FEATURE: GETTING TO KNOW…Carl Hutchinson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Funny man Carl Hutchinson is fast on his way to being one of our region’s best stand-up comedians, sell-out shows and critical acclaim followed his last show Learning The Ropes, and we were lucky to catch some time for a chat with the immensely busy comedian. He’s already sold out his show at the ARC in Stockton this month, though there’s a chance to catch him and his solo show at The Stand in Newcastle on Tuesday 12th July, while he also takes part in a very special charity gig at the same venue on Tuesday 26th July; there’s a show at The Customs House in South Shields on Wednesday 3rd August, before heading up to Edinburgh for the Fringe festival two days later. He returns in October with a sell-out show at Durham Gala Theatre, though fans need not worry about missing out, as an extra date has been added on Sunday 30th October. Before all that though, we decided to get to know the local favourite a little better, with a chat on all things comedy…

How is comedy life treating you?
It’s treating me very well thanks! Any time you get to do what you love for a living you can’t really complain.

How did you get started in comedy?
I was a fan of comedy, I still am. You can’t be a fan of something for so long without trying to get into it yourself, I think. I always liked doing drama at school, my earliest roll I recall was the part of Scrooge in the school play. When it was over I didn’t want to stop being on stage so my parents took me to drama classes when I was about 11 years old. I was the little attention seeker as a kid. Even at secondary school I’d love it at break time; all the other kids were in a semi-circle as I did impressions of the teachers. The thought of actually doing stand-up terrified me to no end. Thinking of an idea, writing it down,expanding on it and performing it was a daunting prospect. When I turned 19 my core group of mates had moved off to uni (I was studying at Newcastle so still lived at home). This was the first time I actually felt like a bit of a loner, I’d always been good at making friends but trying to do it all over again at 19 wasn’t something I’d mastered. So I looked up what open mic nights there were in Newcastle, the Dog and Parrot ran (still does!) on a Tuesday night. I did my first spot there in 2006 and was hooked. I guess looking back I was looking for something more than just a ‘chance at stand-up’. I was looking for a social life, a purpose, something to do other than my uni work.

What’s your favourite thing about doing stand-up comedy?
It’s quite simple, if I don’t want to get up at a certain time, if I don’t want to work on a particular day, I don’t have to. I tried getting up early for a living and it was rank.

And your least favourite?
Even though I make a living from comedy, the general perception is “Carl doesn’t have a real job”. I mean, I don’t. But it’s not for others to say.

What keeps you inspired?
The task of writing a new hour show. Doing the Edinburgh festival every year ensures that you never stop writing, which is the best way to be.

What makes you laugh the most?
I laugh at the stupidest things, any video of people falling over. Very simple. These day’s I’ve also been watching Veep, Always sunny in Philadelphia & Louie. I like to save them up then watch during the day in some hotel while I’m laughing obnoxiously through the walls.

You did a show about wrestling, are there any other of your passions you’d love to do a show about?
I don’t really have any other passions, the wrestling show was fun. It was something I needed to find out for myself, if I had what it takes to be a wrestler. I’ll always be a comedian so the next passion is to write not only a ‘new’ show, but a show different from the last one.

Tell us about this year’s show?
I’m trying to make this years show the most interactive one yet. My girlfriend always advises me to show more of my own personality on stage. My argument was “cant my personality come across in my material?”. I’ve realised she’s right and that it’s something I’ve never really explored before. I get the audiences to tweet in before the show ‘If you were PM for the day, which new law would you implement?’ It’s a way of breaking the tension in the room, getting to know the audience and it allows the audience to know who else is in the room too. Its fun to do because you never know what you’re going to get so creatively it keeps you on your toes. Throughout the show I look at which laws I’d introduce. They’re all based around life’s little problems; people sneezing in public, people bragging on Facebook, things like that. I’m very excited to bring it to Edinburgh as well as up and down the UK.

What’s up next for you?
I’m straight back on tour, got some great places planned for July through until next February! Then I’ll be back on tour with Chris Ramsey. All good!

Carl Hutchinson is set to play various shows around the North East throughout July and then heads up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

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