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    Interview: Hal Cruttenden

    Star of Live at the Apollo and comedian Hal Cruttenden is on tour. We caught up with him to chat about his latest show...


    How did you come up with the tour name 'Straight outta Cruttenden?'

    With the title I was thinking, why at 45 was I driving around and listening to NWA in my car? I’d just downloaded the album again and thought, wow this is really good! The tour is sort of about my mid-life crisis. The show is about lots of issues, similarly to the DVD that was released of my last tour, “Tough Luvvie”. I talk about myself, life and things that infuriate me. It’s sort of me being as honest as possible about everything.


    Wow that sounds brilliant! Prior to this tour, you’ve performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and of course, the infamous Live at the Apollo – What was it like?

    I’ve done Live at the Apollo a few times, but when I first did it, it was the scariest thing, but it is the most rewarding and most exciting. It is a very important show to do. It’s massive, nearly four thousand people I think. I’ve been doing comedy for a long time and usually, the bigger the audience, the easier the gig is. When you’ve spent years doing gigs in the backs of pubs for thirty people who didn’t know who you were, to then walk on stage and have people know who you are, you’ve already got over part of the struggle. Comedy is just one of those things where people just think there are these geniuses, who wake up one day and are incredibly funny. Everyone has done years and years of practice. It’s a craft that you learn. By the time you get to Live at the Apollo you’re ready for it; it’s amazing and it’s thrilling.


    Was there anyone in particular that inspired you to pursue a career in comedy, whether that be friends, family or other comedians?

    The person who made me think I can absolutely do this was Eddie Izzard. Watching his stuff in the early nineties…this was a man who took his comedy and thought, this is mine and you’re coming with me on this journey. Since he’s done it, there’s been much more surreal comedy. He was quite unusual; I mean there were surreal comics like the Pythons, but in stand up there weren’t many people doing what he did. I’ve met him several times and he’s very funny. I said to him “Oh, you’re the one who made me want to do this!” and he was like “Oh, sit down, let’s have a drink”. He’s very inspirational for lots of people; a role model.


    Can you sum up the tour in three words – just not “Straight outta Cruttenden”…

    Brilliantly, effortlessly fun!


    Hal Cruttenden is at the Floral Pavillion Theatre, Wirral on 13th October 2016.


    By Sarah O' Hara



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