JOIN The Traitors winner Hannah Byczkowski as she delves into the game that changed her life in her Games gig, opening At The Mill’s theatre season in Stillington, near York, tonight (10/6/2023).
Deemed a comedy goddess by the hit BBC show’s presenter, Claudia Winkleman, Hannah shared the £100,000 prize with her fellow Faithful contestants Aaron Evans and Meryl Williams in the game of skullduggery.
Now Byczkowski (pronounced Bitch-Cough-Ski, should you be wondering) is back on the comedy beat full time, wearing her heart on her sleeve and making sure everyone has a good laugh with it as she dips into her observational and relatable material and store of unbelievable stories.
Regularly performing as an MC in and around London, in addition to performing stand-up sets nationwide, she heads to Stillington for the first time this weekend. “My agent books the other stuff; my sister books the live shows,” she says.
“I won’t be debuting the Games show fully until 2024 but I will do shows at the Free Fringe in Edinburgh this summer, and I’ll be doing live podcasts from Edinburgh with my Ghost Huns co-host Suzie Preece, telling ghost stories and trying to contact the dead at the end of each show.”
Why pick Games for a title, Hannah? “Mainly because of going on The Traitors. It’s that vibe,” she says. “It’s not explicitly about my experience on that show but it does have references to it, about how I ended up on it, how I was recruited.”
Hannah, you may recall, was a Faithful contestant throughout this year’s debut series. “I am faithful by nature, but I really wanted to a Traitor because it looked more fun. Being a Traitor gives you permission to behave in a way you couldn’t in the real world – though people will resonate with you being a good person.”
Her television exposure has been hugely beneficial. “Definitely it’s helped me to change my career very quickly, having been a comedian before the show for two years, though it felt like I’d only been doing it for two minutes,” says Hannah, 32, originally from Lightwood, Stoke-on-Trent, and now based in London.
She revels in being a stand-up. “Who can tell sex jokes to a room full of strangers except for a comedian, where you can get away with a lot? I can be utterly and completely who I am on that stage,” she says.
“I just don’t take anything seriously, except that I did work in palliative care and that makes you realise you shouldn’t take anything else seriously. Now I won’t do anything I don’t want to do.
“I don’t want to shock in my shows, I just want to entertain people while I have them in the palm of my hands.”
Palliative care, by contrast, required a serious disposition. “I don’t think anyone would be able to carry on in a job like that if that were not the case. I quit my job before I went onto The Traitors, and I had to make the decision to give up regular income, but I don’t want to have any regrets, to not do things in my life.
“I ended up assessing in the palliative care field, getting up in the morning, doing the job and thinking, ‘is this it?’. I decided ‘, ‘this is not what I want’. I’d get up seven, work till five, and then be out till 1am because of doing a gig in the evening, working on the London circuit. Not a lot of sleep.”
The Traitors has enabled Hannah to travel further for her gigs, playing up north more often. Like tonight in Stillington. Box office: tickettailor.com/events/atthemill/913281