WHEN you’re touring the country, you’re bound to pick up on the quirks and unique traits or stories from the places you visit.
And so this is what comedian and Have I Got News For You regular Mark Steel has based his latest tour, Mark Steel’s In Town, around, which you can see when it comes to Friday, April 20, at The Core in Corby.
Mark, 51, said: “The idea of the show follows on from my radio show, which is also called Mark Steel’s In Town.
“Basically I go to a town and do a show that’s about the town.
“I have to find out about the history of the place and what goes on in the town.
“I have to try and get it right otherwise the audience will go beserk.
“In the North Yorkshire farming town of Skipton, I told the audience I’d seen a sign for Keighley, and wondered whether that was Skipton’s rival town.
“It went chillingly quiet and one woman called out with calm menace “Keighley – is a sink of evil”.
“As well as Skipton there was the Isle of Portland in Dorset, where school kids are given detention for saying ‘rabbit’ as the word is considered unlucky, and where a member of the audience threw a missile at the suggestion it might be said.
“And there was Boston, whose complaint that it’s been unfairly labelled as a ‘chav’ town seems compromised by the shop in its High Street called ‘It Must be Stolen’.
“So as the armies unleashed by Tescos, chain stores, and assorted call centres continue in their effort to make everywhere miserably identical, I come with a mission to save civilisation.
“I like to talk about the different towns.
“I went to Bungay in Suffolk, it’s such a small town and I didn’t know what I was going to talk about but there was so many things in the end that was fascinating about it. Everywhere has funny little quirks, it’s just about getting to the place early enough to find things out.
“It’s fascinating, almost every place I go to, people have their own little stories and I’m learning quite a bit about the country, I know so much useless information now.”
Mark first started finding out about the little ‘quirks’ around the country on his hit Radio 4 comedy show, which has won Sony and Writers Guild Awards.
Mark said: “We have had three series of the show and the thing that we like to do most is the bit about the places around the country.
“It’s been nice to bring the touring back in, it would be quite difficult to do what I do if I didn’t enjoy being on stage and touring the country in person.
“The radio show always depended on the live reaction of the listeners and the tour is the same but with a live audience right in front of you.
“And actually, it’s quite interesting in itself when you don’t get a reaction from what you say, you want to find out why.
“I know about some places more than others after having done the radio show and stand up for quite a few years now.
“I sort of know about Corby and I have never been there before so I’m sure it’s going to be a good gig.”
n Mark Steel will be appearing at The Core in Corby on Friday, April 20.
Tickets cost £14.50, with concession tickets costing £12.50.
The show starts at 7.30pm and is suitable for ages 14 plus.
To book tickets call 01536 470470 or visit www.thecorecorby.com.