Interview: Lee Kyle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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North-East Comedian, Lee Kyle, has had his fair share of job roles, from Spice Girls tribute act, professional wrestler, stand up comedian, sketch performer, podcaster, comedy writer and kids comedian. Lee can now add ‘online sensation’ to the list as he adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic to bring us, Precedented: An hour of stand up about ‘all this’, his online show recorded at home and broadcast from his Facebook/Youtube page on 19th May. Eager to find out more we contacted him to answer a few questions.

How has your time on lockdown been?
Mixed bag I suppose, I’ve lost all of my work and was supposed to be going to Jamaica today but I’ve substantially increased my time spent lying down making seeing faces in the pattern on the curtains so I’ve kept busy.

What is doing live stream comedy like? Is there anything you like about it compared to a regular stand up gig?
The travel is much better. I’ve done a few live stream gigs but the shows I put out myself aren’t livestreamed, I record them the day before and then put the recording out.  I prefer this as it feels like more of a show. I don’t really like just sitting at a webcam talking into the abyss but I try to make my sitting room wall look a little like a stage and perform it as close to a real gig as I can. What I do like, is that you can just assume that every joke is going down brilliantly.

Once lockdown is over will you carry on with online shows?
I think so. I’ll probably make shows less often but I find it quite exciting in a way, it’s allowing me to try and find new ways to make stand up work and it also, to be candid, gives me something to do during the day. It’s not the same as a comedy club but it’s something at least!

Tell us more about your show, Precedented: An hour of stand up about ‘all this’.
So I’ve been making kids shows during lockdown and this definitely won’t be that! I’ve decided to make a new hour-long stand up show every month of the restrictions. It’s possible that this could easily last into next year and, with no gigs, I don’t want to lose too much momentum; I want to stay as sharp as possible.

I don’t think anything like this has been done before. A brand new show every month, without the ability to preview the material in front of a crowd.  It’s a real test, some bits will hit and some will miss but I really think it’ll help me get better.

I think it’s about finding new ways of doing stand up for me.  I’m a personable act usually and a bit silly but I’m not sure that will work in this environment. I don’t think silly suits a show about a pandemic and I don’t think a show with no audience will suit a lot of quick-fire jokes.  I’ve a feeling it might end up a bit ranty and opinionated which is interesting for me as it’s not what I usually do at all. 

Also, next year, lots of comics will be doing hour-long shows about COVID and the issues around it. I probably can’t be the best but I’m hoping to be first!

Once some level of normality returns, what are you going to do?
Keep waiting I suppose. I think stand up will be one of the last things to come back so I’ll be on pause for a while other than these shows. I’d quite like to get to Jamaica though!  I think l;m like a lot of people in that I’m quite enjoying having all of my choices made for me right now, being responsible for my mistakes again is a little scary.

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