Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article
Wednesday 21 May 2014

Interview: Frank Skinner Prior To His Return To Stand-Up At The Brighton Centre

Frank Skinner is back on the road after a seven year break, and after filling those years as a successful broadcaster, he's returned to doing what he enjoys the most - stand-up. 



The live arena gives full rein to Frank's spontaneous wit. It allows him two hours to demonstrate how he cannot help but be funny. He is one of nature"s most effortlessly hilarious people.

The great thing is, Frank is equally funny in person. An hour-long interview with him is like being treated to a command performance – to an audience of one. 

Frank, who has over the years won numerous awards for his stand-up, including the prestigious Perrier Award in 1991, begins by underlining how much he is looking forward to returning to the stage. 

"It's so different from other stuff. I like the sense that it"s not being recorded. 

"Even when you come to record your DVD, no matter how much you fight it, you feel that you"re wearing a slightly smaller suit. It feels a lot more restrained.

"So much stuff is recorded these days. Small stand-up clubs will often have a camera at the back of the room, and you never know where the footage will end up. 


"In the end, memories will be completely closed down. YouTube has already totally killed the anecdote. It provides anecdotes for the illiterate: "Here's a funny thing – look at this!""

The other aspect about live comedy that Frank revels in is the terrific rapport that he enjoys with his audiences:. 

"I love interacting with the audience," affirms the comedian, the proud father of a one-year-old son called Buzz. 

"When it goes well, suddenly I feel like I'm part of the audience as well. That's very exhilarating. 

Last week a woman in the front row had an American accent, and I asked if she was from the US. 

She replied, "No, I"m from Iraq". I"d made the wrong-est guess anyone"s ever made and my life flashed in front my eyes – but the audience laughed about it for at least a minute.

"Those moments are very precious because they're not repeatable. They happen so quickly that you"re not even aware of the process. 

"During my last tour, a guy came up to me and told me he had been doing comedy for eight months. 

"He said, "You know when you come back to the audience really quickly – how do you do that?" I replied, "I don't know". 

"Come on, it would really help me. What difference would it make to you?" "I"m honestly not keeping anything from you. It just happens". I don't know how you could rehearse those exchanges – unless you practiced with your partner.


"But she doesn't always appreciate my comebacks! Anyway, those moments on stage are very pleasurable indeed."

Just how much of Frank's material in his new show, Man in a Suit, is lifted directly from his own life? 

"You'd be amazed! I embroider very little. I never completely invent anything. I think it would lack conviction if I did. It feels more real when it is true."

One thing that has changed about Frank's act over the years is that it now features far less blue material than it did in the past. 

The comedian, who also penned Frank Skinner on the Road, which chronicled his 2007 sell-out return to stand-up, explains that Man in a Suit is merely an account of who he now is. 

"There's a bit of filth, but not much. When I do Room 101 or my radio show, I'm very me. I don't feel phoney. 

"David Baddiel said to me recently: 'When I think of 'your funny' off stage, I don't think of you doing knob jokes. I think of you talking about John Updike." That"s more who I am off stage these days.

"I've done a lot of knob jokes in my time, but maybe I've emptied my supply of them now. 

Your comedy should be a reflection of what's in your head, and I just don't think of sex as much as I used to. 

When you get into a long relationship, sex is no longer the dominant thing."

Frank closes by returning to the subject of how much is looking forward to performing live once more with Man in a Suit. 

"I've always had the showing off gene. I see it now in my son. The other day he did an impression of me doing the impression of Louis Armstrong, and I don't think I've ever been prouder! 

"So on stage I want to show off. If the audience are laughing, I want to make them laugh even more. Above all, I really care about the audience having a very good time indeed."

Frank Skinner at the Brighton Centre, on Sunday, 1st June. See brightoncentre.co.uk for more info 



by: Mike Cobley


   

An amazing collaboration between The Band Project, Rizzle Kicks drummer - Lewis Whittington and the Brighton Guitar Academy will offer a unique free music workshop for local youngsters at Brighton Electric, later this month.
Following a well received  headline show at this summer's Songlines Festival, Grammy-winner Dobet Gnahoré returns with fourth album Na Drê and a specially-commissioned show featuring her band and African dancers.
Young people all over Brighton are being given the chance to take part in a memorable and educational cinematic experience as part of the Into Film Festival - the world's biggest youth film festival - when it comes to cinemas across the region.
Local resident  and comedian Jim Moir (better known as Vic Reeves), wife Nancy and daughters Lizzy and Nellie, had a wild experience in South Africa recently, when they flew out to the Shamwari Game Reserve with international wildlife charity, The Born Free Foundation.
After twenty years in Everything But The Girl, and ten years as a respected DJ and record label boss of Buzzin' Fly, Ben Watt announced last year he was parking everything to complete two long-planned creative solo projects. 

Bradley Wiggins will defend his title and compete in this year's Tour of Britain cycle race, which arrives in Brighton on 13th September.
The International Ocean Film Festival at Brighton Dome originates from the team behind the Banff Mountain Film Festival and  promises a sublime cinematic journey above and below the waves.
The city's teachers may have been officially off duty from their classrooms for the past six weeks, but many of them have been keeping themselves busy by volunteering their time over the summer for Young City Reads, Brighton's citywide reading initiative for primary school children.
Former England Rugby Sevens captain and Brighton College pupil, Ollie Phillips is encouraging people to tackle dementia by signing up to Alzheimer's Society's Brighton and Hove Memory Walk on 4th October.
Brighton singer Jo Harman has won the Female Vocalist of the Year at the British Blues Awards. She was nominated as one of the finalists by a wide ranging committee of industry experts, with the final decision going to public vote.
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