Comic Sarah Kendall likes punctuality.

“Wow, you’re on time,” she says rather surprised at the timing of my call.

“Oh, it’s one of my things,” I reply. “I always like to be bang on time for an interview. It’s becaIt’s comedy catnip from Sarah Kendalluse my wife is always late, it really bugs me.

“Oh my god. My husband is always late too and it flipping winds me up.”

I think we’re off to a good start.

“We went to a dinner party once,” she continues, “and for whatever reason we were arriving separately and I arrived on time and he was massively late. But the thing was, he didn’t even apologise, he just sauntered in said hello to everyone and sat down.

“And no one said anything to him. I was furious. He said later ‘no one minded’ I told him, I did.

“It’s just bloody rude.”

Not that anyone wants to name and shame, but the husband in question is British comedian Henry Naylor, one half of Parsons and Naylor, and the reason Sarah has made the UK her home for the past 17 years.

“What can I say,” she tells me. “Your British accents are like Catnip to us Aussies.”

Born and raised in Newcastle, New South Wales, while her accent is very much still in place, she has now become a fully established member of the UK comedy scene.

After winning the Raw Comedy competition in 1998 and regularly appearing on Australian television, since her move over here, Sarah has performed solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 2003, picking up two nominations for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show.

Although after her first experience at comedy, it’s surprising she’s on the stage at all.

She says: “It started at university where there was a stand-up competition which some of my friends said I should do but I was too scared to do it.

“I was a genuine coward about it all and that in itself started to bug me, so eventually I got up on stage. I hated every single minute of it and was sick beforehand. But that made even more determined because I couldn’t work out why my fear was so disproportionate to the thing I was doing.

“It was just me talking for five minutes and so what if I got booed off stage. After about seven or eight years I eventually got it under control.”

Which is a good thing for comedy lovers in Colchester as she’s bringing her new show One-Seventeen to the Colchester Arts Centre this weekend, part of a small but perfectly formed 13-date tour around the country.

As well as intermittently touring, Sarah is perhaps best known for her television and radio work.

She was part of an all-female sketch comedy show called Beehive also starring Alice Lowe, Barunka O’Shaughnessy and Clare Thomson, which was aired on E4.

Sarah has also appeared on BBC Three’s Russell Howard’s Good News, played the role of Libby McKenzie in the BBC Radio 4 series Clare in the Community, and most recently had a part in the BBC 2 sitcom Motherland.

She is also the creator and star of the highly critically acclaimed hit BBC Radio 4 series Australian Trilogy, the first series of which won the coveted Writers’ Guild Awards 2018 for Best Radio Comedy, with the second series set to broadcast later in 2018.

So quite clearly at the height of her writing powers what better time to see her.

“It’s a mixture of the show I did at Edinburgh,” she begins, “and a whole load of new stuff, because at the end of each performance I get the audience to write down their own stories, so at the moment it’s probably in the best shape it could be.

“New material is always exciting for me. Watching ideas becoming living breathing things is a wonderful thing and I love being there when it happens.”

Well known for her storytelling-style of stand-up, Sarah is a master of effortlessly combining comedy and tragedy in equal measure and so I suspect there will be more of the same in One-Seventeen, an eclectic mix of connected short stories like the family in crisis waiting to see Halley’s Comet, a hamster with organ failure, and an astronaut re-entering the atmosphere.

“I’d been doing the bite sized stand-up for about ten years,” Sarah adds. “I mean it’s the perfect thing for a club environment packed with drunk people who don’t want to think too much after a hard day’s work but after a while my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.

“Then I started at the festival and found an audience which was attentive and would invest in a story that might go on for an hour, and be perfectly ok with that.

“So I started writing that and thinking to myself ‘this is the best material I’ve ever written’. That’s an amazing moment as an artist when something comes together like that and you go ‘oh, this is what I’m meant to do’.”

Sarah Kendall: One-Seventeen is at the Colchester Arts Centre this Sunday, June 17.

Tickets are priced £14 and £12 for concessions, available on-line at or from the box office on 01206 500900.

Doors open at 7.30pm with the show starting at 8pm, and when I say 8pm I really mean 8pm.

Remember, don’t be late!