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We chat with Jason Manford ahead of his big show in Abu Dhabi

We chat with Jason Manford ahead of his big show in Abu Dhabi

Tickets for the famous British talk show are now on sale…

One of UK stand-up comedy’s most cherished alumni, Jason Mumford will return to the UAE with former collaborator The Laughter Factory as part of their ongoing Selfdrive tour. A date and venue have been confirmed and he will fly to Abu Dhabi on May 12, 2023 to perform at the magnificent Emirates Palace.

We caught up with the comic ahead of his show:

What’s On: How would you describe your comedy style to someone who has never seen your work?

Jason Manford: I’d say it’s related. It’s kind of family-centric, but it’s for grown-ups. It’s not a kids show, but I think it’s a show where you can take your teens and your grandparents and we’ll all laugh.

WO: How do you prepare material for your talk show? Do you have a specific process or routine?

Jem: I think it comes from listening to people, keeping your eyes open and saying yes to things. That’s what I’ve learned over the past 20 years. If someone offers you an opportunity that you think sounds a little unusual or out of your comfort zone, say yes and see how it goes.You’ll be amazed at my results, I’ve done a gig or a 20 minute routine for troops in Afghanistan masked singer things like that.

So I think it’s important to try and experience something. I go home and I tell my wife or my kids or my friends that this happened today. Even if they were smiling or giggling, I thought maybe there was something there. They’re kind of like my guinea pigs, but they know it.

WO: You have hosted many popular TV shows. How does hosting compare to stand-up acting?

Jem: Well, there’s nothing better than standing up. I love singing on TV, radio, and all musicals, but standing up is so straightforward. You’re not waiting to see stats or comments or anything like that. You literally say something, they respond immediately, and you move on. There’s something really magical about this.

WO: How has your comedy style evolved over the years?

Jem: I think I’m more confident in my point of view. I think a lot of people do that as they get older. I guess 20 years ago, I would have been a little more cautious, like, “that’s what I think, but if you think so, that’s fine,” I might have looked at it differently, and now I’m just talking about it from that perspective , and hopefully people will get involved. Or even if they disagree, they disagree in a lighthearted way. So, yeah, I think I’ve gotten a lot stronger on stage.

WO: Do you think people have become more sensitive since you started?

Jem: This is a question you get asked a lot, I think yes and no. I think the world has, but I don’t think comedy audiences have. I mean, they’re still people who like to push boundaries, like to hear sharp things, and that’s pretty much what they’re here for.

I think the reporting of sensitivities is much bigger than it is now. Three tweets saying, “I found that offensive” was a news story, so people thought the world had softened, but it didn’t.

I don’t see any harm in being thoughtful and trying to include all of your audience in your show. I hate it when anyone feels left out or upset because of something I say on stage. Really, can you leave out some words and phrases or hard opinions from your show? I think there are a lot of comics out there that say it just to offend, instead of thinking, this is really funny, or that’s what I really believe. I think all of this will get me some coverage.

It’s easy to offend people, it’s harder to actually do what I do, people like Michael McIntyre and Peter Kay do things like that, but it’s easier to offend people. If everyone walks away thinking “that was a great show” then that’s what you want instead of crying because of something you said, that’s against your job.

WO: Can you get a sneak peek at what to expect from your show in Abu Dhabi?

Jem: I’m going to call it a mixed bag, because I just finished my UK tour and last April I played in Dubai called like me. A little bit — looking back through the lockdown and stuff, it’s obviously a concern for the British because that’s where I’m at.

I made a show called Confused class, I might throw it in.I made a show called first world problems, I understand a little bit. So it’s a bit of a mismatch, really, I just watch what pops into my head and we laugh and see who’s in the room laughing with them.

Emirates the Palace, W Corniche Road Abu Dhabi, Friday 12th May 2023 from 8.30pm, tickets Dhs195 (senior first two rows ticket Dhs295). Tel: (0)50 878 6728. www.thelaughterfactory.com

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