‘We love playing Tunbridge Wells – it’s always a really fun night’

MUM’S THE WORD: Helen Thorn (left) and Ellie Gibson

As part of the TW Fringe Festival, Scummy Mummies take to the stage at the Assembly Hall theatre this Friday (July 14). It’s been almost ten years since the comedy duo began hilariously documenting the trials and errors of less-than-perfect parenting, so Eileen Leahy discovers what Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson have in store for their Tunbridge Wells fans…


Best known for their humorous take on parenting and over-the-top stage costumes – think skin-tight, gold zip-up catsuits and marabou-trim leotards – Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson, AKA the Scummy Mummies, have brought a breath of fresh air to mums (and dads) everywhere. The hilarious duo, who have documented the ups and downs of parenting courtesy of their now legendary, side-splitting, eyes-streaming stand-up shows, have clocked up ten successful years on the comedy circuit this year.

They are regulars at the Edinburgh Fringe and tour relentlessly, taking in prestigious venues such as Clapham Grand and Brighton’s Komedia along the way. They are no strangers to Tunbridge Wells either, having been championed right from the start by local PRs, sisters, fellow mothers and fans Laura Swann and Natalie Mcilveen of Mums the Word Events.
The pair have been two of Scummy Mummies’ biggest cheerleaders since they first stepped out in 2013.

The pair invited Helen and Ellie to Tunbridge Wells a few years ago and they proved to be so popular they kept on inviting them back. And the rest, as they say, is history…

“We’ve got to know Laura and Natalie over the years and they’re just divine – and brilliant to work with,” explains Helen, one half of the Scummy Mummies.

“If they’re putting on an event you know it’s going to be a good one. They’re the most amazing organisers – we had a show with them that sold out in seven minutes! Put it this way, you know you’re guaranteed a great night out if they had anything to do with it.”

Laura and Natalie are equally complimentary adding: “Whether you’ve seen all their shows or never been to a performance; whether you’re pregnant, have a newborn, toddlers, or teens – or don’t have kids at all – this is a not-to-be-missed night out celebrating all things ‘Scummy Mummies’ over the last 10 years! There will be some favourite vintage sketches resurrected and also some great new material too.”

In addition to the many laugh-out-loud sketches, Helen and Ellie’s routine also includes a tonne of songs, which, from previous experience of seeing one of their shows, I can personally guarantee will have you up dancing in the aisles and tears of laughter running down your face.

“Our shows have lots of our personal confessions about being parents but we also talk about us being women in their 40s, and all the hilarious mishaps and adventures that happen because of all that,” reveals Helen.

“We talk about body image and how our bodies are changing at this particular time, as well as the full spectrum of parenting. We include everything – from awful baby shower gifts to dealing with terrible teenagers.”

The pair were early pioneers of talking about issues most hadn’t dared to say out loud, taking modern-day parenthood to task, ribbing and being extremely candid about the pressures of parenting and not getting it right most of the time.

In the last ten years Helen and Ellie have toured relentlessly, written books, made podcasts and even launched a Scummy Mummies online merch shop which includes clutches with, you guessed it ‘Scum Bag’ emblazoned on them.

“When we come to Tunbridge Wells, it’ll be a Friday night – and nearly the end of term,” adds Helen. “There will be that sense of ‘We’ve nearly done it!’ So what better time to have a few Proseccos and give yourself a pat on the back? We absolutely love coming to Tunbridge Wells – in fact we’ve had some of our most fun nights here. It’s always the best!”

Ticket Info:

Brought to you by Mum’s the Word Events, as part of the Tunbridge Wells Fringe Festival, tickets for the hilarious Scummy Mummies show on July 14 at 7.30pm at the Assembly Hall cost £23.



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