Interview Stephen Bailey Can't Think Straight
Interview Stephen Bailey Can't Think Straight

One of the UK’s rising comedy stars, Stephen Bailey has been hitting the road on his highly anticipated solo UK tour Can’t Think Straight.  Stephen will be bringing his critically acclaimed scandalous chatter and biting wit to London’s Soho Theatre from 3rd – 5th May 2018.

In this brand new show, Stephen tackles everything from celebrity culture and dating to politics and working-class family life. Stephen’s friendly, welcoming brand of affectionate gossipy Northern humour has made him one of the most popular acts on the UK comedy circuit today.

We caught up with Stephen to find out more.

You’re out on tour with Can’t Think Straight, how would you describe the show?

It is a simple funny show. I want everyone to come along, leave the world at the door and just howl for an hour. If I can provoke any thought too that’s an added bonus. But I want to help people relax and switch off for an hour or so after a long week at work. I think we often worry as well that we aren’t quite where we thought we’d be and I like to use my little penis jokes to highlight that none of us have really figured it out.

Does the audience reaction change much as you visit different venues?

It’s funny to see what works where. The ruder stuff is brilliant for younger people and the gays. Then, the northern working class stuff works for a more middle-aged working class audience and as for when I’m performing for the poshos – they love the little LGBT+ message.

Have their been any audience reactions that surprised you, good or bad?

Not really. There have been certain people, like Peter from Edinburgh in his 80s.  He adores me and brings his kids and his grandkids. He’s very flirtatious and I love it when the ones you think won’t enjoy it, love it the most.

How did performing Can’t Think Straight at The Edinburgh Fringe help prepare you for the tour?

It really helped me get rid of any unnecessary bits and tighten the show up.

What are you looking forward to most about bringing the show to London’s Soho Theatre?

Just being in such a prestigious venue. It really feels like you’ve been accepted by comedy when you perform at Soho Theatre. Also, I’m hoping the gays turn up in support before they go dancing.

You’ve been doing a lot of TV work recently, how does live stand-up compare for you as a performer?

I love the TV stuff. I feel really lucky to be asked to do it and it’s just so different to what I hoped for when I was growing up. I never dared to dream that big. BUT, live comedy is so special because no show will ever be like that again. It’s me and that audience, in that moment, for that time. It’s guided by the relationship we make in that hour and there’s not a feeling like it. I feel like I’ve made 100s of new friends this year and that is quite the treat.

Stephen Bailey ‘Can’t Think Straight’ is at London’s Soho Theatre from 3rd-5th May at 9.30pm. Tickets on sale here

Photo by Steve Ullathorne.

Greg is an award-winning writer with a huge passion for theatre. He has appeared on stage, as well as having directed several plays in his native Scotland. Greg is the founder and editor of Theatre Weekly


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