Geoff Norcott

'I Blame the Parents' is the fourth national tour from Geoff Norcott, following on the back of Conswervative, Traditionalism and Taking Liberties.

We chat to Geoff, ahead of coming to Plymouth in March 2022, about the new show, accountability and leaving teaching to become a comedian...

Many thanks for chatting to me, it’s much appreciated. After the couple of years we’ve all endured, it must feel great to be taking your new show ‘I Blame The Parents’ out on tour?

 

It's been great to get back out there. In the Autumn leg you had a lot of people still having their first nights out. So you got a lot of laughter, but also a lot of people who clearly hadn't got their social 'sea legs' back. 

 

You’ve finished the autumn leg of the tour and have said that it has been your best experience in comedy - can you elaborate?

 

I just think this show is the one I've been wanting to write for a long time. As you'd expect there's some politics but moreover it's a snapshot of an interesting time culturally. And best of all, I have lots of stories about my mad parents. The anecdotes they left behind are a priceless inheritance.

 

Tell us about the new show, it focuses on personal responsibility and a lack of accountability these days doesn’t it? 

 

To a point. It also branches out into the hyper-sensitivity we see so much of and the fact that everyone seems to have an opinion on what you say and do. I brought a puppy recently and got lectured about so many different things, you'd have thought I was adopting a former child soldier. I think it's high time we brought back the phrase 'Mind your own business.'

 

In an industry that is overwhelmingly left-leaning, do you feel a bit of an outsider, despite the majority of the country holding similar views?

 

It does lean predominantly left, but things are changing. I may be out of step with a lot of my colleagues but my views are often more in line with the British public. So I may be in the minority in the dressing room, but it's a different story when I step on stage. Luckily my audience is a real cross-section of people. A lot of my colleagues seem to think I play exclusively to 'gammons' who open beer cans with their teeth, but it's not like that at all.

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Does this make for some interesting interactions with audiences?

 

The most interesting heckle on this tour was in Guildford. I was criticising Boris (spoiler alert, voting Conservative doesn't mean I agree with everything) and a woman shouted out 'Leave Boris alone!'. I asked why. She said 'You're just jealous he's funnier than you.' She may have been right. Only in Guildford eh?

 

Your previous tours have had a political focus to them. You’ve departed (slightly) from this with ‘I Blame The Parents’. As the political landscape was changing on a daily basis, were you having to keep adapting your shows whilst on tour?

 

A lot of comedians claim this, but the truth is not really. Also - during the Brexit debate - politics got very static for a long time. Currently no-one seems to be happy with their political party. That's a much more fertile area for comedy.

"Unlike many people, I liked teaching. I just got a better offer. Whisper it quietly, but teaching isn't that hard a job if you're well organised."

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How was life for you growing up? Were you held accountable for your actions by your parents?

 

I was. My dad used to hold 'Family Meetings' where me and my sister had to explain our actions like tiny lawyers. Maybe it was the trade union man in him who liked holding people to account.

 

Do you think that there are too few authority figures in a child’s life growing up? Are we too concerned about being their ‘friends' rather than their teachers?

 

I'd like to say yes, but the truth is I'm a surprisingly soppy dad. My wife is far more on it with discipline. However he's still terrified of me finding out when he's done something wrong. My wife would say 'Wait till your father gets home', but I've been home a lot. So it's more 'Wait till your father emerges from his make-shift office.'

 

Speaking of teaching, you were an English teacher before going into comedy full-time. What made you leave the career behind and go into comedy?

 

Unlike many people, I liked teaching. I just got a better offer. Whisper it quietly, but teaching isn't that hard a job if you're well organised (Geoff ducks to avoid incoming missiles from teachers).

 

After the Spring tour, what do you have planned for the rest of 2022?

 

Nothing much, just a documentary, another book, a film, world domination and - if time allows - a bit of supply teaching to keep myself grounded.

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Two tickets to see Geoff Norcott's 'I Blame The Parents' at The Quad Theatre on 12th March 2022. Simply click the link below and follow the steps.

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Click the link to book tickets for the show, and to follow Geoff via his social media channels...

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