Representing Agent: Becky Williams
Roles: Actor, Comedian, Writer
Joanna Neary is one of the best loved character comics on the circuit. Joanna has worked with Armando Iannucci, Adam Buxton and Stewart Lee - three of her favourite fellow performers/directors on live shows, television and in theatre.

Joanna went to Brighton University and graduated with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts. She then went on to write comic characters and took her first solo show to Edinburgh Joanna Neary is Not Feeling Herself in 2004 where she was nominated for the Perrier Newcomer Award and won the Comedy Report Best Character Actress Award. In 2005 she returned to Edinburgh with Joanna Neary is Pans Person, won Best Actress Latest Award and went on tour.

Joanna was the female lead Judith in Ideal and was the love interest to Moz (Johnny Vegas) from series 2 to 7. Series 7 aired in May 2011 and saw Judith become a new mum.

Taking a break from Edinburgh in 2006 to record a sketch show series for Channel 4, Time Trumpet with Armando Iannucci and film a role in Green Wing, Joanna also appeared as Mrs Blake alongside Steve Frost and Johnny Vegas in Stewart Lee's theatrical workshop about the life of William Blake. She additionally wrote and performed a play for Radio 4 called Library Lady.

In 2007 Joanna took Little Moments to the Pleasance Courtyard to much critical praise and returned to the Assembly Rooms the following year with "her most consistent show to date" (Dominic Maxwell, The Times). The List described this 2008 show as "character comedy of the
highest order".

While continuing her own writing and performing of her arsenal of comedy characters in solo shows (22 characters appear in each) which have also appeared on radio and television - ITV Comedy Cuts and Paramount Comedy Shorts (both directed by Stewart Lee), BBC Comedy Shuffle (directed by David Sant), Out to Lunch on Radio 2 (three series in all) and the BBC2 Mini Movies, re-versioning Brief Encounter with one of her best loved turns, Celia Jesson, repressed housewife.

Joanna has appeared in delightful comic guise as an exuberant dance teacher in Skins. She has also worked across series 2 of Mitchell and Webb, Adam Buxton's BBC show Me-Box, with Gamarjobat on BBC3 as the love interest again, (but this time as a hideous bag woman) and Brave Young Men as the timorous barbershop singer, Violet. Taking part in Comic Relief 2009 for Katy Brand, Joanna was given greasy hair and covered in postules for a turn as a teenage Sadie Frost.

Alongside her commercial success, Joanna has kept an alternative career going which stems from her much loved art college days. She has collaborated extensively with artist Mel Brimfield (modelling for her Camden Arts Centre residency) and will be working with Mel this year at the National Youth Theatre as well as appearing in photographs and giving talks at lectures and art galleries across the country including the ICA this May as performance artist Alex Owens.


All the characters are given a slightly crazed delivery and invested with an other-worldliness that sets her above your common-or-garden character comic. Quite brilliant. **** Chortle (Marissa Burgess on Moments)

Each scene is infused with intricate details, layered by pinpoint writing and heightened with a highly polished performance. In a festival rife with frustratingly average character comics (both male and female), you should do yourself a favour and have a peek. **** The List (Brian Donaldson on Joanna Neary's Magic Hole)

Neary has a rare comic talent with a wonderfully expressive face and an ability to drop instantly into warm and warped three-dimensional characters. This is another assured offering from a perennial festival favourite. Chortle (Steve Bennett)

Hilarious off-kilter talent. The Sunday Telegraph (Iain Aitch)

Neary is a character actress par excellence, not only are her characters well observed and immaculately performed, but they are well written and, most importantly, funny. A Joyce Grenfell of our age. (The Guardian)

Steve Ullathorne