Change. It is a very loaded word for Londoners right now.
But if you are spiralling into a pre-election panic never fear because comedian Andy Hamilton is here to give some advice on surviving the turmoil.
The stand-up and co-creator of Outnumbered is bringing his latest show Change Management to Greenwich Theatre on Sunday, May 14.
As well as delving into memories of his own life he will talk about Trump, contemplate Brexit and teach you how to cope with the changes we have seen and the changes yet to come.
What do you like about touring?
I like to meet the people who watch Outnumbered or the News Quiz, having that direct contact is good fun. My lot tend to be quite Radio 4 ish, independent minded people who read the newspapers and are aware of what’s going on so you can be quite ambitious with the material. They are not great hecklers though. They might write you a very articulate letter afterwards explaining what they didn’t like.
Do you get noticed on the street?
I’m very lucky because people, who are fans will come up and say they like my work but I don’t get chased down the street.
How would you cope if you were mega famous?
I imagine its not very enjoyable because then all the ordinary stuff becomes difficult, like putting the bins out. I don’t think it is something I will ever have to cope with. I’m just pootling along.
What inspired the show?
I got to a certain age and thought I could now look back over my life and see what big social changes have happened and talk about them and explore them both comically and narratively.
I don’t naturally embrace change very well but I know it has to happen.
Laughter is the main ingredient but also anecdotes, observational stuff and getting audience feedback.
It is the most personal show I have done. But it isn’t a grumpy old man show. I’m not someone who thinks everything was better when I was young.
I think it is 50/50 and with every change to gain something and lose something.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
Our house is very close to Chelsea’s football ground Stamford Bridge and every Saturday from 1.30pm hundreds of men were pouring up our street. I remember looking out our first floor window, it must have been about 1959, and seeing them all walking in one direction and they all, to my eyes, looked the same.
Now everyone tries to have their own style but then it was a conformist society.
And your favourite?
I’m a big Chelsea fan and went to my first game at the age of five. I was taken by my 12 year-old brother. Can you imagine that now? Social services would be called in. I was so keen to go to find out where all those men were going. When you are little you want to be a grown up and that was part of the magic.
What’s the hardest period of change you have gone through?
Probably puberty. Everything kicks off and you don’t know what the hell is happening. Your emotions are all over the place and bits of you body are changing. That was the most chaotic period of my life.
I’ve not had any seismic change in my life.
What about becoming a comedian?
That wasn’t transformative. I had been performing and writing as a student but hadn’t worked out what I was going to do with my life. Then a lovely radio producer Geoffrey Perkins saw a show and said I should do it for a living and that gave me a kick up the arse.
It was a big change but I didn’t realise it at the time.
Does Brexit get a mention?
Yes 2016 has been change on steroids. I have to talk about that stuff because people want to laugh about it, partly because it is scary, and that helps shrink things we are scared of and cuts them down to size.
If you woke up in President Donald Trump’s body what would you do?
Apart from being terrified?
If I was fantastically powerful it would be a very dangerous road for me. I’m sure it would be terrible as I’d be very dictatorial and dogmatic.
It’s safer for the world if I remain a comedy writer so I can’t do any damage. Although I probably wouldn’t do as much as Trump will do.
Who would you like to be for a day?
Lionel Messi. I always wanted to be a footballer and play for Chelsea.
It’s probably not going to happen now. Although I think part of me still hasn’t realised that. I maybe 62 but I pay five a side twice a week and delude myself.
I wonder if Gareth Southgate is aware of me. He just needs to see me play I think.
Why do you love being a Londoner?
Wimbledon Park where I live is so green and leafy. I don’t think I could face moving.
I hate the pollution though. I hate air I can see.
When I step out of my house I can see all the way to Canary Wharf and quite often you can see a brown dinge hanging over the city. I never saw that when I was younger.
Will society disappear into the smog?
Every generation probably thinks its the worst time.
But if I had been doing this show in the bubonic plague they probably all would have been thinking it was the end of the world.
But we will muddle through. It’s just a case of how bumpy the road is.
Andy Hamilton: Change Management will be at Greenwich Theatre on Sunday, May 14, 7.30pm, tickets £21.
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