"Like Being Struck By Lightning" - Trans Comic Jordan Gray On Becoming An Overnight Sensation

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 14 months ago
"Like Being Struck By Lightning" - Trans Comic Jordan Gray On Becoming An Overnight Sensation

This article was published earlier in the year, but Jordan Gray's Is It A Bird? is now back at Soho Theatre from 13-23 December 2022. And trust us, it's an incredible show.

Jordan Gray spreads her arms mid performance
Jordan Gray's show Is It a Bird? has catapulted her into the comedy limelight. Image: Dylan Woodley

"It feels like being struck by lightning. But instead of cooking on the spot, it feels like all that electricity has gone into my body."

That's how Jordan Gray tells Londonist it feels, being catapulted from performing in a leaking shipping container at the Edinburgh Festival, to announcing that her show Is It a Bird? will play the London Palladium this October.

Back in August, the transgender comic took Is It a Bird? to the Edinburgh Fringe, where people went gaga for the way it takes transphobes to task through the lens of superheroes. How can people have an issue with transgender women, asks Gray, when the whole world has no problem with Bruce Wayne identifying as a bat?

The show's superhero throughline resonates with a lot of people, says Gray, but so too does being transgender, in a roundabout way: "Who hasn't looked at themself in the mirror at SOME point and thought 'that can't be me...'"

With rave reviews spreading like wildfire (the Guardian lauded Gray as "a standup superhero"), Is it a Bird? subsequently sold out a run at London's Soho Theatre: "I have watched the reviews coming in with my jaw to the floor," Gray tells Londonist, "When somebody said the show will 'change peoples' lives', I cried for like five minutes."

From here, the show is flying like a caped crusader, to the London Palladium on 28 October — where Gray will perform to a crowd of 2,000+.

Being in the limelight is no novelty for the comic (she was previously a professional musician, and performed on BBC show The Voice) but the plaudits are hard won; Gray has praised her Czech wife on Twitter, for "covering the rent for years."

"Don't get me wrong," says Gray, "I LOVED my little shipping container on George Square, but I am ready to bring the show to a massive London crowd."

Last Updated 13 December 2022