Larry Dean in Brighton
Larry Dean embarks on his first ever UK-wide tour after a remarkable 2016 in which he won the Amused Moose Comedy Award for Best Show at the Edinburgh Fringe, performed at the Melbourne, Sydney and Perth comedy festivals and appeared on Live from the BBC.
Off the back of a break-up, Glaswegian Larry is now beginning to think about what it means to be him. People keep telling him he’s changed, but he’s not quite sure whether that’s a good or bad thing. Who was he before? The show is called Farcissist, and he brings it to Brighton Komedia on March 22.
“The first national tour definitely terrifies me,” says Larry, “but at the same time, it is very exciting. For us, that terror comes from stand-up comedy. Usually at a comedy club you will get five comedians on the bill, but when it is just you on the bill, you get a bit nervous.
“I also feel a bit guilty. When you are a gay catholic, there is usually a lot of guilt going on! But I think with a solo show, you have to put in a lot more effort so that people don’t go away disappointed. I get more stressed about doing the solo stuff, more so than just club nights.
“I have been doing stand-up for about seven years. I have been performing all over the place at clubs in all the corners of the country, but last year in the Edinburgh Fringe, I won an award for the show, and I thought that might make it a bit more of an incentive for people to come and see me for the first time. I thought I have got a decent enough following on Facebook and Twitter, and I just thought it would be good to start to think about doing this on a yearly basis.
“In my first couple of years, I was so determined to be like a controversial dirty comedian. I had just watched too many offensive comics and thought ‘I could do that!’ But the whole thing about stand-up is that you have to try to find your own voice, to see who you are on stage and see your own personality. I have begun to find that voice in the last couple of years. It can take some people 15 years before they find their own voice. Some of the massive comedians you see maybe took 12 or 13 years to find it. And so I just developed from being very dirty to what I do now. I found an old video of myself doing my first gig, and I just look a nervous wreck. It is one of the cringe-iest things I have ever seen in my whole life. I can’t believe that the people stayed. You are supposed to do your second-best joke first and then end with your best joke, because the last joke is the one that people usually remember, but I think all my jokes were equally bad.”
As for that “voice”, Larry liked a review which called him a combination of being daft and being a smart Alec: “I like talking about the interactions with people, like my mum and dad and brother and sister. People can relate to that. Everybody has got a zany family. It makes you more human as well.”
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