COMEDIAN Chris Ramsey is returning to St David’s Hall for the second time in as many years following the success of last year’s show All Growed Up.
The show entitled Is That Chris Ramsey? takes its title from a recent case of mistaken identity when Chris was wrongly arrested in a hotel in his underpants. Warming up the crowd when the show comes to St David’s Hall on April 27 will be Chris’ mate and fellow Geordie Carl Hutchinson.
Chris tells Mark Wareham about life on the road and how adjusting to first-time fatherhood hasn’t stopped him from being arrested in his underpants.
Hi, is that Chris Ramsey?
I see what you did there.
How’s the tour going?
Amazing. I’ve got a big set that I love and it’s my first time with a headset mic. It’s so free. It’s the best show I’ve done yet.
And it’s your biggest tour to date?
Yeah. The scary thing about touring is that the venues are booked before I’ve written the show, so I’ve got the title, I’ve got the poster.
You’re a bit last minute then?
It’s the only way I can do it man. I was the kid at school where if you got your homework on a Thursday, I would do it on the Sunday night. I’d have it hanging over us all weekend. It’s just who I am.
But you must have had a rough idea of the show mapped out in your head?
I’ve ended up having a theme again. There’s a bit of a crisis of confidence theme in my everyday life, on becoming a dad. So I start off talking about the most confident person I’ve ever met, about my wife, my son, my fears, and then at the end I talk about a situation where I wish I’d been a lot more confident when I was apprehended by the police last year in a hotel in me underpants. I’d like to have handled that better.
What do you think’s brought on this crisis of confidence then?
It’s just cos offstage you’re a proper dulled-down version of who you are on stage. And it’s just that sometimes you wish you could be just a bit more like the person you are on stage. And it all comes to a head at the end when the police are handcuffing me in a hotel. You see it in films and think you know how you’d handle it, but when it happens to you, you find out who you really are. And that’s why I call the show Is That Chris Ramsey? Cos I found out who I really was that night.
That’s very interesting, wishing you were more like someone that you actually are anyway?
With comedy, you’re not allowed to be the person you are on stage. Cos people would be like, ‘Woah, tone it down!’ Very very rarely do you get a comic who’s exactly the same offstage as they are onstage.
Your last show, All Growed Up, dealt with becoming an adult. But now you’re 30, with a kid, so presumably you’ve not got much choice?
Yes but with the new show I didn’t want to make it a dad show. I had a load of stories about my son, but I binned most of them cos they felt like stories that anyone could do about being a dad.
Since your last tour, you’ve got your own show on Comedy Central. It’s a lot of fun isn’t it, like an extension of your personality?
That’s what I wanted. There’s so much grim stuff going on and I was never going to do a John Oliver type satire show. That’s not my style. I wanted a show that was fun and entertaining and high-energy. All of the guests came away saying, ‘That was so much fun to be on.’ It was so nice to hear colleagues you admire like Jimmy Carr saying that.
Who do you admire most in comedy?
Billy Connolly. I remember watching him with my dad when I was a kid and I couldn’t believe this bloke would stand up there telling these amazing stories to the room and a theatre of people were just hanging on his every word. The first one I saw with him was An Audience With, with Robbie Coltrane, Bob Geldof and Michael Parkinson, and my dad explained that he was a comedian. I never even realised it was a proper job. I used to watch Lee Evans as well.
To book seats, please visit www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk or call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444.