Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Seymour Mace

Maybe it's when you don't give a toss about winning awards that you produce your best work. Seymour Mace has been delivering a particularly North-Eastern brand of offbeat nonsense (see also R Noble, V Reeves, B Mortimer) for over a decade now. This year he went up to the Edinburgh Fringe and performed at the Stand venue with a wilfully daft show entitled Niche As ****. And guess what, after all these years he was nominated for a Foster's Award. There are games, costumes, pisstakes, singalongs, all sort of stuff going on here and it's very daft and very funny. You can see what all the fuss is about when Mace brings the show to the Soho Theatre from Jan 5 - 16. Tickets here





1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies, check for spinach between teeth and check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt)?
I hate the bit before I go onstage, it feels like I'm in a Harold Pinter play, so the last thing I do is usually question why on earth I do this job?

2. What irritates you?

Petty little things irritate me, people who put an 'H' at the start of the letter 'H', people who say 'destructions' instead of 'instructions', people who are paid by charities to pretend to like me...actually it looks like it's people that irritate me. Yeah people and the stuff they do and I irritate myself more than anybody else could ever irritate me so I probably need to chill out a bit....ooh yeah, people who say 'nothink' instead of 'nothing'.

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

It's a toss up between smoking and, whilst I was doing street theatre in Kalamata, Greece, falling from a bridge into the sea in full evening dress carrying an empty pink suitcase, which rapidly filled with water, in the full knowledge that the most I've ever achieved in the field of swimming was a 25 metre badge which I had to cheat to get and I did it all because I thought it would look funny which it did when a nice Greek gentleman helped to drag my sodden body out of the water and onto the dock but on reflection it's probably the smoking.

4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

Probably taking acid before going shopping for material for my clown costume in Tokyo in the mid 90's. That might not be THE stupidest thing I've ever done but it's pretty stupid and definitely more interesting than just putting smoking again.

5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

The most surprising thing I can remember was when I learned that alternative comedians use writers. When I started doing stand up I remember the only 'rule' that really meant anything was that you didn't do other people's material but it seems that once you reach a certain level of success/income that rule is open to change. I just don't get it, it surprised me then and it continues to baffle me.

Interview continues here.


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