellicle - and I hope many others have the same one!

Linus' tour starts in Bristol on the 11th of Jan and finishes in London in March, find all 21 venues here!

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