Collaborator Profiles

Get to know the people we love to work with

We are super excited to have award winning comedian, Jenny Wynter, join us for  Gran Slam LIVE 2021.

She is 110% Joy Generator and boy do we need that right now.  Raised on a nourishing diet of bread and butter pudding (which is obviously why she is such a happy person), she is moved by Mary Poppins and can pull off a hairy cocktail like nobody else. 

We can’t wait to see her take to the stage with our free-wheeling wordsmiths who are ready to keep her on her sparkly toes! 

Take five with Jenny and find out how she moves.

Using humour to create community really resonates with us – why do you believe this works so well to bring people together? 

I think humour is such a short-cut to connection really. You think about meeting somebody for the first time: if they make you laugh, you are so much more likely to like them. In fact, I think this fact is what has led a lot of comedians to develop that skill – there’s so many of us who struggled to make friends at school, only to discover that if you could make people laugh, it was a side-door to being welcomed. All of my best friends in the world are those with whom I share a sense of humour. I think it disarms us, and when we’re disarmed, we’re open to real connection.

You were raised by your Grandma – this has become the inspiration for a bunch of new material that we will get to see a taste of at Gran Slam – can you tell us a little bit about that?  

Yes, my grandma raised me and my little sister after our mother died when we were little. She was a single woman in her sixties, who’d grown up through the Great Depression, lived through World War II and as a result, we were raised on a diet of bread-and-butter pudding and war-songs. I spent so much of my childhood around more elderly folks and have always just genuinely loved their company. It really upset me during this Covid business hearing some people say “it’s only the old people who’ll die.” As if they’re just uniform and disposable! It inspired me to start putting together a show which is a cabaret tribute to those funny, unique older people who were part of my upbringing… so part of this new material might indeed make it onstage at Gran Slam. We’ll see!

Nobody can pull off a new hair do like you! What’s been our favourite hair colour to date? 🙂 Should we expect anything new for Gran Slam.  

Ha! My favourite ever was what I like to call “unicorn hair”, which was basically a hairy cocktail (gee that sounds awful when I put it that way) of pinks, purples and blues. I’m so lucky that one of my best friends is my hairdresser and we’re at that point where I just say “do what you will!” and off she goes. So in terms of anything new for Gran Slam… that’s really up to her!

You were a part of Gran Slam Live last year (but, you know not live- thanks 2020) – What did you enjoy most about the experience? 

 In those immortal words from “The Castle”… “it’s just the vibe of the thing.” The talent was phenomenal, the nibblies were delightful, but really, just the atmosphere of pure joy in the room – and cyber-room, in 2020’s case – was one of sheer celebratory delight.

Is slam poetry by old people not the coolest thing in the world?  Uh….YES!!!!!!!! Next question?

The Purpose of our organisation is To Move Communities – that movement can manifest in all its guises; physically, socially, emotionally, culturally. To be moved and to move together. What moves you?

I was just discussing this with my teenaged son today, how both of us can be moved to tears by an incredible movie soundtrack. Every Sunday my grandma, my sister and I would snuggle up under the blankets in her bed and watch old movies: The Ghost and Mrs Muir, Casablanca, Mary Poppins, you name it… and it became a source of embarrassment how often the music would make me tear up. Now I embrace it: what a wonderful thing, to be in this world and still not be too jaded to cry at beauty. I hope I never lose that

Jenny was a part of our 2020 and 2021 Gran Slam Program.

 

Support her work by following her socials below