Comedian Russell takes a look at being wrong age during Northampton show

Russell Kane
Russell Kane
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Are you 16-years-old, yet feel 21? Are you 40, but tragically faking 25? Or maybe you’re full-on 80 years, with the heart of three oxen and a love life to rival Casanova.

Russell Kane explores the concept that no one is ever the ‘right’ age in his new show Right Man Wrong Age coming to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate on Thursday March 24.

His show will be a stand-up performance about growing up, growing down, and why farts will always be funny.

Russell said: “In the last year I’ve been married and had a baby. I’ve changed my hair, I’ve changed my look, I’ve thrown all my eyeliner in the bin. I literally went to my wardrobe one day and got all my ridiculous clothes and took them to the Sue Ryder shop for some other man having a midlife crisis then bought the four exact same suits in different colours from Topman. Then I got my hair as flat as it can go and I thought, ‘that’s it: this is me now’.”

“I’m always looking for the moment that can make me look ridiculous in a way that is compelling. I was in the middle of spray-tanning myself upstairs in these tiny pants when the doorbell went. I went downstairs in my dressing gown and this window cleaner was touting for work. He leaned in and said, ‘I’m really sorry to disturb you: is your mum or dad in at all?’ Initially you might have thought this was a compliment, but it’s really not. He could be talking about how I’m putting myself across so I thought: ‘clothes in the bin’. And at that moment, there was Right Man, Wrong Age.”

One of the many problems that comedians face is the need to churn out hours and hours of new material every time they go out on tour or appear on TV. And while some may resent the idea of changing, Russell embraces it.

Russell said: “I’ll keep changing, and I don’t really ever want to stand still. I don’t care if it confuses people about where I’m coming from.

I’m protean; I don’t want to be recognisable in five years’ time; that’s what keeps my writing going. One day I’m learning Spanish, the next I’m learning survivalism. I might do my maths GCSE next week: who knows?”

“When you’re 18, you look in the mirror and think ‘I know what I want to do, so why am I trapped in this 18-year-old body?’ while the 80-year-old is still waltzing and dancing around in her head. That’s going to be my jumping off point and from there I’ll do lots of accessible observations as well as the odd thinky bit.

“But I don’t want to disappear up my own bum with this show, I just want to go on in my suit, like Michael McIntyre or Peter Kay, and just be funny and have lots of big laughs. My only job in life is to be funny.”

Talking of change, Russell has plans which could revolutionise the way comedians deliver stand up material in the future.

“I’ve not really seen other stand-ups doing it; I’ve seen some using their social media and doing bits of sketches but I haven’t seen many take the risk of doing stand-up down the barrel of a camera, posting it and seeing what happens. I did a thing recently, which I called The Kaneing, where I looked at a celebrity news story and put it on my Facebook wall. I was worried it might seem a bit embarrassing and desperate, but it got 64,000 views overnight.”

Multi-award winning comedian, presenter, actor, author and scriptwriter Russell Kane is best known as the host of three series of BBC3‘s Live At The Electric, regular appearances on BBC1’s Live At The Apollo, BBC3’s Unzipped, ITV2’s Celebrity Juice and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Now!

Russell was nominated four times for prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Awards before winning Best Show in 2010. He then went onto make history as the first comedian to win both the Edinburgh Award and Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Barry Award in one year.

His success means he is wary of avoiding old cliches about his new father status.

Russell said: “It’s so hack to talk about having babies that I need to find another way in. It’s like walking into Pret at 5pm and there’s one boiled egg left: that’s what’s left to say about childbirth. But when you’re coming at it from a male point of view, you need to find a way in. I’ve never heard a man talk about caesarean section, so that might be the way to go.”

The new tour is likely to take a lot out of the comedian, so we ask how he likes to relax?

Russell added: “Nothing exotic, just a glass of red wine. I would like to get to bed earlier, but I need a good movie or, if I’m feeling particularly tired, something like Towie or Take Me Out; something that lobotomises me. I’m always reading good stuff, but now and again you need a burger because you can’t live on quinoa all the time. So I need something mega mainstream to bring me down.

“I love it. If I ever have a bad day and feel miserable, I think about the things my family have done for a living. The fact that I can walk into a hotel, lie on the bed, watch a sci-fi movie, go and do an hour’s work on stage is incredible.”

The show starts at 8pm. Tickets cost £17. To book call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.