Ref NoBSUCA/OD/1/5/2
CollectionOliver Double Collection
TitleTony Allen interviewed by Oliver Double
Duration14 min. 53 sec.
Extent1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionTony Allen interviewed by Oliver Double following Allen's performance at the Madhouse, 30th September 1988.
TA says the writing about alternative comedy was bollocks. Recalls a gig at the Hackney Empire with Ben Elton, and Lenny Bruce. [00:40] TA wanted to be the 'southern Billy Connolly'. TA recalls comedians at the time were in different alternative theatre groups (TA was in Rough Theatre, Alexei Sayle was in the Threepenny Theatre [ph], Keith Allen was in the Crystal Theatre, Jim Barclay in the MayDay). Grant situation was bad; TA didn't want the economics to determine the style of comedy. [1:45] Comedy Store had started and Alexei Sayle was performing. TA started performing alternative comedy in 1979. Mentions those that performed at the Comedy Store; Keith Allen, Jim Barclay, Les Dawson, Lenny Bennett, Andy de la Tour, Alexei Sayle compering. Mentions the style of the performers was varied between 'Cambridge Footlights' and those that wanted to be in the style of The Comedians. Talks about winning over the management of The Comedy Store after a few years and it becoming an alternative comedy venue [3:45] TA talks about the formation of Alternative Cabaret (comedians and bands), performing at the Elgin in Ladbroke Grove, performing to an anarchist crowd. TA has continued doing that sort of material [4:20] OD asks how TA would he define alternative comedy; says he is a 'post-alternative comedian'. Talks about dealing with the heckler (on item BSUCA/OD/1/5/A) [inaud] [5:20] Talks about 'Boom Boom...Out Go The Lights' broadcast on the BBC in 1980, seen as the forerunner to Friday Night Live. TA disliked being edited when appeared on television.[08:00] the modern generation of alternative comedians and 'routines' [08:20] reason for touring a one-man show, doing small gigs; doing routines [09:20] alternative comedy doing clever gags; increasing involvement of those involved in Footlights [10:15] TA using old material that is funny, rather than always looking for new material. OD talks about alternative comedy being non-sexist and non-racist. Discussion about Jerry Sadowitz. TA talks about the job of the fool, to tell the truth, be stupid and outrageous and some of the material works but some doesn't. [12:25] TA discusses the reasons why he plays in Working Mens Clubs rather than setting up his own alternative comedy clubs. [13:30] Thoughts about Ken Dodd [14:15] Brief discussion of OD's work and research. [interview ends at 14:50]
NotesLPCM wave 24 bit 48kHz. Digitised using Denon Cassette Deck DN-790R, Roland Edirol UA-55, and Adobe Audition CC 2014. 2015-06-24.
This interview was originally recorded on sound cassette BSUCA/OD/1/5 Side B; a digital copy has been made for access purposes.
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. Access is available via digital listening copies. The University of Kent acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors in this recording and the rights of those not identified.
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