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Comic Mark Steel talks about his RSC show

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

IT’LL be laughs galore and plenty of political digs when stand-up comedian and writer Mark Steel headlines at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre this Sunday.

Mark has presented the BAFTA-nominated Mark Steel Lectures (BBC Radio Four), and is a regular on Have I Got News For You (BBC One) and Radio Four’s Newsquiz. He has written several acclaimed books, including Reasons To Be Cheerful and What’s Going On, and he writes a weekly column for The Independent, for which he picked up Columnist of the Year at this year’s Press Awards.

Speaking about the show, the socialist comic, known for his dislike of right-wing politics, said that it was good that support was coming from his fellow comic and Three Kinds of Stupid star Seann Walsh, and female comic Shappi Khorsandi. “This is a one-off,” he said, speaking about the show at the RSC. “So it’s an opportunity for the people of Stratford to see something unique and extraordinary. “When you do your own show you don’t get to meet other comics so hopefully this will be brilliant,” said the funnyman, who was last in Stratford when he brought his Mark Steel’s In Town show to the ArtsHouse last November.

“I hope everyone comes,” he continued. “And hopefully we will all be funny, and even if one isn’t, it won’t matter so much because the other two will be.”

He laughed and added: “Blimey I’m doing a terrible job of selling this show — two of us are bound to be good!”

Recalling the last time he was here, he said: “Suddenly outside the theatre there were loads of police and people waving flags, then Prince Charles popped out of a limo.

“I thought he might be coming to my show.”

Alas the heir to the throne did not take the opportunity to see Mark’s show, missing the chance to engage the comedian in some lively heckling about the state of the nation. Mark said, nonetheless, his previous visit to Stratford was highly productive.

“I recall taking photos of things with tenuous links to Shakespeare — I seem to remember a butchers with a daft name, To Beef or Not To Beef, or something like that.

“It’s a very beautiful place and I remember we went to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage — so can I always do some material about that!” said the comic with a final laugh.

Mark Steel, Seann Walsh and Shappi Khorsandi appear at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at 7.30pm this Sunday. Tickets are still available for £21 on 01789 403493.

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