With a career spanning a quarter of a century, comedian Alan Davies is returning to Perth for two stand-up shows at the Riverside Theatre on March 12 – 13. Xpress managed to catch up with him and chat about his upcoming tour and his TV career.
His previous stand-up tour was called Life Is Pain, but this time around it is Little Victories (based on a tale of a nine-year-old Alan trying to convince his father to eat black currant jam). So why the change in tone?
“Well I don’t know if I have cheered up, it’s the same really, little victories amongst the pain. They’re two sides of the same thing, but that’s all tongue in cheek. Not too much can be read into the title. What you get is anecdotal storytelling about personal life and family life and, well, life in general, actually – and the occasional rude word. All material created by me over the last year. In Life Is Pain my children were babies, now they’re toddlers. So it’s more about wanting to get hold of them and knock the living daylights out of them than the state of their nappies.”
Perth will be the first stop in this Australian tour and as such will also be amongst the first to hear Davies’ new stand up material. With back to back tours (Life Is Pain finishing only last year in the UK), this would seem to mark a return to stand up for Davies, although balanced with his other commitments. However, before his 2011 Life Is Pain tour we saw a 10 year gap in Davies’ stand up comedy as he took time to pursue a different career path.
“I was doing other things, TV drama and acting, and I had slightly fallen out of love with stand up. I wasn’t gigging so much, and shooting would take me away from the comedy clubs where I was generating material. Then you get a catch 22, you can’t do comedy without material and you can’t write anything without doing a gig. Nowadays I’ve got two children and touring is like having a series of days off. I used to be, ‘Awww, I’ve got to go up the motorway and stay in a hotel.’ Now I’m like, ‘A hotel! Nice!’ I’ve got a different view of it really.”
Those “other things” have definitely paid off for Davies, with numerous TV and radio appearances under his belt, as well as an autobiography. 2013 saw the return of Jonathan Creek, the magician/amateur detective mystery series, with Davies again in the role of the title character. This fifth season will be showing later this year on Australian TV. Davies is, however, probably better known for his other television appearances. The popular quiz show QI, where he appearts alongside Stephen Fry, is now in its 11th season. Given that the show plans to work its way through the alphabet one letter a season, providing obscure knowledge and esoterica combined with comedy, that could possibly see Davies busy for at least the next 15 years.