Tory Gillespie’s aim in life is a simple, yet challenging one – to win over homophobes with comedy.

To that end she’s performing a show in The Black Box on July 26 entitled Ulster Loves Me.

Ulster has never had a problem expressing its feelings, and neither has Tory Gillespie. The trouble is, they never seem to agree on anything – particularly when it comes to LGBT rights.

Gives us a taster of what you’ll be talking about at the show…

Ulster Loves Me is a comedy backlash against the homophobic politicians that are trying their best to keep Northern Ireland in the dark ages.  I could shout and scream about injustice in the world, but if you make people laugh, they actually listen. Stand-up comedy is the perfect vehicle for democratic protest.

Do you do jokes or anecdotes or satire or just run about the stage and sweat a lot like Lee Evans?

I cannot tell a lie, sweating is a big part of my life, but when I’m on stage I try to tell jokes and stories.

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How much of your personal life do you share in the show?

I’m from North Down and lived in NI until I was 18.  My family is a mix of NI, ROI and Serbia and now I live in London, so my accent is all over the place.  It’s possible that I share too much of my personal life in my show, but if it’s funny, it goes in.  Last year I did a show about my Gran dying of cancer… swear to God, it was very funny…

What’s the first gig you played and what do you remember of it?

The first gig (if you can call it that) was live on student radio.  It’s not unfair to call it a total disaster, but fortunately as it was on student radio, nobody was listening.

Who’s been the biggest influence on your comedy?

Mark Thomas. I’m finding it difficult to think of anything more to say other than OMG I LOVE HIM HE’S THE BEST AND I MET HIM AND HE WAS NICE TOO.

Join Tory in The Green Room of The Black Box for a hilarious stand-up show that explores the fabulous side of Northern Ireland, through love, laughter and maybe a wee gay cake!

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