Five minutes with… Mitch Benn

Published: Thursday 23rd November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

Comments (0)

Musical satirist Mitch Benn is coming to East Riding Theatre this weekend. We caught up with the Liverpudlian funnyman to find out more.

It’s great to chat with you, Mitch. Can you tell us a little bit more about your show?

The main topics are death and mortality. It’s the one thing that unites us, and yet the one thing we don’t want to talk about. So I thought I’d crack a bunch of jokes and sing some songs about it.

Sounds interesting! What inspired you to come up with Don’t Fear the Reaper?

Aside from the obvious Blue Oyster Cult reference, if you’re an old rock bore like me, it was the fact that a slew of famous people were dying last year. It got me thinking about my own mortality and mortality in general. It’s the only thing that we all have in common.

When did you first want to become a comedian?

My comic “awakening” definitely came during the aftermath of the alternative comedy explosion at the end of the 70s, and its subsequent takeover of TV comedy – for example, The Young Ones. But weirdly, the first stand-up I remember admiring was Billy Connolly, who belonged to a slightly earlier generation.

In fact, I’ve always thought that, artistically, I’ve got more in common with his generation, the early 70s ex-folk club raconteurs, than with any subsequent comedy movement.

When did you discover that you could combine music and comedy?

I first did stand-up at the age of 21 in Montréal, Canada. I incorporated music and songwriting right from the get-go. It never really occurred to me not to. As for whether I’m any good at it, I leave it to others to decide.

Have you always been musical?

My family is very musical. I don’t think that I’m related to anybody who can’t play something. And I grew up in Liverpool in the 70s, wading through the debris of the Mersey Sound and Beatlemania.

You’ve got so many strings to your bow. We heard that you’ve also written two sci-fi novels?

Yes, Terra and Terra’s World are about a human child who is abducted by a well-meaning alien and grows up on another planet. They are mainly inspired by my relationship with my kids. There will be a part three, but I don’t know when!

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been into sci-fi. I was into Star Trek before I was into Star Wars, as I was watching Trek repeats on the BBC from about the age of three. Star Wars didn’t come out until I was nearly 8. My main thing is Doctor Who, though.

Lastly, with your show about a somewhat controversial topic, is there anything that’s off limits?

No, but certain topics are so hard to make funny, it’s probably not worth trying.

You can catch Mitch Benn at East Riding Theatre on Saturday 25 November. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the East Riding Theatre website.

Enjoy more Hull and East Yorkshire news on HEY Today

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Published: Thursday 23rd November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

Comments (0)

Local business search