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Bromley comic to appear at Bloomsbury Theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:02 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:40 23 January 2014

Pictures of Samantha Baines

Pictures of Samantha Baines

Archant

Growing up in Bromley, Samantha Baines would while away the hours in the Glades shopping centre making her school friends laugh.

Pictures of Samantha BainesPictures of Samantha Baines

Fast forward 10 years, and the 26-year-old is still making her audience roar with approval, but on a much larger scale.

On Sunday, Samantha will take to the Bloomsbury Theatre stage, with sketch act Vinegar – formerly Vinegar Knickers – for the New Act of the Year award, better known as the NATYS.

“We used to be called Vinegar Knickers, but we dropped our knickers,” she smiles.

Samantha, along with best friends Katie Burnetts and Harriet Fisher, was selected to compete with the cream of comic talent late last year.

But, with the awards just days away, the former Newstead Wood pupil believes it was two years ago when the trio began to be noticed.

“We got an agent the year after we did the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the first time – we were getting five-star reviews then,” she says,

“It was 2013 when people started to find us funny.”

But, she adds in her typically understated way, “Now we are in the final of the NATYS, which is nice.”

When you consider that Samantha’s first performing role at school was playing “Man 2” in a production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! that represents quite some progress.

Fortunately, not so long after Oliver! she rose to play Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

At first Samantha’s mother was unsure of her daughter’s career choice, even though she had graduated from Exeter University with first-class honours in drama.

She then went to the Central School of Speech and Drama in north west London.

Samantha explains: “There was the normal stage from mum of ‘Are you sure this is what you want to do?’”

Now, though, Samantha’s parents take a very keen interest in her career.

“My dad will give me joke material,” says Samantha.

“He will call me up at 11 o’clock at night to tell me.

“My mum now has the ‘mum laugh’ after she realised this is what I wanted to do. The supportive laugh – where she has heard the joke before and she knows she has to laugh.”

Samantha’s ears have become trained enough to detect her mother’s voice among the laughter from the crowd at Vinegar’s shows.

If Samantha – and the rest of Vinegar – triumph on Sunday, there will be no need to convince anyone of how good this all-girl sketch act really is.

The NATYS will start at 7pm at Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH.

For more information about the event, call 020 3108 1000 or visit www.thebloomsbury.com/event/run/1879. Tickets are £12.

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