Hailed as a ‘Star of the Future’ by Time Out magazine and nominated as comedian of the year last year by Leicester Mercury, 43-year-old Twayna Mayne is making waves in the comedy circuit.
If you’ve not seen her yet, catch her as she debuts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in her show, ‘Black Girl’, where she dissects race and gender and defines her place as a proud British black woman.
Melan Magazine: How did you get the name ‘Twayna’ and what does it mean?
Twayna Mayne: I don’t know. My birth mother named me but didn’t raise me. She gave all my brothers English names, which are easy to pronounce and spell. If you’re wondering, the ‘y’ in my first name is silent whilst the ‘y’ in my surname isn’t.
MM: What did you want to be when you were 10?
TM: I probably wanted to be a 100m runner and win an Olympic gold medal.
MM: When did you decide that you wanted to be a comedian?
TM: I did a 12-week stand-up comedy course at the beginning of 2010. In 2013, I decided I should start to take it a bit more seriously, which I did. It’s mid 2017 and I’m still not 100% convinced that I am a comedian.
MM: What’s been some of the challenges?
TM: Leaving the house when it’s cold and wintery outside, performing in dark rooms when it’s a hot summery evening.
MM: What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
TM: Time Out naming me as one of their ‘Ones to Watch’, doing Latitude Festival the same year as Portishead which means my name is on the same poster as them and people laughing at my jokes!
MM: Where do you want to be in five years?
TM: Doing some nice gigs and getting paid to write for TV and radio. I would like to be doing the writing for TV and radio somewhere in the sun on a beach.
MM: Who are your role models? / Who makes you laugh?
TM: I like Jennifer Saunders, Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks and Buster Keaton, they are my comedy writing and performing heroes.
MM: Where can our readers catch your performances?
TM: Mostly in and around London and at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival with my debut show ‘Black Girl’. I tweet about some of my gigs on @twaynamayne and they are also listed on my website twaynamayne.co.uk
MM: What do you do to relax?
TM: I like watching hours and hours of TV box sets, drama more than comedy. And drinking gin.
MM: Favourite dish?
TM: A friend of mine is a brilliant cook and makes an amazing chorizo, broad bean and asparagus risotto. Most of what she cooks are some of my favourite meals.