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Wednesday 19 February 2020

Q&A: What A Man What A Man .. Brighton-Born Stand-Up Robin Morgan Talks Men & Masculinity @ Komedia Brighton

Brighton-born stand-up Robin Morgan is a father to his son and a son to his father. But what makes a good male role model? In his new show, which is coming to Komedia Brighton, in April, the comedian is calling out the double standards that set the bar so low to be a 'good dad' and exploring the gender roles forced on our children from conception.
Credit Matt Stronge

Q/ What's the show - What A Man, What A Man, What A Man, What A Mighty Good Man (Say It Again Now) - about?

Robin Morgan (RM): It's about men and masculinity and how roles are changing. 

But it's mainly about three men: my Dad, my son, and my best friend Dave. 

I recently became a father and got married (in that order, too, for shame), so that features as well.

Q/ Has the subject matter caused you any trouble amongst audience members?

(RM): I do talk about toxic masculinity which is a, shall we say, spicy topic. In previews, I did have a couple of walk-outs. 

I started talking about the Gillette advert from a couple of years ago, and two men stood up and loudly left. 

I was a bit worried but then they returned to the room to tell their wives to also leave. So, quite on brand for them, I think.

Q/ What's it like performing your own show rather than writing for TV names?

(RM): I love it. I love crafting a show of my own and telling stories from my own life. But I also love writing for other people. 

I'm really lucky to have written jokes for people over the years - one of my first jobs was to write on one of Sandi Toksvig's final News Quizzes, and then I wrote on nearly all of Miles Jupp's. It"s been a dream. 

Q/ What's the most fun (non-stand-up) job you've worked on recently?

(RM): A couple of years ago I wrote on the reboot of Blind Date, hosted by Paul O"Grady. 

That was a show I used to watch with my parents as a kid (why did they let me watch it?). But from that, I was recommended to someone who produced the MTV European Music Awards. 

So last November I was taken to Seville for four days and wrote jokes and sketches for proper bonafide celebrities. 

If you come to the tour show, I'll tell you who"s the biggest diva of the lot. I love gossip.

Q/  Do you have any pre-show rituals?

(RM): I used to panic about eating before I went on stage, I had a meal 2 hours before I was due on. 

Now I don't care. I'll probably walk onto the stage eating a full roast dinner. 

Q/ Do you discuss politics in your show?

(RM): Not really. I have one Boris joke which I sometimes use. Oh fine I'll tell you it here: 

"I felt a bit sorry for Boris the day he became PM. He must have been so nervous. Waking up on the morning, thousands of texts on his phone, all saying: "Good luck today, Dad."

Q/  Any radio or TV projects in the pipeline?

(RM): Yes! I'm on a brilliant CBBC panel show called The Dog Ate My Homework on January 19th. 

I'm writing and starring in Ellie Taylor's new Radio 4 show called Safe Space with Ellie Taylor (my name's not in the title which I"m totally fine about), and I'm just about to record the second series of my own sitcom Relocation which is on BBC Radio Wales in April/May time.
Q/ Why such a long title?

(RM): I thought it would be funny to have a song lyric which everyone knew, which related to men / masculinity, and was really, really long. 

But it's come back to haunt me - I've had to type What A Man, What A Man, What A Man, What A Mighty Good Man (Say It Again Now) so many times, I'm furious, plus venues have contacted me saying that it"s too long to fit on physical tickets, and in one case I broke a venue's website because the link was too long. 

I'm sorry for any pain I've caused, and I will now take time to reflect, before next year touring my apology show: What A Man, What A Man, What A Man, What A Mighty Good Man (Say It Again Now) 2.

Q/ Any memorable shows on previous times you"ve performed in Brighton?

(RM): Brighton - the place of my birth! I love Brighton Fringe and preview all my shows there. 

I previewed this very show there, and it was a late night show, and a man was so very very drunk and took exception to the subject matter (toxic masculinity) and reacted in a very ironic way (with toxic masculinity). Maybe he'll turn up. I do hope not.

Robin Morgan brings his new show to Komedia Brighton on Thursday 2nd April 2020. CLICK HERE for tickets.

by: Mike Cobley


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