Five minutes with… Gervase Phinn

Published: Friday 1st December 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Best-selling author and funnyman Gervase Phinn is coming to East Riding Theatre with Yuletide anecdotes and nostalgic tales.

Famous for his endearing personality and humour, Gervase’s show is the perfect way to ease into the festive season. We spoke with the former teacher and school inspector to discover what he loves most about this exciting season.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your two shows at East Riding Theatre?

Well, it’s a one-man show that talks about Christmas and Yuletide and is based on some of my books, which were bestsellers. It’s observational, anecdotal, amusing, but sometimes a bit poignant.

I would say that it’s a goodhearted evening, not cutting-edge humour or anything, just old-fashioned observational comedy.

I’m very much looking forward to coming back to the East Riding Theatre. It’s a fantastic venue and the people are always lovely.

What do you love most about this time of year?

My favourite thing about Christmas has to be the Nativity plays. I was a school inspector for many years and it’s the best part of the entire year.

In the show, I’ll talk about some of the funny mishaps and some of the delights when children re-enact the most magical story to ever be told.

For example, little boys wearing towels on their heads, held in place with elastic belts with snake clasps!

I think Christmas brings everyone together, especially when it’s all doom and gloom on the news. The joy of young children at this time of year is very special, indeed – it melts your heart.

And of course, I relish the time I get to spend with my own family.

So what would you say is your least favourite thing?

I think it’s the commercialism of Christmas. As a Christian, I think that we sometimes forget the real meaning of it.

My daughter is a Samaritan and works over the festive period. She tells me that there are a lot of parents who ring up worried about the terrible debt they have racked up from buying presents and trying to keep up with other families. Shops encourage you to buy and use your credit cards and this makes people very unhappy.

I’m a bit odd, you see. I don’t have presents at Christmas. It’s not that I’m mean – I do give presents – but I ask for people not to buy me them in return. At my age, at 70, I’ve got everything I need in life; I’ve got my family, lovely grandchildren. I don’t want them spending lots of money on gifts that will end up in a charity shop.

Lastly, why should people come along to see you?

To have their lives brightened up, I guess. That’s what the reviews say. It’s a heartwarming show.

It’s not offensive humour, it doesn’t laugh at people who are different. It’s observational comedy that is gentle and warm. If they want to have an evening of entertainment with anecdotes, stories and poems, they should come along.

It’s great for all ages. I’m not a Chubby Brown, or any of those kinds of comedians.

Gervase Phinn is at East Riding Theatre on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. To find out more and purchase tickets, please visit ERT online.

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Published: Friday 1st December 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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