Coming up with a title for a show is a common problem for comedians, particularly when they need to announce the title long before they’ve written the show.
Mark Watson has come up with a novel solution – and at the same time made sure he takes in some new places en route.
Despite his best efforts, Mark says he is amazed to find there are still some areas of the country he’s not visited much and some towns that have been neglected altogether.
As he says, it’s hard to be everywhere at once, so for the new tour, MW, he’s narrowed it down to a sensible plan: he will only visit places beginning with M or W, his initials.
“They’ve already shown a commitment by having those names in the first place!”
And that means that for the first time he will be visiting Worthing, with a date at the Connaught Theatre on September 23.
“We had these huge neon signs, M and W, from a DVD recording, and we were saying ‘What are we supposed to do with them now?’ and one of the team said: ‘We should only go to places beginning with M or W, and from the joke came a plan…”
And from the plan evolved the concept behind the current tour – and his Worthing debut.
A few of the venues will be favourite old haunts like Winchester or Manchester, but quite a few of them are the result of Googling and some are so remote that he won’t know they definitely exist until they get there, Mark says.
“I have never been to Worthing before. The only time I was meant to be there was as part of the Cambridge Footlights tour 15 years ago which was cancelled because nobody bought a ticket!
“But there are certainly venues that become favourites, places we go to every tour – but you are still wanting to go to new places. Part of the fun is the new places, and we are lucky. We are really spoilt in this country for theatres and arts centre.
“But however long you tour for, and I did 80-odd dates last year, you are always going to miss out on some. It’s impossible to cover everywhere, so M and W seemed like a good compromise.”
Inevitably, particularly if you have had a run of four or five dates in a row, some places do tend to blur in memory.
“But I suppose you are hoping for something that will make them stand-out. Last year in Worcester there was a raffle for the show. And then somewhere else there was someone who was determined to try to derail the show, a particularly-eccentric audience member. Sometimes something happens that pins it to your memory.
“Obviously, you are not necessarily hoping for someone to try to derail it, but often something happens that sticks in your mind… but I love doing the shows and certainly don’t have too much sense of repetition.”
Tickets for Mark’s Worthing date are available online at www.worthingtheatres.co.uk or by phone on 01903 206206.
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