Performances

  • 07 Jul

    Improv in NYC and Horror on a Summer Afternoon

    Hello world.

    Quick update. Just returned from performing improv at the Del Close Marathon in New York. Fortunate enough to do two shows with one of my teams at Improv Comedy Copenhagen. A real honour, a real bucket list ticker and a real treat. Roll on next year!

    In other news, my latest column/piece/blog/thingy for The Copenhagen Post is live. It’s all about the terrifying experience I had hosting a cake auction at my son’s nursery summer party. Enjoy!

    As you were.

    xA

     

  • 12 Apr

    Death, Pride and Prejudice

    Hello world. Hope all is well in yours.

    The first part of 2018 has been a curious one for me. During the first week of January, my stepfather passed away the gloriously ripe old age of 91. He’d been battling Parkinson’s Disease for a long time, and my mother had also endured a great deal looking after him during his final years. It’s a grisly terminal illness and I was glad and thankful to see the end to both their suffering.

    The greatest trick death ever pulled is convincing you its all about you. Of course it’s not. Death doesn’t happen to you. Once you’re gone you’re gone – wherever that may be. Death happens to everyone else. The shock, the tears, the seemingly endless practicalities. The tedious minutae of planning. That’s the essence of death surely. Grief and logistics. Those left behind have to process so much. Even in this case when it’s expected and indeed welcome, death really is exhausting.

    So recent events ensured that start of my year was oddly timeless. At once fast yet slow. After an inevitable period of adjustment, I suddenly realised it was April. Running concurrently with family events, I’d taken a break from improv and stand up to take part in a theatrical adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. After last year’s Zoo Story, I was approached about playing Mr Bennet, the distant and sarcastic pater familias of the family at the heart of Jane Austen’s classic commentary of love, family and early 19th century social airs and graces.

    I readily accepted. I like being sarcastic and if I get to do it while wearing late Georgian fashion all the better. The production is being staged in Denmark by Copenhagen Theatre Circle and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some talented, lovely people. It’s rare in this game to meet people who are both talented AND lovely – they’ve always seemed to me hitherto mutually exclusive – and thanks to this vibrant cast, I have laughed and learned a lot along the way.

    Pride and Prejudice opens on April 18th and closes on 28th. It’s been an intense and intensive schedule during the build up and at times it’s been rather gruelling. I’ve been spoiled by improv I have to say. You just get up with nothing and create on the spot. I’m an impatient show off and I enjoy the instant gratification from winging it and discovering funny and extraordinary multiple characters in the moment. I find improv to be closer an experience to stand-up comedy than conventional theatre and I’d forgotten the more arduous aspects of the latter. Blocking, thrashing out character motivation, weeks of rehearsals and, of course, learning lines. Still, I was flattered to have been asked and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of finding the character, trying to bring a little piece of myself into such an iconic literary figure. I am proud to be involved and look forward to taking the stage next week.

    That said, we haven’t even started the run and already I’m exhausted. But being exhausted seems to be defining quality of 2018. Family has been front and centre both on and off stage. Seems fitting to reflect on how one feeds into the other. As I pretend to be an emotionally absent father who struggled with his duties towards his wife and daughters, I can’t help but reflect on the role my stepdad played in my life. He too was a complicated man, but a good man. He was no stranger to stepping back from the more dramatic aspects of those around him and often indulged in considered bursts of wry sarcasm. I suspect he and Mr Bennet would have got on rather well.

    Pride and Prejudice 
    18-28 April 2018
    Weekdays at 19:00
    Saturdays at 14:00 and 19:00
    Sunday at 14:00
    Buy tickets here

    Krudttønden
    Serridslevvej 2
    2100 København Ø

  • 10 Nov

    The Zoo Story

    Have you heard the one about two Brits in Copenhagen pretending they’re in New York?

    Very excited to report that I have recently been asked to take the stage for a theatrical production of Edward Albee’s classic 1958 play The Zoo Story at Huset in the heart of Copenhagen. Already home to a thriving English-speaking theatre company House of International Theatre (HIT), I was thrilled to be asked by my fellow ICC performer Charlier Waller to form the remaining 50 per cent of the cast.

    If you don’t know about it (and to my shame I include myself in this), it’s a one-act, two-person play that has often been labelled Theatre of the Absurd, but I don’t feel it is. It deals with universal themes including failure to communicate, isolation, class, societal failure and male identity.

    While being quintessentially American at its heart, the ideas that Albee played with in his writing knows no country or nationality. This also explains why we chose to perform in our native British accents and not pretend to be American. As two ex pats living in a different country, we felt some affinity with the ideas of being out of time and place, strangers in a strange land, somewhat disconnected from the status quo. Again, all these themes run throughout every aspect of Albee’s writing.

    It’s only a three-night run and a short play but it has proved quite an intense experience, not least because both Charlie and I are on stage for the entire play. Even in a longer play it’s rare for an actor to have 100 per cent stage time so in accumulative terms, it’s quite an undertaking. I should also mention that this is the first time I’ve been on stage for scripted performance since I was at school. So there’s that.

    Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed treading the boards, I hope this won’t be my last. Time will tell…

     

     

    By admin News Performances
  • 18 Aug

    Sir Leslie Quint: revisiting an old friend

    A little over ten years ago, myself and writer/director Richard Sclater made a one-off show for Paramount Comedy Channel called Sir Leslie Quint: A Life in Film. Only this year, I finally got my hands on the episodes.

    The show was a tribute to our love for the bizarre, eccentric and sometimes deeply offensive British film directors such as Ken Russell, Michael Winner and John Boorman. All pushed the boundaries of cinema and all lived lives as large as the characters they put on screen.

    Named after my favourite character in one of my favourite films (I’ll leave you to work that out), Quint also represented those types of Englishmen who seem forever lost in time, forever out of touch and forever remaining positive in the face of monstrous adversity -usually of their own making.

    Our show also set out to lampoon the cultural trends of cinema and society through the decades of the 20th Century, as seen through the bemused eyes of one of its survivors.

    We wrote it by Richard interviewing me in character and improvised my responses to various questions about my life, work, films and controversies. This was then hammered out into a script.

    We had great fun filming this series, shot on location in London, such as Mayfair, Soho and Hampstead Heath. some of the shots we got in the Red light district we had to do on the sly, often met with disapproving glares from large men in doorways to sex clubs – who knew these gentlemen didn’t want their face captured on camera. But, thanks to bold and cunning moves by Jedd Thomas and Will Sinclair, we got more than we could have hoped.

    We wanted Quint to have lived and breathed key moments in history, much like Forrest Gump or Woody Allen’s Zelig, but on a much smaller budget. I’d also like to mention the superb work by Paramount’s in-house design team led by Chris Wainwright, who worked above and beyond to interweave Quint into documented archive imagery and also to create those absolutely brilliant movie posters, most of which I would happily hang on my wall.

    It’s the little details, I feel, that make this show come alive, encouraging pausing to study the frame for easter eggs and almost-hidden gags.

    Even after all this time, I feel that Quint still stands up. We were very proud of what we achieved with virtually no money, back before people could just shoot on a smart phone and edit on their laptop, and we’re still proud of it now. It’s dark, twisted and more than a little mischievous, but also warm, nostalgic and Quint himself is a strangely likeable monster.

    It’s perhaps ironic that watching this series again makes me nostalgic for a different time in TV land. We were given complete creative freedom on this little documentary. I suspect that would not be the case these days. Paramount actually went on to commission us to write a pilot episode for a full series. Sadly,  due to a change in management, this never saw the light of day. But I can assure you it’s a cracker.

    A year or so later, Paramount rebranded as Comedy Central, or ‘The Friends Channel’, with little interest in making original shows. So it goes. But I like to think that Leslie will one day return. You can’t keep someone like him down for long…

    You can watch the full series of Sir Leslie Quint: A Life in Film right here on YouTube.

     

     

  • 07 Feb

    A Wizard in the Workplace

    Hello you,

    Right, first entry in a while; indeed first post of 2013 and it’s already got off to an excellent start.

    I’ll start off with a brief celebratory nod to the recent passing of the equal marriage bill. Now anyone can get married. Good. Another victory for emancipating progress and objective equality, another defeat for damaging prejudice and subjective paranoia.

    It really is a non-debate. If you love someone with all your heart, you should be allowed to express this love, publicly, formally and legally through the institution of marriage, whoever you are. It’s only fair, right?

    Ironic that people who bang on about how marriage is on the decline are usually the same folk who don’t want equal marriage. So they moan that fewer people want to join the club then turn away those who want in. They can’t have it both ways. Does this bill represent an erosion of traditional family values? Of course not. Historically marriage was not about the family anyway, it was about property. In fact, marriage has been constantly redefined over time so there’s no correct answer to what it actually means or why we do it.

    Bottom line, this decision represents the time we currently live in – one that aspires to compassion, freedom, respect and tolerance – all of which, by the way, lie at the heart of all religious traditions. Anyway, here’s hoping religious wedding ceremonies will now be forced by law to resemble scenes from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Might make them slightly less tedious.

    In other news, another collaboration with the amazing Guerrier Brothers is on the way. Here’s a BTS photo (courtesy of the fabulous Lisa Bowerman) of the shoot, in which I was fortunate to act opposite veteran actor David Warner. The film is still being edited, so watch this space for more news as and when it breaks…

     

     

     

  • 04 Nov

    EDIT: The Plotters finally embeddable

    Hello world,

    Right, on the eve of the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot it seem fitting I am finally able to embed my latest short film, The Plotters, onto my site.

    As you may or may not know we made the final thirteen films in the Virgin Media Shorts competition, and are eligible for the grand final, on Thursday November 8th. Hopefully the verisimilitude of the date for the final falling so near to Bonfire Night may work in our favour, but then I’ve always been a silly, sentimental sort. Anyway, enjoy.

  • 29 Jul

    Remember, Remember…

    Hello world.

    Finally got round to uploading this. Based on an idea conceived by myself and award-winning wrter comedian Hannah George, The Plotters is the latest comedy short I’ve made in collaboration with a fabulously talented bunch of writers, performers and crew members.

    I co-wrote the script with Simon Guerrier, and the end result was directed by his brother Tom. I had the priviledge of working with the Guerrier Brothers on Revealing Diary, and was thrilled to get a chance to collaborate with them once more. Full credits can be seen here.

    Anyway, we’ve entered it into a short film competition, so click below to watch and see what you think. We’re really proud of the finished result, filmed over one humid Saturday in olde London town on a VERY small budget but an awful lot of beards.

    The Plotters – Virgin Media Shorts.

  • 14 May

    New short film, nature and pigeons.

    Hello world.

    Not much to report, largely because I’ve been very busy. Working two full-time jobs into the time it takes to do one is not to be advised.

    Did notice that new nature programme on the telly. Planet Earth Live. It’s the most ambitious wildlife experience ever made apparently.  It’s presented by that tiny moron from the car show who nearly incinerated himself strapped to a rocket on wheels and that woman who wanders around fields so it must be important.

    And it’s live. A live nature show. Not sure they’ve thought this through. What are we going to get, half an hour in an empty field? A sleeping pig? A bewildered chaffinch? Animals don’t handle direction very well. Even if they use exciting ones like a lion, they might not be in the mood. What are they going to do then, send in some terrified assistant to poke it? They’re going to need a very long stick.

    Thing is, there’s never been a live nature show for a reason. Ever been to a zoo? It’s boring. Imagine that, but without the gift shop. That’s your live nature show right there. In fact, you want a live nature show? Open a window.

    Talking of nature, I read recently that pigeons have GPS brain cells. Whichever research team has been paid to investigate this area, this is the earth shattering conclusion they have reached. Pigeons are living, breathing, feathered sat navs. And there we were thinking they were just rats with wings, indifferent to vehicles. Turns out they could develop a symbiotic relationship.

    If we could harness this power, we could have one in every car.  Actually that might be a terrible idea. A bird trapped in a combined space? Can you imagine the humanity? Thousands of lives put at risk as cars spin off roads, lorries jack-knife into central reservations and vans collide into each other, twisting into macabre, mangled of sculptures of metal and fibreglass, just because the sat nav decided it wanted to get out.

    No, we must stop meddling in affairs that do not concern us. Leave the pigeons alone. Let them do what they do best. Spreading disease and upsetting statues.

    Lastly,  I was asked to take part in a short film by the supremely talented Guerrier brothers. We made it from scratch in two days.  To find out more click here, but here it is. Enjoy.

  • 16 Aug

    Films and stuff

    Hello world,

    Been a bit quiet lately, but highlights have been interviewing US actor Patrick Warburton for Comedy Central. He is the voice of wheelchair-bound Joe Swanson in Family Guy but more excitingly for me he was Elaine’s boyfriend Puddy in Seinfeld and The Tick. Anyway he was lovely, witty and all round nice guy. Expect to see that interview online soon.

    Also I just finished filming a scene for an independent movie written by Alex Billington and directed by Stephen M Katz, who was director of photography for The Blues Brothers and Gods And Monsters to name a few. Needless to say he knew was he was doing and the scene was very fun to do. Expect that appearing here soon.

    Lastly, a short film called Ali & The Lamp, which I co-wrote with writer/director Michael Yanny is nearing completion and is scheduled to premiere in September. I also pop up in it as a policeman (again), so we’ll see how that turns out….

  • 22 Oct

    Catch me if you can…

    Hello world,Really not sure why I didn’t post this sooner but I’m about to get down and stand up again. You can catch me at The Oxford in Kentish Town on Thursday 23rd October as part of Monkey Business Comedy Club and then in Southampton on Sunday October 26th at You JestI’ll post more dates as and when I know what they are…

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