Interview: Cariad Lloyd

We interview Cariad Lloyd about her time at Sussex University where she discusses Lewes Court, slugs and tea drinking.

Cariad Lloyd is one of the UK’s fastest rising comedians. Known best for being part of the critically acclaimed improvisational troupe Austentatious! An Improvised Novel, which improvise a Jane Austin novel in full regency dress every night and has been a sell out for the past five Edinburgh Fringes. Cariad is also know from appearing in multiple different TV shows like Peep Show and Murder in Successville and for producing her own BBC sketch show pilot, Lady Cariad’s Characters. A notable Sussex alumni, we caught up with Cariad and talked to her about her time at university.

What did you study at Sussex and what made you want to study there?

English Literature in the school of English & American Studies, when the schools existed. I actually didn’t want to go to Sussex because it was surrounded by fields and built in the 60s and looked like my secondary school. But then a very nice tutor gave me an interview and we mainly discussed Harry Potter and I realised I was wrong, which I was.

What was you’re accommodation like?

I stayed in Lewes Court. When it was new, and fresh and sweet. And it’s probably the largest flat I’ve ever lived in because I now rent in London.

What was Freshers week like for you?

Oh my God, so crazy! Party-ING. And by that I mean, I joined SUDS, I auditioned for a play, met two of my best friends and drank so much tea with one of them we got heart palpitations.

Did you enjoy being in Brighton?

Yes and no, I loved being by the sea so much. In winter, when it’s grey and you can’t see the scum on the water and it’s raining, there’s no better place to go and cry about what you’re doing with your life. It’s beautiful and ugly at exactly the same time. I once saw two hen-dos having a fight on Western Road – it was Angel Wings vs Devil Horns and it was everything a gritty yet beautiful low-budget British film could wish for.

Did Sussex help or influence your choice of career in any way?

I always wanted to be a performer, but certainly doing the plays and putting on my own theatre there helped solidify that. I also met said tea-drinking friend Sara Pascoe there who convinced me being a comedian was actually possible.

What is your funniest memory from university?

My friend Vanessa describing the night she witnessed a slug murder another slug. The story lasted three hours and was worth at least a £40 ticket price. After later research, we discovered she had in fact watched a slug one-night stand.

Do you have any tips for people who may have just started or are starting university?

Just try everything, go to the weird nights that seem intimidating, the political discussions, the drunken all-nighters. You feel much older than you actually are at University, and later on it gets increasingly hard to justify such whim-like behaviour.

What do you have coming up that we should look out for?

I am touring with my improv group, Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel and various other things I’m too modest to tell you about. Look @ladycariad on twitter for details of gigs and things.

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