Ref NoBSUCA/Events/1/2
CollectionBritish Stand-Up Comedy Archive Events
TitleStewart Lee in conversation with Oliver Double
Name of creatorLee, Stewart, 1968-; Double, Oliver, 1965-
Duration1 hr. 16 min. 59 sec.
Extent1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionStewart Lee in conversation with Oliver Double recorded at the Gulbenkian Cinema on 10 June 2015.
[0.00] Crowd Noise [0.17] Oliver Double (OD) introduces the 'In Conversation' event and his guest, Stewart Lee (SL) [01.14] OD begins the events by asking the audience who saw SL's show at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury the night before this event and continues to ask SL about this 'Room with a Stew' tour and how it will be transformed for TV. [1.37] SL says that for his TV shows ('Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle') works best when he is able to tour the material before it is recorded. He says he starts 30 minute sections with 15 minutes of material and looks to fill this time with his reactions to the content performed live. [3.55] OD asks the difference between SL's stand-up shows that lead into TV recordings and his more conceptual shows. [4.13] SL explains that the difference between these shows is like the difference between a sit-com episode and a novel. Characters are able to change and develop much more in live shows and diversions are able to occur. [5.57] OD and SL talk about a particular sequence from SL's aforementioned performance at the Marlowe theatre and discuss, further, the difference between live stand-up shows and TV. [08.05] SL discusses a particular part of his current show and how audiences have reacted differently [11.53] OD encourages SL to discuss the way comedians are able to make their persona/act on stage seem like reality [12.36] SL talks about this idea and how, unlike theatre, the motivations and thoughts of the comedian are upfront and visible to the audience from the start. [14.33] OD and SL discuss 'Stewart Lee' as a character and SL talks about show he is now comfortable with making this distinction. SL also discusses how his current shows are almost a parody on his younger self and the thoughts he used to have in in 20's. [16.57] OD talks about a recurring part of SL's stand-up shows where he suggests that the audience isn't understanding his jokes. [17.25] SL discusses the origins of this gag and talks about his perceptions of his audience's and accommodating different types of audiences. SL moves on to also discussing how his act has developed and how he has to think about 'what would annoy him [the character] now?' even when he may be seen as 'successful'. [22.50] OD puts up on screen, a double page image of the Bookings book from the Meccano Comedy Club from 1990 which features Stewart Lee (this is held in the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive) and asks SL to discuss the acts [23.40] SL talks about Eddie Izzard, and how the Meccano club was the first venue where Izzard did his act as a transvestite and other acts on the Jenny Lecoat, Donna McPhail, Pat Condell Oscar McLennan, Jim Barclay & Cathy Dunning. SL then discussed this period of time when he was starting out on the comedy circuit, setting up contacts with agents and venues. [27.41] OD and SL talk about the amount of money comics would make in this day and how four shows could equal double the amount you would make in a week's worth of temp work, and continue to talk about the variety of acts that were on the circuit at this time. [32.19] SL begins to talk about Tony Allen, his importance to comedy and his recent experiences with him. [37.29] OD asks SL about how he writes his stand-up material [37.55] SL explains that in the 1990's he wrote verbatim notes however, from the mid- 2000's, out of necessity he would just have notes and had the confidence to expand on these while performing. Currently he writes about 50% of the show. [40:40] Practically, when performing, he will write key words on his hand and have a few key lines in his head memorised. [42.12] OD and SL discuss the aspects of his performance that are unspoken: gestures and mic drops. [45.00] OD opens the discussion up to the audience for questions; the first of which asks SL about his 'awkward' persona. SL responds by saying that he likes to make the laugh feel like it's been a bit hard won. [47.00] The next audience member asks SL to explain his recent statement that 'it's a waste of time to be a young comedian'. SL says that he encourages stand-up comedians but his original statement was trying to address the truism of current young stand-up comedians, that is that there is less funding and support, more student debt and higher rents. He believes that any question about being a young artist now that doesn't first address these prejudices, isn't a discussion worth having. [49.29] The next question asks whether SL has any subjects that he won't discuss. SL says that he disagrees with the idea that there are subjects that comedians cannot discuss, however, there are some subjects that he has chosen to avoid, when he doesn't think there is enough context to justify it. [54.32] The next audience member asks whether SL would have studied stand-up comedy if he had the chance. SL said that when he was studying,, there simply wouldn't be enough material to study. SL also discusses how the study of stand-up comedy can be a very good way of studying wider society. [57.02] The next question asks whether SL ever sees his on-stage persona as a burden. SL says this has changed throughout the years, his quality of touring life has changed. He then discusses how this change in age and position within society, seeing the world change around him, has helped to develop and change his act. [59.10] The next question asks whether, with the recent 2015 election, and the surge for support of parties such as UKIP, whether there will be a rise of UKIP-like comedian/comedy scene. SL responds by saying that statistically, there will always be people in the audience with these views. He then discusses the fact that UGov website has developed statistics on the voting tendencies of comedians' audiences. [01.04.10]The next audience member asks about stereotypes and using them in comedy. SL, reiterating the previous discussion, explaining that it really depends on the context they are being used in, sighting German comedian Henning When and his use of and talks about his own Scottish routes and using Scottish stereotypes in his work. [01.10.42] The final question asks whether SL would consider using more musical cues in his act, sighting Lenny Bruce as an example. SL responds by saying that he has actually intended to use an abacus and the sound of this in his most recent show to illustrate statistics about funding cuts for support for rescuing drowning migrants from the Mediterranean. [01.15.10] OD thanks SL for agreeing to partake in the event and encourages the audience to come and talk to SL after the show where he would also be selling books.
PhysicalDescriptionAudio file WAV LPCM 48kHz 24 bit stereo
CategoryAudio recordings
Access conditionsAvailable for consultation at the University of Kent's Special Collections & Archives reading room, Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NU.
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