Frustrated viral newsreader Jonathan Pie heads to Hastings, Hove and Brighton
Frustrated viral newsreader character Jonathan Pie will be taking his critically acclaimed sell-out 2019 live show Fake News across the UK this autumn for an extended new run of tour dates.
Tom Walker, creator of Pie, will be in action at Hastings’ White Rock Theatre on Thursday, September 23; Hove’s Old Market Theatre on Friday, October 8; and Brighton Dome on Sunday, October 24. With Trump now old news, Tom has ditched the Donald and also ditched Brexit, updating and rewriting the show to include Pie’s takes on the government’s handling of Covid. The extended run of dates was originally scheduled for spring 2020, but due to the pandemic, the dates were postponed and are now taking place this September and October.
After months stuck in lockdown, Jonathan Pie returns to the road to discuss how corona has changed the world… and his career prospects. Black Lives Matter, the climate crisis, the NHS, austerity, social media, cancel culture, plus Covid-19, nationwide lockdowns and the ensuing fallout are all grist to his mill as he berates the people in power.
Tom says he feels like the tour marks the end of his own personal lockdown.
“The last show was about Brexit and Boris just coming into Number 10. Brexit was a weirdly weird one to write for. Everyone has got their opinions and it is very divisive, but if you get down to the nitty-gritty of Brexit, it is not very interesting. The nitty-gritty is about trade deals and about leaving an economic bloc, and it is quite difficult to explore and quite difficult to make Pie explode about.
“The other difficulty was Trump. He just did it all for you. All you had to do was to read out his Tweets. It was funny and it was tragic. It was too serious in a way. His misspellings and the fact that he could not actually articulate a sentence was funny but it was also very scary, the fact that he was in charge of the free world.”
Covid, on the other hand, Tom says, has been “oddly easy” to write for: “No matter what our opinions are and what our thoughts are, we have all been there and we have all had this shared experience, and from the comedy point of view that has been good. We can all recognise the stockpiling of loo roll and the Zooms. There are comedy tropes that everyone will recognise who-ever they are.
“But I am also shining a light on our government and trying to hold them to account through satirical means, and there were demonstrable mistakes that they made. Every single government on the planet didn’t get it right and you wouldn’t expect them to, but if you look at the care homes saga here, that was a mistake from the government that cost lives and that is easily demonstrable. And it was easily demonstrable that Matt Hancock was useless and that Boris didn’t have an idea what was going on from one day to the next.
“Obviously you have to be very respectful of the fact that people lost their lives, but everybody has been affected by it, and that is the kind of thing that you can draw on.”