Ref NoBSUCA/Events/1/5
CollectionBritish Stand-Up Comedy Archive Events
TitleTony Allen in conversation with Oliver Double
Name of creatorAllen, Tony, 1945; Double, Oliver, 1965-
Duration1 hr. 47 min. 05 sec.
Extent1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionTony Allen in conversation with Oliver Double, recorded at the Aphra, University of Kent, Monday 9 May 2016, as part of the Centre for Popular and Comic Performance (University of Kent) events 2016.
Track 1 [1:33:53]
[00:00] Recording starts. [00:02] Mixed conversation prior to interview. [05:55] Interviewer Oliver Double [OD] introduces event by Popular and Comic Performance Research Centre (PCP). Introduces Tony Allen [TA]. Explains the TA’s place in Alternative Comedy. Remarks that 1979 was the start of Alternative comedy with Alternative Cabaret Group [ACG] started by TA. [07:22] Story from OD on meeting Arnold Brown and discussing TA’s importance. [07:58] TA asked about background and family life. TA story about first stage performance: a composite of Frankie Howard and Max Miller. Explains early career in Hayes [East London, England]. Explains education, early interests in gambling and snooker. Remarks on early marriage. [10:15] description about running away to West London Theatre Workshop (WLTW). Anecdote about attending demonstrations. [11:20] OD asks about first interactions with WLTW. TA discusses magazines ’National Times’, ‘Friends’. Remarks on political entrance into comedy and first television performance. Joke about confusion with another Tony Allen [Nigerian Afrobeat musician]. [13:44] OD questions about Ladbroke Grove [Area in West London] and TA describes the area’s political affiliations and alternative culture. Insight into TA’s anarchist philosophy. Story about United Kingdom government initiative to remove Victorian buildings in favour of tower blocks. TA describes squatting, his experiences with it. Remarks on the influence of Bernard Manning (British Comedian). [16:55] OD segues discussion to Pub Rock scene. Discussion about the alternative music of the time. Mention of Joe Strummer of ‘The Clash’ and TA’s early association with him. [18:22] Discussion about Rough Theatre. Anecdote about shows name: ‘Free milk and orange juice’ and context of name. OD remarks on Routh Theatre association with pub rock bands and rock against racism movement. [22:19] remarks about 1970’s graffiti culture, TA mentions his involvement. [23:15] TA talks about Speaker's Corner. Anecdote about Lenny Bruce [American Comic]. TA describes the origin of the Speaker’s Corner name. [26:26] OD asks about TA’s start at Speaker’s Corner. Discussion about project in Speaker’s Corner in the 2000’s. TA anecdote about the Millenium Bug as context for the idea. [28:40] Mention of TA’s book ‘A Summer in the Park’. [29:00] OD mentions TA’s first Stand-up show: April 1979. Description of the first show at Speaker’s corner, anecdote from TA about Anarcho-feminism. [31:50] Discussion on finding the Comedy store. TA story about Ken Robinsons [English writer] input. Comedic anecdote about occupying a nuclear power plant. [35:13] OD return discussion to Comedy Store. Description about content and quality of early Comedy Store material and political affiliations. [36:53] TA anecdote on Keith Allen [Welsh Actor] stage managing at Victoria Palace. [39:20] discussion returns to performances at Comedy Store. TA describes the difference in comedy approaches including his “sexual politics”. Mentions ACG’s connection to Comedy Store. TA mentions the people who became Alternative Cabaret. [42:40] TA mentions the Elgin [Pub in Ladbroke Grove, it’s left-wing clientele. [44:42] OD asks about other venues ACG frequented. Mentions Pentameters [Theatre in Camden, London]. Further discussion on Albany Empire [Arts Centre in Deptford, London] and Earth Exchange [Defunct venue in Islington, London]. [46:40] OD comments on TA’s performance at Edinburgh Fringe festival 1980. TA anecdote about Billy Connolly [Scottish Comedian and Actor]. Further comment made on Fringe festival, OD remarks on complaints about Stand-up takeover of festivals. [49:10] TA describes reception of ACG. [51:12] Discussion about TA’s album. TA remarks about being taped early in career. Discussion on Alternative media Ladbroke Grove. [52:52] OD reads from description from Kent comedy archives about TA. [53:37] Discussion on Boom, Boom Out go the Lights [show based on song by The Blues Band]. [54:55] Conversation returns to involvement in Alternative Comedy. OD asks about the spread of Alternative comedy. [56:08] Discussion about Television and Alternative Comedy. TA continues remarks on racism and sexism in comedy. [57:55] OD anecdote on first time seeing TA in 1988. TA anecdote on stoned raps about insect mating.[59:55] Further OD Anecdote on drunk heckler at TA show. [1:01:30] Another anecdote about blind audience member at summer 1991 show. Follow-up remarks about thunderstorm at same show. [1:03:35] TA remarks about Setup and punchline. OD discussion on TA’s setups. [1:05:15] OD asks about recent work. Mention of clowning. TA describes mugging and mimicking [accompanied by visual cues]. [1:06:44] Audio problems until 1:06:56. [1:06:58] TA continues discussion on clowns and clowning. TA Mentions Johnathan Kay [English fool, self-described.] [1:08:06] OD question TA on Clown name. Story about Name origin. Follow-up question about Poison Girls [English Punk Band]. TA describes touring with Poison girls. [1:12:01] OD asks about performance workshops. Description of project with Banksy [English performance artist]. [1:13:19] Beginning of questions. Question one: Who in modern comedy most resembles Alternative comedy? [1:18:10] Digression about positivity in comedy. [1:19:07] Question two: Is owning jokes overemphasised? TA digression about joke comedy and stereotypes. [1:21:21] audience member returns question to joke theft. [1:24:07] OD clarifies audience member position on joke theft against supposed contradictory statement. [1:25:09] TA mentions the effect of social media on borrowing material. [1:27:05] Question three: how did comedy become commercialised? TA interjects to discuss comedy in stadiums. Anecdote about Rory Motion [British Stand-up comedian]. [1:29:44] Discussion about agents in stand-up. [1:30:29] Question four: Is modern comedy as political? TA anecdote about politics and youth. [1:33:25] Closing remarks and applause. [1:33:53] Interview end.
PhysicalDescriptionAudio file WAV LPCM 44.1kHz 16 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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