Alumni of Manchester University and full-time sass machine, Joe Lycett returns for another sell-out tour across the UK- and this time it’s bigger and better than ever. We spoke to the King of filing complaints to suss out exactly what we can expect from this promising and punnily-titled show on the road.
This is your biggest tour to date- are you excited? Intimidated? A combo of the two?
“I certainly have some big nights planned on this tour. I said to Sarah Millican that I felt I had to write a show that was big enough for those venues and, in her infinite wisdom, she said ‘no, the show should be good enough for 100 people’. So, it’s intimidating in terms of the scale of it and the sense that there’ll be a lot of eyes on me, but I always try and do the best possible show I can. There’s no point otherwise.”
Have you always aimed to keep performing to larger audiences?
“The beauty of stand-up is that generally it does scale up and it’s about your ability to connect with an audience. I think arenas might be too big for the type of shows I want to do, but the theatres are great. I’ll be using PowerPoint again which gives the crowd something to focus on and that can scale up as big as you like.”
How did you go about choosing a name for the tour?
“You can’t go too far wrong with the Pointer Sisters. James Acaster suggested that I went the whole hog and went for I’m So Joe Lycett, And I Just Joe Lycett, I’m About To Lose Control And I Think Joe Lycett. There was another long one that was a strong contender but then I listened to the Pointer Sisters song and thought ‘can I walk on feeling confident to this music?’ And yes I probably can, so let’s name the whole tour after that.”
Are you running out of ‘I like it/Joe Lycett puns?’
“Any time I meet a musician I request that they write a song with ‘I Like It’ in the title. The thing I love about all this is that there are now proper discussions about the title. I’ll be sitting down with my agent who also represents Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr, and the main question is: ‘which Lycett-based pun shall we go for this time?’”
Does your new show have a theme?
“I’m not that sort of writer where I can restrict myself to a theme just in case nothing good comes of it. I prefer to get annoyed about stuff and then maybe you can spot loose themes that you can tie together. This one won’t necessarily be about losing control. Or if it is, it’ll be by pure chance.”
You’ve been very open about your feelings towards a certain man in the White House- will your new tour include elements of this?
“I have been writing about him and trolling him a little bit, but haven’t we all: it’s like shouting into the void. I haven’t really done much political stuff in my stand-up but I feel that at this point, as many of us as possible have to say ‘we’re not cool with this’. Even if he’s impeached and leaves, he’s opened so many doors that we’ll never be able to close on how we expect politicians to behave; people saying appalling things might not seem that appalling because it’s already normalised.”
Does living in a time of such political chaos help to inspire your material?
“It’s a good time to be an artist because there’s lots to talk about, so weirdly all that stuff helps. Unless things go to a complete state of emergency there’s always scope for people to hear someone talk about the state of things in an intelligent way. Actually, I don’t know whether I’m the person to do that. I can sit here and talk about it at length, but to actually construct a thing that can change people’s minds is quite another thing.”
How do you choose what material to include in your shows?
“You should trust that if you find something funny then other people will. The whole thing about building up an audience is about taking people with you who will be on the same page, but some things that I think are hilarious might die a death so you then try to reconstruct it. There’s one routine in the new show that I really care about and really want to work, but it’s not quite there yet in terms of working for an audience, but I believe in that routine so I will work on it to make it work. And there are others that I like but don’t quite believe in enough to fight for. You have to pick your battles in writing stand-up comedy: do you want to make that point or not? And if you do then you always find a way of doing it.”
Current tour listings:
Tues 13 Bristol – Old Vic *SOLD OUT*
Weds 14 Bristol – Old Vic *SOLD OUT*
Fri 16 Bath – Komedia * SOLD OUT*
Tues 20 Taunton – The Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre *SOLD OUT*
Weds 21 Cardiff – The Glee Club
Thurs 22 Cardiff – The Glee Club *SOLD OUT*
Fri 23 Cardiff – The Glee Club *SOLD OUT*
Sun 25 Leeds – City Varieties
Mon 26 Leeds – City Varieties
Weds 28 Norwich – Playhouse *SOLD OUT*
Thurs 1 Norwich – Playhouse *SOLD OUT*
Sun 4 Exeter – Corn Exchange
Thurs 8 Peterborough Key Theatre
Fri 9 Peterborough Key Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Sat 10 Worthing – Connaught Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Sun 11 Southampton – Nuffield Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Fri 23 Liverpool – Epstein Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Sat 24 Liverpool – Epstein Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Sun 25 Canterbury – The Gulbenkian *SOLD OUT*
Tues 27 Sheffield – Memorial Hall *SOLD OUT*
Weds 28 Sheffield – Memorial Hall *SOLD OUT*
Thurs 29 Harrogate – Theatre
Sat 31 Northampton – Derngate Theatre *TRANSFERRED TO BIGGER VENUE*
Sun 1 Durham – Gala Theatre * SOLD OUT*
Thurs 5 Stafford – Gatehouse Theatre
Fri 6 Swindon – Wyvern Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Sat 7 Ipswich – Corn Exchange *SOLD OUT*
Sun 8 Southend – Palace Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Thurs 12 Stockton – ARC *SOLD OUT*
Fri 13 Crewe – Lyceum Theatre
Sat 14 Aldershot – Princes Hall *SOLD OUT*
Weds 18 Chesterfield – Pomegranate Theatre
Fri 20 King’s Lynn – Corn Exchange
Weds 25 Nottingham – Playhouse *SOLD OUT*
Fri 27 Crawley – The Hawth Theatre
Weds 2 Buxton – Opera House – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Thurs 10 Birmingham – New Alexandra Theatre – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Fri 11 Birmingham – New Alexandra Theatre *SOLD OUT*
Sat 12 Lincoln – The Engine Shed *SOLD OUT*
Sun 13 York – Grand Opera House
Thurs 24 Dublin – Vicar Street
Fri 25 Newcastle – Tyne Theatre and Opera House
Sat 26 Oxford – New Theatre
Sun 27 Cambridge – Corn Exchange
Fri 1 Wrexham – William Aston Hall
Sat 2 Manchester – Palace Theatre
Sun 3 Bedford – Corn Exchange
Weds 6 Manchester – Palace Theatre – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Thurs 7 Salisbury – City Hall
Fri 8 London – Eventim Apollo – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Sat 9 London – Eventim Apollo
Tues 12 Glasgow – O2 Academy – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Weds 13 Perth – Concert Hall – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Thurs 14 Belfast – Mandela Hall
Tues 17 Swansea – Grand Theatre – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Weds 18 St Albans – Alban Arena – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Thurs 19 St Albans – Alban Arena
Fri 27 Carmarthen – Lyric Theatre
Sat 28 Leamington Spa – Royal Spa Centre
Sun 2 Cheltenham – Town Hall – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Weds 5 Hull – City Hall – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Thurs 6 Stoke-on-Trent – Victoria Hall – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Fri 7 Dudley – Town Hall
Thurs 13 Arbroath – Webster Theatre – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Sat 15 Aberdeen – Tivoli Theatre
Mon 17 Inverness – Eden Court – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Thurs 20 Folkestone – Leas Cliff Hall – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Fri 21 Gravesend – The Woodville
Sun 23 Torquay – Princess Theatre – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Thurs 27 Shrewsbury – Theatre Severn
Fri 28 Southport – Theatre – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Sat 29 Middlesbrough – Town Hall – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Thurs 4 Bournemouth – Pavilion Theatre – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
Fri 5 Brighton – Dome – EXTRA DATE JUST ANNOUNCED!
I’m About To Lose Control And I Think Joe Lycett is on sale now – visit www.joelycettcomedy.co.uk