ANNA Morris – award-winning comedian, writer and actor – was just eight years old when she discovered she had a gift for improvisation and entertaining. “At my junior school they had on Friday afternoons a talent show,” she says. “I was quite a shy kid but my parents, and this is quite sweet, had bought me some puppets the previous Christmas, and I loved doing silly voices – stupid, cartoon-type voices – with these puppets.

“And so, every Friday, I ended up behind a table, doing little puppet shows with these puppets, and the other pupils really liked them. I was only about eight, but I was so quiet that this was the only way I could communicate. I was probably hiding, too, but I guess it was gradual because I slowly became more confident, and got on stage.

“It’s been baby steps, I suppose,” she adds. “It has taken me a long time to eventually do my own show. It’s quite a scary thing to do but I suppose I just like being silly and making people laugh by doing stupid voices. I guess the puppets were the beginning; it probably was terrible but I really thought it was good.”

Some three decades on, Morris, now 37, is at the top of her game. A regular with her solo comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, and an increasingly well-known face on TV (her credits include playing the posh home-owner, Pippa Bryce-D’Souza, on the hit Channel 4 Friday-night sitcom, Lee and Dean) she is about to bring her show, Bitchelors, back to Scotland.

In this spoof Woman Of The Year award contest, she plays no fewer than five characters, four of whom are candidates for the award: Nina, a go-ahead mumpreneur who genuinely thinks you can have it all; Jane, a twee domestic goddess and single mother; Keva, “a glamorous, fearless war correspondent with more balls than a tennis match; and Alexi, an “anti-marriage” activist. The host is Georgina, Morris’s zesty Bridezilla creation of YouTube fame. Morris portrays all four contestants, with the audience voting one of them Woman of the Year. Which itself, of course, leads to one of four different climaxes of the show.

As Morris told the British Comedy Guide last month: “I guess there is a bit of me in each of them. I wanted to create four women who are all trying to ‘have it all’ and be the perfect woman. Each was based on someone I’d met (or overheard) and I would put them in a world that I thought they would suit, then threw in as many curveballs as possible to crush stereotypes and audience predictions.”

Bitchelors went down well with critics and the public at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms at the Fringe last autumn. “Although the show is free,” one fan wrote on Morris’s talent-agency website, “it would be a travesty to walk out without paying.”

Last month, it was the turn of London’s Soho Theatre. “It went really well,” says Morris. “I’d always wanted to do a show there.

“The show is unusual as there’s a different winner each night, depending on who the audience picks. The first night at the Soho we had one winner but on the second and third nights it completely flipped. The contestant who’d come third on the first night suddenly won, and it threw me a bit. I’d thought, well, she’s going to be the clear winner. But that’s what happens when you play a live show in front of different audiences.”

Alexi, the anti-marriage activist, was partly based on one of Morris’s lecturers at university. “She was from New York. She was tiny. She was always really engaging when she spoke. The voice of the character comes from her, though I made her a lot shoutier and more exaggerated. She takes people by surprise because she’s very loud and shouty.”

Bitchelors generates a lot of laughs but, like the best comedy, it makes you think, too – specifically, in this case, the pressures many women feel to "have it all" in their careers and private lives.

“The show’s very tongue-in-cheek,” Morris says, “but, absolutely, I’m exploring issues which I think are a problem. I’m someone who has experienced that entire ‘having it all’ thing. I’m not married, and I haven’t got kids, but I’m also trying to have a career. I know that if I did get married and have kids, it would be really hard to do what I’m currently doing.

“I find when I listen to my friends that they’re getting upset because they’re trying to keep up this whole thing – having kids, having a career, looking good, staying fit.

“I do explore this in the show but I do it in a very light and accessible way. But there is a sort of point to be made. Georgina, the host of the show, embodies all of these things and is trying really hard to be perfect. But at the end of the show, in the last 10 minutes, she has a comeuppance and realises that you can’t have it all. All of the four contestants are trying to perfect one element of life – one as a mother, another is trying to be a domestic goddess, one is trying to hold down a job in a man’s world. But all of them are struggling, and all of them are having to make sacrifices.

“I hope that audiences pick up on that. A lot of women who come to the show, do pick up on it, but some men do, as well. From time to time a woman will come up to me and say, ‘this particular character really made me laugh but, in a good way, made me think about things’.”

Morris was born in Liverpool but moved with her family to Hampshire when she was six. Later, she attended university in the Midlands. Her television career has included writing and starring in Bad Bridesmaid, the ITV2 six-part comedy gameshow (“ridiculous and highly watchable”, The Guardian); she has also graced BBC1’s Outnumbered and Count Arthur Strong, and her writing credits extend to Man Stroke Woman and the Paul O’Grady Show. She made her Fringe debut six years ago with Dolly Mixtures, in which she played a range of characters. Georgina, host of Bitchelors, and “Britain’s Biggest Bridezilla”, is the star of numerous videos available on YouTube.

And, like any good stand-up comedian, Morris has learned along the way how to cope with the unexpected on stage. “The last time in Edinburgh we had one hen group that got so drunk that the hen passed out,” she says. “The others were still loud and kept shouting out stuff – not horrible stuff, just joining in, I suppose. That was a really big challenge. In my show I talk to the audience and some of them seem to feel that they can chat to me. Obviously, that can throw you a little bit, but the more you experience it the more you learn how to manage it, I think, and the nicest way of managing it is to politely tell people to quieten down.

“The worst I’ve ever had,” she adds, “was the Underbelly festival last year in London. Some women came in really drunk, 10 minutes into the show. They were really naughty: they threw chips onto the stage, one of them ran across the stage, one went backstage and appeared from behind the curtain. They were thrown out in the end.

“I deal with it by reacting in character, which the audience finds hilarious. Each character has a different way of dealing with it; one might be really scared, another might be a bit bolshie. But there was one night, in Australia, when I dealt with something as me. A couple was talking all the way through it and I just stopped the show and said, ‘I’m sorry, you’re going to have to leave if you carry on talking’. I felt really uncomfortable because I was doing it as me.”

She’s pleased with the reaction to the C4 sitcom, Lee and Dean, in which Mark O’Sullivan and Miles Chapman play fictional builders. “Now that the entire boxset is available to watch [on Channel 4’s on-demand service All 4],” she says, “we’ve had a lot of positive responses and tweets from people saying they didn’t realise how poignant it was. It’s more than just a comedy, it’s a drama as well.

“It’s painfully sad at the end, and that was the idea of the guys who created it; it is funny, but once you invest in the characters you kind of start feeling really sorry for them. Even Pippa, my character, seems like a bitch at first, but you learn that appearances can be deceptive. I absolutely loved doing it, because the dialogue was all improvised, and that for me is perfect.”

Morris is now working on two projects with O’Sullivan, “and that’s really fun. I’m doing the Fringe again this year. I’m trying to put it together just now and it’ll probably be a best-of show, looking at the four shows I’ve done so far.” The show will be called Bombastic, the venue again being the Voodoo Rooms.

There's a possible return to Australia to tour her next show, but Morris can't wait to come north again. "I love returning to Scotland to perform," she acknowledges, "as the audiences are the most fun out of all the worldwide shows I've done."

Bitchelors will be at The Stand in Edinburgh (0131-558 7272) on April 24 and The Stand in Glasgow (0141-212 3389) on April 25. Twitter @annamorriscomic;