Brighton Magazine

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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


   

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November sees the start of a unique new programme initiated by the Brighton Black History Month group called Hidden Heroes, which invites the community to honour its 'hidden heroes' through a range of events and commissions.
The final step to marriage equality takes place on Wednesday 10 December 2014. This is the date when anyone in a civil partnership can convert to a marriage if they choose to do so.
A Brighton designer has had their work recognised as part of a national competition to find the next big talent in the industry.
Brighton-based female skateboarding project, She-Shredders, received the Bronze award at the National Sportivate Project of the Year Awards.
The Unthanks first came to our attention when they were headlining a Great Escape night. A packed Spiegeltent next to St Peter’s Church, in Brighton, emptied rapidly as support, Bon Iver, left the venue. 

Sir Ian McKellen has given his backing to Wonderkid, an LGBT short film that wants to tackle homophobia in football and provide an insight into the trauma caused by homophobic stigma and challenge preconceptions about what it is to be ‘masculine'.
Arts Council England has pledged £5.8m towards a major revitalisation of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival's heritage venues following a successful bid by the joint custodians of the Royal Pavilion Estate.
After teaming up with the Foo Fighters in both Scotland and South Africa, Kaiser Chiefs will find time in their busy schedule to play a date at the Brighton Centre.
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. 
Started in 1976, by maverick music entrepreneurs Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson, the legendary Stiff Records changed the landscape of a moribund record industry. 
Imagine your mind has been wiped: memories, knowledge, experiences, language - every word you ever spoke, has vanished. If eventually you found the words, what would you say? 
Following the recent release of her third album 'A Perfect Contradiction'Paloma Faith is set to visit the Brighton Centre next month.
A year ago last Spring, having just announced an autumnal release of their new album, Give the People What They Want, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' world was put on hold when Sharon was diagnosed with cancer.

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