Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 07 November 2023

Interview: Actor & Comedian Jordan Gray Brings Her Tales Of Superheroes, Essex & Life As A Transgender Woman To Brighton Dome

Is it a Bird?, Jordan Gray's forthcoming show at Brighton Dome, brings together her love of superheroes, her strong Essex roots, and her life as a transgender woman in an hour of raucous comedy that resonates within and far beyond the LGBTQIA+ community.

What is Is It A Bird? all about?

Jordan Gray: When naming a show, always work backward from a pub. "Is It A Bird?" came about because the show is loosely about superheroes ("Is it a bird? Is it a plane?") but I'm also transgender and I'm from Essex. So where I'm from, people will often whisper to their mates as I walk by, "Is it a bird?". In my head, the show is about boobs, dogs, babies, Batman, music, and pure, pure joy. 

How did you come to write the show?

Jordan Gray: Years of graft, mate. Trial and error, toting my nob gags around the country in every club, pub, basement, attic, tent, phone-box or repurposed fridge freezer that would have me. I got most of the show down at Little Smash Comedy, Southend (the best open mic in the country).

What can audiences expect?

Jordan Gray: Well I will definitely be there. It's an hour of standup interspliced with comedy songs. You don't need to know anything about anything going in, I've got you babe! Plus, there's a surprise at the end, which I am always grateful to the press for never spoiling. Honestly, I have no idea how the secret hasn't gotten out.

You've had a slew of 5* reviews for the show, which you first performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2022. When did you know you were on to something special?

Jordan Gray: When I found out full-on celebrities had been to see the show incognito. Proper ones, like Marvel superheroes and comedy legends. When Ian McKellen showed up one night, it made my month. Plus he knighted me as an "honorary X-Man" (I was technically an ex-man already). 

If you had to pick you favourite song from Is It A Bird? what would it be? 

None of the songs have actual names – but I am especially fond of the one about "all the stuff I"ve sold to the devil to get where I am today".

Who should come see the show? 

Anyone over 16+ who likes a laugh and a surprise. It's a bit sweary, but it's all in good fun. The only person I think I would turn away is Batman – but I'm sure he'd find a way in, that's what he does.

Tell us about your now legendary performance on Channel 4's Friday Night Live. How was it performing on such a classic show, and were you expecting such a huge reaction?

Jordan Gray: It's a bit of a blur. I remember coming off stage (nude, spoiler) and getting wrapped in a pink kimono and brought back to my dressing room. I was lying on the floor catching my breath surrounded by all my agents who were all beaming from ear to ear – and I felt like I had done something special. 

As well as your tour in the UK, where else can we see/hear you and what other projects do you have in the pipeline?

Everything. There"s no tiny corner of this bonkers industry that I"m not currently spraying with my sugary musk. You"re gonna see me on TV a lot more from now on. My podcast 'Transplaining' is growing bigger every week. They've asked me if I want to theatre at The National (I do) and I"m gonna be taking my silly show stateside next year. Also, I recently got stung by a wasp and I"m not emotionally over it yet, so that"s a thing. 

You can find me on socials @talldarkfriend (long story) and all the tour dates at  

Are you looking forward to visiting Brighton?

Jordan Gray: Brighton, you say? Bringing my show there, you say? Yes I bluddy am, and I can"t wait, mate. There are so many talented artists in Brighton, so I have to bring my A-game just to fit in. Oi, let's all get together after the show and have ice cream and alcohol and fall in love.

Jordan Gray will perform IS IT A BIRD? at Brighton Dome, Brighton on Thursday, 9th November 2023 at 7.30PM. To book, visit

by: Mike Cobley


Credit Rachel Sherlock

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