Clive James on stage alone in late 2009
Sun 16-Fri 21 August EDINBURGH
Sat 5th Sept SHEFFIELD LYCEUM
Mon 21st Sept POOLE LIGHTHOUSE
Sun 11th Oct CHICHESTER FESTIVAL THEATRE
Weds 14th Oct HARPENDEN
Thurs 22nd Oct WEST YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE, LEEDS
Sun 25th Oct CAMBERLEY
Sun 8th Nov CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE
Weds 11th Nov EPSOM PLAYHOUSE
Sun 15th Nov TUNBRIDGE WELLS ASSEMBLY ROOMS
Clive James in the Evening
Dates of show: Jan. 2nd and 4th, 2009
On getting rich quick.
This is my last broadcast until my next spell and I’m in a summing up mood. I have no New Year resolutions apart from the usual one about tidying my office in case the body of my missing cleaner is lying mummified under that pile of magazines. But I do feel like making a New Year prediction. I want to put down a marker that proves I have a grip on world events. The best way to prove this is to make a prediction that everybody knows has already come true, but that few people are yet ready to admit.
Both as a female solo act and as a pivotal figure of sketch comedy, Catherine Tate now rules the distaff castle that was built from the ground up by Victoria Wood. Tate is a worthy successor, and has opened up a whole new, and sometimes frightening, frame of reference: the British under-class. In Tate's gallery of grotesques, a moronic, sociopathic teenager has no redeeming features. It could be said that Tate's Nan, the harridan who can't keep her knees together while she mouths obscenities, goes all the way back beyond Shakespeare. But the continuity was broken in the Victorian age, and even Oscar Wilde had to dress up his witch as Lady Bracknell.
Alexei Sayle began as a ground-breaking stand-up comedian in a tight suit and brought his act to rich fruition in a unique television series with his name in the title. Meanwhile he had also established himself as an actor in the movies and laid the foundations for his later career as one of our most adventurous writers. His particular gift in all fields is to bring his radical background into the foreground. Here he talks about growing up as a Marxist in modern Britain, about honesty in comedy, and about squaring his rebel status with the glow of celebrity. An enemy of the old order but no friend of New Labour, he draws a resonant connection between the Millennium Dome and the interior of Tony Blair’s brain.